Wednesday, April 11, 2007

viaje del sol: ugu bigyan: potter's garden

i first learned of ugu bigyan from the now-defunct channel, juice tv. it had an interior design show, space, which was hosted by reema chanco. one particular episode featured ugu bigyan's tranquil garden.

i also read somewhere that augusto "ugu" bigyan used to be an accountant, but left the world of numbers to pursue pottery. he has transformed his home in lusacan, tiaong, quezon into a sanctuary where artists can seek inspiration, rest, and dine on his well-renowned dishes. everything in the garden is a result of ugu's hard work.

the potter's garden was scrapped from our itinerary, because we thought they would be closed during the holidays. but jun, one of the other guests in sitio de amor (our weekend headquarters), told us the garden was indeed open. so after kinabuhayan cafe, we headed for tiaong.

ugu's place is pretty hard to miss. his garden is guarded by a massive brick house that is simply awesome (but it looked hot). we pulled up in front of the house and entered the garden. nobody stopped us or came up to ask why we were there; apparently, they have indeed opened the garden to anyone who would like to explore.

the garden is a maze of paths leading to huts and gazebos filled with native decor. the largest pavilion had a couple of long wooden tables with matching chairs, where large groups can have their conferences, meetings, or workshops. some huts were smaller, providing shade and a sitting area for a couple or a group of four. wood, clay, and bamboo were the recurring theme in every nook.

in most of the huts, you will find an ugu bigyan creation or two. it's ugu's very own "open house," it's his way of letting you know how you can use his masterpieces in your very own space. a large portion of the garden was alloted for his shop, where his latest and best work is displayed, and is available for sale.

we inadvertently disturbed the peace while we argued about whether a frog we found on the table was a clay accent or the real, live thing. before i had a chance to poke it with the blunt end of my pen (i never meant to hurt it, okay?), the poor amphibian sprung up and left, causing us to yelp in surprise. i guess that finally settled the argument.

it seems while most are inspired, the four of us became insane in the stillness of the garden. we found one bright nook and played tableau using my camera's self-timer function. the result: a hilarious set of photos with the theme who killed djong?

we walked away from ugu's garden without any of his clay creations, mainly because they were a tad pricey, but also because... we didn't really have much space in our homes to put them in. but when the day comes that i have to decorate my own place, i'm hoping i'll have space for an ugu bigyan piece.

for more photos of ugu bigyan's place, click here.

contact information:
ugu bigyan: potter's garden
alvarez village, lusacan, tiaong, quezon
tel. no.: (042) 5459144
mobile: 0917-5605708
rates: P350 per person for one of ugu's famous meals, minimum of 5 persons. advanced booking is required for lunch. pottery workshops or demonstrations may also be arranged.

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