Hotel Luna: A luxury heritage museum hotel in Vigan


If you think you’ve never heard of a Hotel Luna in Vigan before, it is because it officially opened just a few weeks ago. From the outside, you would mistake the newly painted old-and-simple-but-massive-structure for a villa or just another heritage hotel which is regulatory in the city that cares so much about heritage preservation.

A breath of fresh air greets you at the entrance. By Vigan standards, it feels queer in a beautiful way, I mean heritage with a twist — little modernities here and there and yet within the bounds of the city’s mantra.

Built in 1882, the property was a former residence, a gift of Ilocos Sur’s affluent Don Jose Florentino to his daughter.

Vigan CalesaVigan heritage CityFrom the roof deck, a fresh perspective of Vigan’s mansions and the St. Paul Cathedral.

Building Reflection

Hotel Luna, named after the celebrated Ilocano painter Juan Luna, is the only luxury hotel in Vigan and the only museum hotel in Northern Luzon. A marriage of both worlds, it is not just a museum of antiquities, but a gallery of contemporary art as well. Artworks by national artists and remarkable painters speak so much about the art leanings of the owners, the same family that own Rembrandt Hotel in Manila and Le Monet in Baguio. You’d find an Amorsolo, Juan Lunas, a painting by Cory Quirino and so much more. Something we were forbidden to see is a roomful of precious art pieces — very private, according to our very engaging tour guide Melvin Martinez.

Rooms are posh. Soft upholstered headboards punctuate loft suites and the deluxe, superior and standard rooms, while a four poster and a porcelain bathtub make the low-key executive suite. A paradigm shift is de riguer in the bar and the outside spaces.

The warmth of the place is inviting. I live next door so to speak, but I’d love to experience an overnight stay in Vigan and it would be my first if ever.

Hotel LunaChula Bar, Hotel LunaThe hotel manager, Robert Ferrer, at the Chula Bar. Btw, he was so accommodating.

Chula BarHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaThe  eye-catching  3D historical mural was done by world-famous artist Rene Robles. Along with the country’s art gliterati, he was at the hotel’s inauguration early this month.

Hotel LunaLuna Hotel, ViganHotel LunaHotel LunaMelvinHotel LunaLuna Hotel museumLa Mandolinera by Juan LunaLa Mandolinera (The Violin Player) by Juan Luna.

*With special thanks to Mr. Robert Ferrer, Melvin Martinez and the rest of the wonderful staff.

Hotel Luna V. de los Reyes cor. Gem Luna Sts, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines 2700 Tel No.: 632 373 3333 loc 201 email:

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Eugene’s Origami Crane

Origami Crane

My eldest son, Eugene, loves the outdoors like all of us, swims better than the rest of us, and he skates, surfs, sandboards as well as collects fingerboards. He is my more creative boy. He went to the Ilocos Norte National High School Special Program in the Arts and majored in Media Arts in high school. Right now, he is in the third year of his Computer Science bachelor course at the Mariano Marcos State University.  So uniquely him — he  is not scared to wear pink shirts and pastel trousers, he eats only certain foods, and since childhood, he has nurtured a flair for the Japanese art of paper folding called origami. It must be my old collection of DIY books neatly tucked in a book storage beside the kids’ room door that helped rear his creative side.

OrigamistOrigami Paper

I unwittingly discovered his talent while at an Asian gathering at the Los Angeles City Hall gardens during an LA trip. All the time he was nowhere to be found,  he was at a Japaneses booth showing off to the Japanese ladies his folding techniques. We got complimented for his little origami show of wildlife and UFOs. A proud mom moment:)

Origami 8 Books In One

Found the Everything Origami book at National Bookstore. I bought it as a present for a godchild in hopes she will like the fascinating Japanese art from the 17th century.

Uber Origami: Every Origami Project Ever!

Likewise available at National Bookstore, Über Origami: Every Origami Project Ever!, an instructional origami book that lives up to its title, with new never been seen designs.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Baguio Photo Diary: BenCab Museum

Ginebra San Miguel

Thanks to the hubby for bringing me to the BenCab Museum to conclude unfinished business. Heavy fog enveloped the whole of  Tuba. If the museum’s contemporary structure were done in the complete opposite way, I would have had an utterly different story.

In the midst of aged statues, relevant cultural artifacts and esoteric art, there were no badgering eerie moments. Guzzled up the visual experience in its entirety… intense… even turning  sensual at a definitive point.

GinebraCordilleranCordilleran CultureKulis
Kulis foot massage chair
Las FilipinasWallBenCab MuseumUntitledSpace for eroticastars and stripesObjets d′artBenCab Museum Garden and Farm
The BenCab Museum’s garden and farm.
Cafe Sabel
Café Sabel
stars and stripes, too
Ben Cabrera, National Artist of the Philippines for Visual Arts.

BenCab Museum, Km 6 Asin Rd., Tuba, Benguet, Philippines Open daily except Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 9:00AM to 6:00PM (last entry at 5:30PM) Tel No.: (+6374) 442 7165

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Punchdrunk Panda: Channeling in the Filipino creativity

Totally rad Filipino artistry in these 100% Filipino-made products…

Handle with Care (camera strap) by Jennifer Horn (image via Punchdrunk Panda)

Bento Box (laptop sleeve) by Anna Cruz (image via Punchdrunk Panda)

Dreamers skimmers (ladies’ footwear) by Robbie Bautista and Cheyser Pedregosa  (image via Punchdrunk Panda)

Discovered Punchdrunk Panda at one of the blogs I follow. The Creative Dork’s actually. He also collaborated with another blogger for the Dreamers skimmers. The team is featured in the video above.

Inspired to change and born from passion, Punchdrunk Panda products (though I’d like to call them artworks) are peppy and functional.

Get to know the Punchdrunk Panda artists here.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

The spontaneity of Ben Thomas

Chanced upon Ben’s Art on Facebook — something I love about social networking. I first met him when he was about four years old. His mom is a cousin of mine. I saw Ben again last year when they visited. Though I saw him sketching when they were here, I never really got the chance to sit down and absorb his work. He’s not my friend on Facebook, but by a stroke of luck, I found myself clicking his page and browsing through his images.

Ben Thomas got me hooked. Young as he is, his range is thick. His artworks make me think.

Early this year, Ben had his first art showing in Hawaii. Check it out here. He is currently based in California.

How old were you when you started sketching?
I’ve been drawing since I can remember, maybe at two or three years old. Most kids start out drawing/coloring at an early age, but don’t stick with it later on in childhood. I never stopped.

How would you describe your art?
My art is a collection of subconscious imagery, often done right there “on the spot” with little or no sketching or refinement involved. I use a lot of Ball Point pens for drawing, acrylic paint as well as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. My work is very personal.

Bartek in Ilocano means drunk. This made me really smile.

What do you miss most about the Philippines?
I’ve been to the Philippines three times so far to visit my relatives in Manila and Laoag. I love the food and being able to connect with my mother’s cultural heritage. It’s always a good time.

To get updated on Ben’s work, like Ben’s Art Facebook page or follow

Happy Easter, dear readers! New beginnings… wish you joy!

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012