How are you getting by this cold and rainy weather? Heavy rain can be a hassle but this season means yearning for an extended bed time, or warming up with something hot to sip. How about a chocolate drink?
The continuous rain reminded me of all hot drinks -coffee, tea, and chocolate. Many have spoken that the best tsokolate( chocolate drink) in the Philippines can be tasted at Camiña Balay nga Bato in Iloilo. Now that brings me back to our visit last summer with my parents.
What I admire about this ancestral home in Iloilo is that they offer to tourists and travelers not just a heritage home in Iloilo, but it is also an antique shop. And now, a food trip destination. Isn’t it brilliant for tourism?
It is easy to find this house. It is located along the highway, a few steps from Arevalo plaza, going to southern Iloilo.
My parents in front of the house, after our tour.
The activity kicks off with a tour of the house. Naturally, you will see their antique shop from saint statues to local spiced vinegar called sinamak. You will also be acquainted with few facts about this attraction in Iloilo.
At the ground floor, which is the storage area in bahay na bato, you will see the original pillars that not only give a strong support to the house but also a status symbol of the Camiña Family.
Another interesting fact that sets it apart from other ancestral homes not just in Iloilo but throughout the country is that the family still resides in the abode.
Presently, 4th generation Luth and Gerard Camiña call this house, home. If you are curious if there are ghosts or if this is a haunted house in Iloilo, sorry..I didn’t feel anything.
To enter the living quarters, that is at the upper floor, you will climb its very steep stairs. Just like other houses, I have visited, you can see vintage pieces and hard wood.
Its tin ceiling is very interesting. They also have nail-less door and you will learn about the defense features of this house.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the tour is the tsokolate..to be accurate, tsokolate e..the stronger version of the hot chocolate. Our visit was on a hot day but it was a refreshing drink. The very well-ventilated azotea of the house, invited the breeze to come inside.
Feeling donya si mader..
The tour only costs Php150 per person, and that already includes the chocolate drink and some biscuits. It goes without saying that my folks had a great time.
You can also purchase the tsokolatera ( the kettle) and the batirol ( the stirring rod) as well as the chocolate tablets. My mom bought one pack for my tsokolate addict sister-in law. You can ask the staff for the measurement to make your own chocolate drink at home.
The staff will serve the hot beverage but my mom, insisted to do it herself ( for our refill). It reminded her of my grandmother..awww..
We were lucky to be the only visitors. We took our time and had great conversation, forgetting for a second that it was not our home.
My dad, went back touring the house and took photos like his favorite archangel, Archangel Michael.
You may ask what I think of the tsokolate. Well, I can’t really say it is the best because of my personal preference of something bitter. I’m a coffee drinker and they added milk so maybe pure tablea (cocoa tablet), water and sugar will be perfect for me.
But compared to other chocolate drink I had, Camiña’s tsokolate is richer and more flavorful. I trust my father’s reaction, ” Lami, Lami ( delicious) ” while smacking his lips like an expert taster.
For inquiries, visit their Facebook page.
You like ancestral homes? Here are heritage homes you can visit..
The Grandiose Nelly Garden
Night Tour at Casa Mariquit
Iloilo’s Old Houses and Mansions