In the coastal town of Miagao, a one-hour ride south of Iloilo city is a restaurant quite ahead of its time. From one’s first sight of it, one will immediately presuppose it’s a Japanese restaurant serving Japanese food. But it’s apparently more than that. Situated beside 140-year-old Birtanico bridge, Sulu Garden is a dining place with a fusion of Japanese and Filipino cuisines. Since its opening in 2012, the restaurant has taken itself to a different level as it also combines elements of the Arts and Sciences into its business.
As it looks into new breakthroughs in sustainable farming, Sulu Garden is exploring the field of Aquaponics which is a system of combining fish production and farming. Interestingly, Sulu Garden is also inclined to the Arts. It takes pride in its art shows, oriental garden landscapes and ponds, a collection of paintings, woodcrafts, model boats and miniature architectures. Creative elements found in the vicinity are crafted by local and foreign artists.
Owner Jonathan Matias shares that fusing Art into his restaurant was his way of catching up on his youth as he’d rather be an artist back then. With better plans for Sulu, he aims to go further into developing it into an arts center exhibiting and featuring works of various visiting artists.
The Artist Residency Program
As more and more artists come to Sulu Garden, Matias believes they need a way to stay and a means of creating a new look at their respective arts. Sulu believes art comes in many forms and ideas. It has hosted various kinds of artists both local and foreign from photographers, painters, wood craftsmen and even a Yoga practitioner.
This year, the garden officially inaugurated its Artist Residence Studio. The Artist Residency Program gives artists the opportunity to stay for a period of time, work on their art, give workshops, or simply draw inspiration from their surroundings. Matias says it is also a way for them to see the mountains, lakes, the hanging bridges and other things that Miagao and beyond has to offer. To know more about the artist residency program click here: http://sulugarden.com/arts/artists-in-residence/
From the Mountains to the Sea: Landscape Photographs
Recently, Sulu opened a second of a series of exhibits. A photo exhibition entitled From the Mountains to the Sea: Landscape Photographs of Miagao was launched last April. The exhibit features photographs by photographers showing breathtaking sceneries of the municipality hardly ever noticeable to the public eye. The exhibit runs until May 5 2015.
To know more about the exhibit click http://sulugarden.com/arts/arts/exhibitions-workshops/exhibition-002-15-landscape/
Surely Sulu Garden is a breath of fresh air. There is definitely more to it than good food and a memorable dining experience. Most importantly it is growing to become an area that caters and promotes art in all its forms.
Visit them and see for yourself.
Mondays to Sundays from 9:00am – 10:00pm
Phone: (033) 513 9017
Mobile: +63 917 772 4110
Cover photo by Norman Posecion.