Wilson’s Place Bed & Breakfast Tagaytay, Philippines

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 1384

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

The kids and I had the best weekend a few weeks ago at Wilson’s Place Bed & Breakfast, Tagaytay. Carl and I had to attend a wedding in Antonio’s, so it was perfect that we found this lovely little place. It was 10 minutes away from Antonio’s, which made it the perfect base for after a late night celebration. It was also very near Antonio’s Breakfast which made it easy to meet friends the next day. Though I have to add that I didn’t eat at Antonio’s Breakfast, because the included breakfast at Wilson’s Place was SO GOOD.

The rooms were spacious and adequate, interiors quirky, and the food absolutely delicious. They have 12 rooms in a variety of colors and this would be perfect to book for a friend or family weekend! I can’t recommend them enough.

Check this link with Deal Grocer regularly for a number of discounts you can purchase to stay at Wilson’s Place.

Contact Wilson’s Place via their:


WILSON’S PLACE: Maglabe Drive, Tagaytay City

For reservations email wilsons.place@yahoo.com or call/text 0915-8645706 or 0917-5357218


Artist Profile: Charming Baldemor

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 1384

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

Charming Baldemors is Filipino wood sculptor who loves to explore the infinite creative possibilities on reclaimed or rescued wood, taking a resolute stand against illegal logging.

I first met Charming during a FilipinaZ Fair media preview a few years ago. She had a little table showcasing some of her beautiful bags and there was one bag in particular that I couldn’t stop holding and admiring. Because beautiful things take time and effort, I also knew that this bag would be an investment piece so I decided to sleep on it. The next day, I knew that bag had to be mine, so I immediately contacted Charming and we have been social media friends since. Charming’s wooden art are so intricate and well-crafted that they will last your lifetime and your children’s lifetime too. I decided to revive my Artist Profile Series to give Charming the attention she deserves. I hope you enjoy reading her story.

How did you first become a wood sculptor? 
Wood carving has been our family business for almost 5 decades so you can say it runs in my blood. I’ve grown up around wood carvings all my life so it’s something I’ve come to enjoy and feel comfortable doing. 

Growing up, my dad—a wood sculptor—would let me try and explore the craft under his careful guidance. In school, carving was part of our Grade 4 curriculum in Paete (the Carving Capital of the Philippines!)

I decided to continue the legacy of my dad by getting into wood carving as well. I feel that the carving industry of Paete is slowly dying due to lack of wood supply, causing Paetenian artists to go abroad due to the lack of opportunity and inspiration. But I know that wood carving in Paete has a lot of potential, so I decided to stay and challenge myself to inspire young artists to keep the industry alive. 

Through my method, I want also want to promote upcycling of wood, and through my art, I want to promote my advocacy for environmental protection and female empowerment.

Did you attend any schools to sharpen your skills? Are there any teachers you had that helped shape your art? 

I’ve had no formal schooling. My dad taught me the principles behind everything I know now, especially on how to see value in everything. My parents helped me develop my eye for art and quality.

Some things I’d always hear them say to me:
• Dad – Paying attention to detail – “Hindi pwede and pwede na”
• Mom – “You should only sell something that you yourself will buy”

What woods/mediums are you most comfortable working with? Why?

While I work with all types of wood, I do admit I have a favorite: Reclaimed Narra
First because it has a distinct fragrance that lingers even after being worked. Second because the interlocked and wavy grains of Narra makes it very challenging to work with – and I love it!

On a practical perspective (take note, buyers!), it has very good weathering characteristics, making it very durable. It is almost decay-resistant when treated and conditioned properly.

Are there any local or international artists you look up to? 
I want to share that I look up to certain artists not just because of their work but because of the story that they pour into the art they make. The lives they lived served as the inspiration behind what they created, and this is a huge driving factor for me as well. 

He never lived flamboyantly
For the best part of his life, he cared above all for his father and his brothers. (His mother died when he was 6)
He convinces both himself and us of the the existence of divine QUALITY perfect by human standards and therefore divine.
The details of his works are amazing!

• Araceli Dans
Her pieces are not ordinary! They manifest her love for beautiful things.
She’s also an educator. She helps young and not-so-young artists and even sculptors, come into their own. She welcomes them, honing them into fine artists, spending time with them, critiquing and mentoring. The details of her works are amazing! Her Calado is exquisite, fine, and intricate.

Can you share a bit about the pieces you are most proud of doing?  

I’m most proud of my wearable art – my wooden bags—they originally came about to support a cause / advocacies and are art pieces made to empower women are actually worn by empowered women!

I’m also proud of my “Troso” (hollow tree trunk) lamps—my “kababayans”, fellow sculptors, even my mom – were deeply skeptical about my rescue initiatives for the decayed (hollowed center, just about 2” of the sapwood is left, the entire heartwood is gone, making it thin)

How do you know what design to create on a piece? Where do you find your inspiration? 

Usually, sculptors/carvers would use a solid wood to carve, making this a challenge. But I think it’s really being able to “read” through the material to see what you can create out of it! 
Beauty inspires beauty. I am very much fascinated with flowers – form, texture, colors, and most importantly how they affect or influence the feelings of people. I like how fragile they are yet strong enough to convey various messages. I always say that they are like women in many ways.

I also have so much pride in Philippine culture and heritage. I pay tribute to our local artisans by immortalizing their craft in my wood sculptures. Say the Habi Collection (for the bags) and the Bilao series (for the sculptures), which features regional Filipino produce on our traditional basket.

I also want to challenge society and instigate social change. I’m proud to say that I support women empowerment. I want to pay it forward through my art.

What are you currently working on? Do you have any exhibits coming up? 
•  I’m working sculpture in the round Philippine Flora Centerpieces now.
• 2019 bag collections include Philippine Flora and Fauna and Bakas-daliring Pinoy
• FilipinaZ Fair in October, Rockwell
• Manila Art

I understand you only work with recycled wood pieces. What made you decide to do this? What has been your favourite wood piece finds to work with so far?  

I’m always proud of my Troso lamps. I think, so far, I am the only one who uses this medium (at least in our country as far as I know) It’s towering and majestic – preserving the natural shape of the tree.

Can you share what a regular day as an artist is like for you? Is procrastination something you face? Do you ever have those days when you just HAVE to create? 

My mind runs on overdrive 24/7. I have ideas about how I want to spend my time and they almost never match reality. But I try, week after week, to impose a sense of order in my days to help me feel like I’m accomplishing something and moving forward. I believe that routine and habit help cement my creative practice. I try my best to be rooted in discipline, otherwise, my ideas will just float off and become lost in the flurry of my days.

I get up between 5:30am and 6:00am to make sure that my furry son, Pedro, doesn’t have an accident in the room. Give him breakfast after, etc.
Visit my fruit bearing bonsais at the veranda. Remove dry leaves, do some pruning if necessary. Breathe some fresh air. Reflect and appreciate the new day.
I’ll make breakfast. Take a shower after eating.
I set priorities for all my sculpting and administrative tasks, and do my best to work through them when I can.
I usually get to decide how I want the day to go, though I often have to take appointments and other commitments into consideration.

• 6am – Stumble out of bed and try to wake up. This often involves cuddling and playing with Pedro
I try to exercise every day, even if that just means a 15min run on the treadmill. More than work-life balance, I believe work-life integration is very important, meaning that one doesn’t take precedence over the other
• 7am – Make and eat breakfast, shower. Usually this hour stretches imperceptibly to 2 hours as I sip fresh juice and get lost in appreciating my plants….
• 8am – Get dressed and ready for the day. I don’t put on street clothes or do my hair or makeup – essentially, I switch from sleeping shorts/pyjamas to working shorts/pyjamas – but I do shower every day! I just love comfy clothes.
• 9am – Check today’s TO DO and work on them (chronology depends on my mood—as most artists are)
• 9:15am – Work on art. Usually this is either a sculpture or a sketch of my new idea. 
Sometimes, I let myself have some playtime—just use my hands on any creative work. It helps me think and get more inspiration and of course it helps churn out the most creative ideas when all the other things milling in my head are out of the way. 
• 11:30am (or when I get hungry) – Make lunch or make some veggie and fruit juices.
• 1pm – Continue with my art.
• In between hours – Admin tasks: check email, paperwork, running the business side, essentially 
• 5pm – Household chores or extended artwork hours.
• I spend my evenings making dinner, cleaning, playing with Pedro or watching TV. Of course social media or listing down ideas.

How has your work evolved since you began to create? 

Seeing things in a new light has gradually helped me make the pieces more original. Though my influence is rooted in Realism, I think I’m able to improve my ability to put things together in a more meaningful way.
I think I’m more flexible now in terms of adjusting to new situations (while carving)
In case there are imperfections or defects on the material, I believe I’m more fluent in terms of producing new ideas quickly. I really have to always work around the characteristics of the wood, which expands the “repertoire” on the kind of wood I can work with 

What is one of the nicest things someone has said about your work? 

In my very first exhibit in Rockwell (FilipinaZ Art Fair), a very decent looking guy was staring at one of my flora mural. I came near him, he glanced at me saying “Baliw and gumawa nito, grabe! Iba talaga ang Pilipino! The artist should be recognized!” He showed me goosebumps on his arms not knowing that I am the artist. Until now I still can’t forget the tone of his voice. The expression on his face still lingers in my memory. That was very inspiring!

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your work? 

I would always dream of working with Gina Lopez. I admire her devotion, love and passion as an environmentalist. I would love to explore the Philippines with her to discover more inspiration for my art. Maybe we can also have a project to have a sustainable farm of specific wood species for the carving industry of Paete or have an organization or office where the fallen trees after the storm or the cut trees due to road widening projects will be regulated. As an educator, I also dream of having an art school where all the employees are empowered women from “rescues”. (editors note: this was written before Gina passed away in August of 2019)

Thank you so much, Charming for sharing your beautiful pieces and story with my readers. For those interested in contacting Charming or learning more:

Instagram: @charming_baldemor
Contact Number: +63917 882 8746
Studio address: Santa Rosa, Laguna
This is her personal studio, so it’s best to set an appointment before dropping by.


Healthy Hair Thanks to Kérastase

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 1384

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 700

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/catjuanc/domains/catjuan.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/lightbox-plus/classes/shd.class.php on line 707

For the last 6 months, I’ve had the privilege of trying three various Kèrastase ranges that have kept my hair healthier than ever before. A little background about my hair: I color it every 3-4 months with my ends often left a little dryer than the rest of my strands from my preferred ombré look. My scalp is oily and my hair has always been unusually fine and flat.

Kérastase is a French-based international luxury haircare brand, that forms part of the portfolio of the professional products division of the multi-national parent company the L’Oréal Group. Their products are luxurious and definitely cost more than your average drug store brand, but what they deliver is above and beyond. Here are the three lines I’ve been fortunate to try:

Launched just last year in August, the Kérastase Resistance Extentioniste was designed to give new life to damaged hair.

Created by the Recherche Avancée L’Oréal Research Institute to eliminate the pain points of hair growth, the Kérastase Résistance Extenioniste range is comprised of four products powered by Creatine-R Complex to achieve optimal hair length. 

“Creatine-R Complex is a natural amino acid that efficiently improves strength, increases muscle mass, and helps muscles recover quicker during exercise. This is a key ingredient in the line. With Kérastase Résistance Extentioniste, hair is treated to a training program that will strengthen and reinforce the hair’s internal structure for long and luscious locks,” as described in Kérastase’s press release.

MY VERDICT: I personally LOVE this line. This was the range that brought new life to my fine hair. After every use, my hair felt thicker and healthier. It shined like new and I would definitely re-order this line, especially the conditioners and hair masque.

The Discipline Oléo-Relax is designed for Asian hair – and promises to manage frizzy tresses that become uncontrollable throughout the day – especially due to our tropical humidity.

“Infused with potent Morpho Huiles™ technology, the new Oléo-Relax repairs the hair with Shorea Butter, makes the hair fiber impermeable by humidity with Virgin Coconut Oil, protects the strands with Rosa Muscata Fruit Oil, and gives a brilliant shine with Inca Peanut Oil,” as promised by its press release.

MY VERDICT: This line’s oils and conditioner are a little too heavy for my already fine hair. But for my sister-in-law who has a beautiful thick main of hair (that even needs to be under shaved for control), this line did wonders. Her hair looks really wonderful using this line and she would highly recommend it for anyone with similar hair.

Meanwhile the Discipline’s advanced, Pro-Keratin products are formulated for those with curly hair. Coarse waves and curls are helped to have more definition without any stiffness

MY VERDICT: The shampoo of this line was actually quite lovely on my fine hair and did’t require me to use conditioner after. Definitely keeping it!

All in all, I was so fortunate to be able to use these Kérastase products and my coloured, fine hair responded to them extremely well.

Interested in trying Kérastase? I’m happy to report that it can be purchased online at www.hairmnl.com  and in Kérastase partner salons and the SM Mall of Asia Department Store.