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Dreamland: The making of an arts and crafts café

Zest Magazine gets “lost in paradise” in Dreamland, an arts and crafts café in Tagaytay.

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Dreamland is the name of the bar in Miss Saigon; where Kim was pimped by The Engineer to the highest bidder (who happened to be Chris). In not so many words, Dreamland – in my mind – is a whorehouse…

BUT then, there’s a Dreamland in Tagaytay that perhaps wants to reclaim that word, that name from the clutches of sexualized euphoria. Instead, it wants to focus on the literal meaning of that word – i.e. as a place that, borrowing the title of that Robin Williams movie, “where dreams may come”. And so welcome to Dreamland Arts and Crafts Café.

WHAT’S THERE

The place is not that hard to find because of the its artsy appearance even from the outside. Largely made of (or at least covered with) wood, there are numerous – and I mean NUMEROUS – dreamcatchers outside Dreamland, immediately giving it a sense of being peculiar (if not Bohemian). So much so that the sign a the door, which reads “Lost in paradise”, doesn’t sound… trite.

The inside is divided into “sections”. One section (at the left when you enter the door) has stalls; these have goodies from artists and (let’s admit this) pretend-artists that are for sale. On top of this section is a sitting venue for customers. On the right of this section (with the stalls) is the bar/order counter. At the right of the bar/order counter – and which can be seen from the outside – are more seats for the customers. These seats are also surrounded by stalls with more stuffs from artists, all of them for sale.

Dreamland is, to start, a café. And so expect to see café goods here – e.g. kape/coffee (obviously), frappes and pastries galore. But this place is more than just a café; it’s already a mini-resto of sorts, and even offers “silog” meals (more on these later)…

Dreamland is also an “art space”, and so there are “spots” where anyone can do art pieces. These pieces may also be hanged/pasted on a corkboard by the main door.

And, of course, Dreamland is also a “store” (as noted repeatedly), allowing artists to sell their wares to diners and… just about everyone who goes there.







WHY GO THERE

Suffice to say, Dreamland is quite an enticing place. This is particularly true for various reasons…

  1. If you’re health-conscious.

For instance, there are coolers that are healthy – e.g. Indie Minty Pinomansi (from P100), Indie Greens Kalamychee (from P100), and Indie Minty Strawberry (from P100). There’s also detox water (P60), and lemon water (P25).

  1. If you want to imbibe that artsy feel.

I’m not sure everyone knows the relevance of dreamcatchers, but that there’s a place full of them in Tagaytay at all is already enough of a come-on for many (like me)…

  1. Support local.

And yes, if you want to support local, this is a good place to start. There are more localized versions of teas, for instance – e.g. tanglad, malunggay, salabat, lagundi and guyabano (P100 per teapot). Also, the goods being sold are often made (by hand) by local artists; so if you want to support them, head here…





WHY AVOID THE PLACE

HOWEVER, just because this place seem “cool” doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I, myself, found some things that made me not fully like the place…

For instance, for a venue that has an extremely long menu, so many of the offerings supposedly there aren’t (always) available.

In the two visits, faves like Mamung’s Matcha Mambo (from P80), Sylvanillas Crunch (P120), Indie Greeantea Affogato (P140), and Sansdreamval (150) weren’t available. The same was true with many of the yummy (even if quite pricey) frappes (P200 to P240) – e.g. Matcha ni Tsang (P240), Avocado George (P210), Dream de Leche (P210), and Uberly Gerry (P210).

The place can be expensive for some – e.g. chicken wings cost P200 per serving, potato wedges for P160 per serving (to share), rice toppings from P100 (for Oh My Omelette) to P150 (for Hippie Wings of Love), and ‘silog” from P180 to P220 (!).

This place is also needed to be “dayo”/specifically targeted, and so for those without private transpo, it may not always be accessible.

IN THE END…

Without a doubt, Dreamland has its charm – from the numerous dreamcatchers to the local goods being sold. But it also has limitations (e.g. can be expensive, limited availability of goods, quite far). I’d say, though, that with the proliferation of the likes of CBTL and Starbucks (and others that so many of us see as emblems of “development” and “progress”), anything local – like Dreamland – ought to be supported somewhat. And here, a visit is called for, even if done only once so one can decide for oneself if it’s a place worth visiting indeed…







For more information on Dreamland Arts and Crafts Café, head to @DreamlandTagaytay or @DreamlandLipa in Facebook; or search for #dreamlandph.

Believing that knowing on its own is not good enough, "you have to share what you know, too", Mikee dela Cruz gladly shares through his writing. A (BA) Communication Studies graduate, he had stints with UNAIDS, UNICEF and Ford Foundation, among others, writing "just about everything". Read on as he does some sharing through Zest Magazine.

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Travel

Travelling farther away from home linked to better health

How often people travel and the range of places visited are important, with those who regularly travel more than 15 miles away from home more likely to report being in general good health.

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People who travel more outside of their local area feel that they are healthier than those who stay closer to home, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

How often people travel and the range of places visited are important, with those who regularly travel more than 15 miles away from home more likely to report being in general good health.

Those who travel to a wider variety of places are more likely to see friends and family. This increase in social participation is then linked to better health.

Researchers say the results provide strong evidence of the need for investment in medium and long-distance transport options, such as better serviced roads and access to trains and buses.

For the paper, published in Transport & Health, the researchers analysed travel in the north of England, where residents face worse health outcomes than the rest of England and many rural and suburban areas suffer from poor transport accessibility.

Specifically, they looked at the links between perceived constraints to travel outside of the local area, such as a lack of suitable public transport, and self-rated health, considering trip frequency, the number of different places visited, distance travelled, car use and public transport use.

Lead author Dr Paulo Anciaes (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) said: “We expected to find that restrictions on travel through a lack of access to suitable public transport or to a private car would be linked to residents’ perception of their health because of the lack of social participation.

“We explored the links between constraints to travel more than 15 miles from home, demographics and location and social participation in how residents perceived their own health, finding that the key variable is the number of different places people visit outside their local area. This links to more social participation and better health.”

The researchers conducted an online survey of 3,014 nationally representative residents in the north of England. Constraints to travel have previously been identified as contributing to economic disadvantage and a lower sense of wellbeing in the region, but the impact on health hadn’t been analysed before. The team used a research technique called “path analysis”, which uncovers the direct and indirect effects of constraints to travel outside of people’s local area.

The study found that the links between travel constraints, social participation and health are stronger among those aged over 55. Among this group, constraints to the number of different places people can travel to is linked to less frequent contact with friends and participation in clubs and societies.

Dr Anciaes explained: “Those aged over 55 are more likely to face other constraints to travel such as limited mobility. They are also more likely to suffer from loneliness. In the north of England, rural and suburban areas with limited access options are more likely to experience population loss as young people move to the cities in search of work and good travel options. Meanwhile, older generations are left behind in these areas with limited transport options. The range of places they can visit is low, leading to less social participation and lower levels of general health.

“The results of this study emphasise the need for public policies that reduce constraints to travel in the region, by providing better options for private and public transport that allows for more frequent and longer trips.”

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Destinations

The one-and-only Hobbiton from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is now on Airbnb

With access to 44 Hobbit Holes, The Millhouse, The Green Dragon Inn, and other beloved locations from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, guests will take an unexpected journey into Middle-earth for an experience unlike any other.

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For the first time ever, fans from around the world can explore the faraway lands of their favorite holiday films with an exclusive overnight stay at the original Hobbiton™ Movie Set. Russell Alexander is inviting guests to his family’s property to live like Bilbo Baggins and retreat to The Shire for an overnight stay at Hobbiton, as featured in the famed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.

Nestled in the picturesque pastures of New Zealand’s Waikato region on a 2,500-acre working farm, the property’s rolling, green hills – bear a striking similarity to The Shire as described by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings, and captivated Sir Peter Jackson’s movie scouts more than two decades ago. The team quickly realized the Hobbits had found their home – and this holiday season, it could be yours.

Alexander will host three individual two-night stays for up to four guests at NZD $10 per night* as an homage to the 10th anniversary of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, courtesy of Airbnb.

With access to 44 Hobbit Holes, The Millhouse, The Green Dragon Inn, and other beloved locations from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, guests will take an unexpected journey into Middle-earth for an experience unlike any other.

With sweeping views of The Shire, they’ll enjoy:

  • Cozy overnight accommodation curated by the trilogies’ Creative Director Brian Massey, including a writing nook fit for Bilbo Baggins at The Millhouse.
  • Private access to a personal Hobbit Hole, set up for relaxing moments of Preciousss  downtime and afternoon tea.
  • An evening banquet in The Green Dragon Inn with a feast featuring beef and ale stew, whole roast chickens, freshly baked breads and plenty of ale, plus Second Breakfast and Elevenses served daily.
  • A behind-the-scenes private tour of Hobbiton Movie Set.

Now, one does not simply walk into Middle-earth. There are rules.

  • No unexpected parties, please –  unless with Gandalf and company.
  • Bare feet are allowed but wipe them first.
  • Magical rings permitted, but keep them secret, keep them safe.
  • Pony parking is provided only at The Green Dragon Inn.
  • Straying far at night is discouraged, thanks to multiple troll sightings of late.
  • No pets are allowed, except Pickles the resident Hobbiton cat.
  • Never laugh at live dragons…

“For more than two decades, we’ve welcomed millions of passionate fans to Hobbiton Movie Set, but never before has anyone had the opportunity to spend a night in Middle-earth. I am delighted to share the beauty of my family’s farm and pleased to be hosting this iconic location on Airbnb for fans from around the world,” shares Host Russel Alexander.

How to book

Hobbits, elves, wizards and others may request to book one of three overnight stays on Wednesday, December 14 from 10:00AM NZDT/5:00AM PHT at airbnb.com/hobbiton. Stays will take place March 2-4, March 9-11, and March 16-18, 2023. You Shall Not Pass! (without requesting to book, of course).

To request to book, guests must have a verified Airbnb profile, a history of positive reviews and be aged 18+. Maximum occupancy is four persons. Two bedrooms are configured, featuring one queen bed, and the other two king-singles.

Guests are responsible for their own transportation to and from Auckland, New Zealand. Round trip car transportation will be provided for the two-hour journey between the airport and the property. (And just as a Wizard is never late, it’s important our guests arrive at their stay precisely when they mean to).

Travellers looking to book should note that this stay’s rules require strict adherence with local COVID-19 guidelines. Guests are responsible for their own travel to and from Auckland. Airbnb is closely monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and government policies and will offer booking guests a refund of the booking fee ($31) and $1,000 USD Airbnb travel credit if Airbnb determines it is necessary to cancel the stay due to COVID-19 guidelines.

*Plus taxes and fees. These three individual two-night stays are not a contest. The Hobbiton Movie Set is privately owned and operated.

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Destinations

Greenfield District in Mandaluyong kicks off its holiday celebration

To mark the beginning of the district-wide yuletide merry-making, the event kicked off recently with the traditional lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree at the Greenfield District Central Park,. followed by a magical display of fireworks and Christmas caroling by a 20-piece chorale , setting the mood for guests to get into the holiday spirit.

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Greenfield District, the smart and connected urban center of Greenfield Development Corporation (GDC) in Mandaluyong City, transformed into a holiday wonderland with the launch of GDC’s annual Christmas festivities called “A Christmas for Generations”. 

To mark the beginning of the district-wide yuletide merry-making, the event kicked off recently with the traditional lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree at the Greenfield District Central Park,.  followed by a magical display of fireworks and Christmas caroling by a 20-piece chorale , setting the mood for guests to get into the holiday spirit.

“After two years of not having face-to-face yuletide celebrations, Filipinos are surely excited to once again gather with their loved ones to celebrate the country’s festive Christmas season,” said GDC President and Chairman Jeffrey D.Y. Campos.  “Greenfield District is a venue where different generations, from senior citizen grandparents to Gen Z kids, can bond with each other by taking part in the fun holiday activities of the District,” he added.

Ongoing  until December 25, Filipinos of all ages are in for a lot of holiday fun at the District. On December 17, families, especially kids are invited to come and meet  Santa Claus at Greenfield District’s “A Night with Santa” , which will feature merry activities and gift giving.

Meanwhile, adults can start their holiday shopping early as the Greenfield District Central Park will showcase weekend bazaars starting this month until December. Shoppers can look forward to discovering value for money gift ideas, trendy fashion pieces, delicious treats and more. While shopping, visitors can also enjoy a quick food trip and engage in Arts and Crafts activities while immersing at the bazaars dressed in colorful Christmas decorations. 

With a mission to build future-ready and sustainable communities for generations of Filipinos, GDC upholds its tradition of organizing events that promote the value of togetherness and spending quality time with the family.

“At GDC, we are committed to not only building properties for generations but also creating verdant, spacious neighborhoods where Filipino families can create beautiful memories together throughout the years. Christmas is a special occasion for many Filipinos, and we want Greenfield District to be part of their memorable Christmas experience every year,” said GDC Executive Vice President and General Manager Atty. Duane A.X. Santos. 

Located at the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard, Greenfield District is accessible to the public through various routes and roadways from the main business districts of Metro Manila, making it an ideal destination for recreational activities, get-togethers, and shopping this yuletide season.

Visit the Greenfield District with friends and family this holiday season.  To know more about the activities at Greenfield District, visit https://www.facebook.com/greenfielddistrict.

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