When I heard about a pottery garden, I was bent in making a pot or a plate for myself. But we didn't plan anything so we made an ambush visit. My friend Jason was raving about the place, saying that Ugu Bigyan's house looked like a claypot. The fact is, he built his entire house himself. And when I arrived, I was in awe.
Yes, the facade of Ugu's house had a clay color, but it didn't take the shape of a pot as I've imagined. That would be too eccentric. Ugu Bigyan's compound looked more of a high end resort actually. It had nipa hut cabanas, wooden furniture and clay furnishings. It was a joy to notice all the details in the design: fishes in between stone paths, carvings on walls, and even wooden white lizards in empty corners.
I thought a pottery workshop would look a bit rustic, dirty and dusty from the mud and clay. His place is the total opposite. I went at the area where they made their pieces. It was neat and organized. It was inspiring to see the pieces still unfinished. I wanted to take one and finish it myself.
The garden looked so luxurious but natural. I almost fell asleep in one of the day beds in one cabana. There was even a guest room that looked handcrafted. I admired how one side of a wall warps. It was even decorated in colorful stones.
A bounty of trees gave the perfect shade. It was hot indeed that day, yet there was a cool and soft breeze that charmed you. It was past 3PM already, and the rays of sunlight shone on his artworks, that they were natural spotlights, as if part of the design plan.
Ugu Bigyan is famous for his pottery works, which can be seen in most hotels and resorts, one of which is the uber luxurious Amanpulo. There is a pottery gallery where we can buy his works. He has a shop in his garden, where you could measure how much talent he has got. His pieces are quite expensive, but they do give out discounts on bulk orders and during a special sale on his birthday.
I was so disappointed that we were still full from our late lunch at Casa San Pablo, so I wasn't able to sample his famed cuisine as well. I was the only one who wanted to eat, so I just passed the opportunity. I just promised myself to come back for lunch or dinner there on our second Viaje Del Sol tour.
This is definitely one of the best kept secrets of the South, probably more valuable than any other place in Tagaytay or in Laguna. I felt like a kid snapping the shutter away in this photogenic garden. Till the next visit!
Ugu Bigyan Pottery Garden and Restaurant
This place has no signs so it's a bit difficult to find if you don't have the Viaje Map. Going South on the Maharlika Highway, take the diversion road in Tiaong. As soon as you exit, watch out for a Petron station and a sign leading to the Lusaca High School. You can just ask around for further directions.