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Meeting Extraordinary People

Meeting Extraordinary People

Sometimes when you travel, you bump into people that makes your visit more fascinating. Usually, I take photos ask around for some background of the place and just leave once done. While roaming around the town of Paete in Laguna Philippines, we stumbled on a cafe. In this cafe we were very fortunate to have met the nicest,  hospitable and artistic lover in this town. Come with me as I share with you our encounter.

Meeting Extraordinary People

While walking we saw this cafe with a Spanish influenced design frontage. We stopped for a moment and beside the door we saw a sign with CNN, Routers and ABS-CBN which is one of the popular TV stations in the country. I began to wonder what makes this place unique. It looks just like a simple cafe from the outside and due to my curiosity, I was peeking thru the door like a child. While me and my wife was discussing if we should check it out, a man in white shirt with floral designs came up to us and said, “Come in, come in please have a look inside”.

We came inside and the man introduced himself as Nilo Valdecantos. It was an art gallery cafe called “Kape Kesada”, paintings and artworks from local artists were on display. I was excited and was anxious to take more photos of the artworks.

We were escorted to the back part of the cafe and had a seat with our host.

Again present to you the owner of Kape Kesada “Nilo Valdecantos”. He asked where are we from and how are we enjoying the tour in the town so far. I said that we were visitin relatives here and I wanted to take photos of the wood carvings in which this town is known for. Here we found out that Nilo is a dentist by trade along with his wife. They have the clinic upstairs. His passion is for art and music. He told about how he helps local artist get mainstream attention. He gathers the works of artists and conducts an exhibit in Manila for exposure. Nilo love helping people and not asking anything in return. He mentioned some of the artists he has helped has now become prosperous. Another thing that he told us about is about his fight with cancer. It was a long battle, but thankfully he has victorious.

It is amazing to meet people who helps out without asking for anything in return. These kinds of people are very rare now these days. He asked us if we have visited the church to see the popular painting made from organic materials. Painted using dye from plant materials mixed with volcanic ash. If you missed that post you can check it out here

Paete Church

Anyway he showed us this replica of the huge famous painting from the church, and if you would look closely you would see a small man looking at the painting. He proudly said that little guy is him glaring at the painting.

After a pleasant conversation he said that he would leave us for a moment and to feel at home. Here in this cafe there are also rooms for rent and as of the moment there is a Japanese national who is checked in also on tour. We were left with the cashier who also gave us some background on the paintings. I asked if I could take some photos in the gallery, but I was told that it was not permitted. I should have asked the owner permission earlier which I think he would have consented. Anyway rules are rules and we must always respect it.

Instead, I just took photos of the surroundings.

The place is perfect for a quiet afternoon, enjoy a cup of coffee and a good conversation.

Like I mentioned in my previous post in this town there is a river that runs thru it. Water from the mountains and ends up in the great big lake of Laguna. The sound of running water and that hot cup of coffee is a perfect combination.

Nilo came back and asked if we wanted to check the second floor. We followed him which got us to a small hallway that leads to the balcony. This is also where their clinic is located and again he left us and it seems he had a patient waiting inside.

The carvings of the frame of this mirror is very beautiful and no doubt it was crafted in this town. The frame reminds me of the famous painting that we saw at the National Museum La Barca de Aqueronte.  I couldn’t help to take a snap of the mirror.

Out in the balcony you could see the residential area, but I guess it adds to the charm of the place.

My lovely wife just enjoying the view of running water.

Even though it is near a residential area the water is very clean and I didn’t see any garbage floating around. The residents here are very disciplined.

This painting is one of the works of the artist that Nilo helped. He mentioned earlier that the artist just bought a mini cooper and the only thing that he asked from the artist is a ride in his new car.

Before we left I asked Nilo if we could have a photo with him. He said, ” I have a good spot for that, let’s do it in the gallery and let me take a photo of the both of you first.”

One of the friendliest people I have met and yours truly. A great man with a heart like a canvas painted by gold. An exceptional human being that I am truly honored to have met in this small artistic town of Paete.

Before leaving he told us to come visit again soon and he asked if I sang due to my long hair. He knows how to play the guitar and I just wished I was a rock star to jam with him one day.

Thanks for joining me in this visit to Kape Kesada. I hope you had a good time in this short tour around the place. Let me know what you think and let’s talk about art.

If you would like to see the other places that we visited in the province please see the links below.

In Search of Fried Duck

A Thousand Steps to “Tatlong Krus”

“Tatlong Krus” at the Summit of Mt. Humarap

Paete Church

A Resting Place at the Foot of a Mountain

Chisels from the Town Near the Bay

 

Official Page

Kape Kesada

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm kit lens