Tampuhan Cafe in heritage town, Taal, in Batangas, takes its name after an intriguing painting by Juan Luna.
A woman is at the center of the painting, looking somewhat let down, while a man, obviously her paramour, has turned away from her and is looking out the window. Across the street from him, two figures can be made out engaging in small talk, or at least are proximate to each other.
This is a rendition by a local artist which hangs in the café.
It’s so laidback you’ll let your guard down the minute you sit down, spilling your deepest darkest secrets to any willing friend.
The café teems with paintings
Even the bathroom has art. There is a gorgeous life-size mural of a woman clad in Filipiniana, covering her nose, obviously anticipating hell.
The cafe serves Batangas lomi, which is a thick noodle soup on whose top fan out slices of meat, liver, boiled egg and fish and squid balls.
They also have excellent traditional Taal pork tapsilog, which made its way to my stomach faster than I could take out my camera phone. For dessert, I had chewy revel bar, the better half of their top-grade kapeng barako.
The food and ambience will make you want to stay longer, which is possible because right above the café are two rooms you can each book for P850 per person, inclusive of that scrumptious pork tapa.
From here, you can see the Pansipit River go its merry way to join Balayan Bay.
Taal is one of the most charming towns I have seen, and Tampuhan has made it even more inviting.