What to do in Paete Laguna: Kape Kesada Art Gallery
We’ve always had a penchant for local-homegrown places. They’re unique, creative, and have a heartwarming sense of personal touch. Our second to the last stop in our Calabarzon Food Tour took us to the artistic town of Paete, Laguna. Now it’s no secret that Paete is famous as the Wood Carving Capital of the Philippines. So after a quick fruit-vegetable carving demo, we took a short stroll to one of Paete’s treasured cafes-cum-art gallery: Kape Kesada Art Gallery.
The Art Gallery + Coffeeshop
Before all the newest trends in carving like fruits, vegetables, and ice, came Wood Carving. Owned by local dentist Nilo Valdecantos and his wife, Kape Kesada Art Gallery is a charming stop that proudly showcases the local crafts and arts of Paete.
Going past the wonderful creations, lies a quaint coffee shop adorned with old wooden floors and windows made of capiz shells. Want the best seat in the house? Slide open to the open-air veranda that sits above a gentle stream/creek. As if you were having your meryenda in some charming town in Europe.
Of course, Karla and I took a table in the corner for two and snapped a few IG-worthy shots for keeps. (No foul smell, I promise!)
Now what we did not know is that there was more to Kape Kesada Art Gallery than coffee and art. The second floor of the charming structure is also home to the owners’ dental clinic. As well as a small Bed and Breakfast for travelers. Sadly, we weren’t able to take a peek of those because of our tight schedule. But all the more reason to schedule a trip back, right?
Local Paete Food at Kape Kesada Art Gallery
Then came the best part: the food! And we’re not talking about just any food. That day, the jovial owners prepared a real crave-worthy Local Paete meryenda for our group.
First on our feast was a bilao of Paete’s Kalamay na Malagkit (Biko). Unlike other regions where Kalamay is grounded sticky-rice, Paete’s version resembled a biko more. I loved that it had the right of sweetness and topped with caramelized coconut.
This went perfectly well with the salty-creaminess of their local Laksa. Mixed vegetables dominated by banana blossoms cooked in coconut milk.
We were also served the special Minaning Cassava. Cassava chips sauteed in heaps of garlic, as we do with peanuts.
Where is Kape Kesada?
Kape Kesada Art Gallery is located along Quesada St, Paete, Laguna. It’s a short 2-minute walk from the municipal hall, just right at the heart of town. Check out Kape Kesada on Facebook for more information and updates.
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