Shakeys Holds Manager’s Training at Casa San Pablo
Sykes Asia Goes Team-building at Casa San Pablo
Special Discounts on Conference Packages
Casa San Pablo Meeting Facilities
WEDDING INSPIRATIONS: Ryan and Christine's Wedding
Blue And White Wedding
Bountiful Wedding
Hacienda Wedding
Dining Hall Reception
Garden Reception
Pavilion Reception
Bed And Breakfast
Romantic Stay
Family & Balikbayan Escape

Lovely As A Tree


WE WOKE UP AT DAWN that morning to take a walk and connect with the trees. Never mind that we had a late night and that the idea of bonding with and drawing energy from our ancient trees seemed a little strange at daylight, hatched as it was the night before, when it was alluring and attractively esoteric. The idea had come from my dear friend Amor, a communications expert as well as a deeply spiritual person, who was at Casa with her partner, their daughter, and her team. We had spent an afternoon and evening in animated conversation about our dreams, our B&B, and the creative-mystical lure of San Pablo. And it was over dinner that we agreed we would pay homage to the ancient trees at our compound and soak in their energy.

I loved the idea and resonated with it because, although I did not have the spiritual nomenclature and effusiveness of Amor, I knew where she was coming from. I, too, feel a vibration, a wave of fizziness in my chest (the same touchy-feely surge I associate with receiving unexpected gifts), when I am around giant, majestic trees. There is a force within them that I long to connect with. And there is, too, the simple truth that there are very few remaining wonders of nature as beautiful and as easily accessible as a venerable old tree.


We found Tita Mela, my mother-in-law’s sister, a resident of the compound, taking an early morning walk as well. I walked at pace with her because it was to her side of the compound that I wanted to take our guests. She has a rambutan orchard with trees heavily laden with gorgeous red fruit at this time of the year. And she has a 75-year old Calumpit tree, probably one of the oldest trees in the compound. She broke from her morning route and made a bee-line for the orchard, eager to make our guests feel welcome.


Pruned the way orchard trees should be, the rambutan trees had low-lying fruits, easy for picking. She plucked out a few to try, tested it for sweetness, and having found it just right, broke off an entire bunch to share with our guests. The rambutan was soft, juicy, and sweet. Amazing to taste so early in the morning.


The Calumpit was regal and robust: its crown a vast canopy that allows only thin streams of sunlight through its long narrow leaves. Its trunk a monolith so thick it would take five tree huggers, holding hands, to get around it, and its buttress roots an imposing tangle, rising as high as two meters from the ground.  With elegant branches several stories high, it is the favorite hideaway of black crows and the choice seat of wisdom for owls. Its fruits are burgundy red cherries, plentiful in the summer, and lovingly preserved and bottled in simple syrup by Tita Mela.


Amor invited us to touch the tree. Connect to it and experience its energy. We found ourselves walking in silence, as if within a cathedral, savoring the presence of a tree that has been on this land way before any of us was born. I wonder if it felt our presence, too? 


The rambutan are so beautiful on the trees, I wish we could keep them there forever. But the ripe ones are ready for picking.
Amor pays homage to the venerable Calumpit tree, planted over 75 years ago, within the family compound.
The vast canopy of the Calumpit tree within the family compound where Casa San Pablo is.
Casa San Pablo guest Jules pauses in quiet reflection.