imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio


Afamosa means famous.

Formerly, it’s A’Famosa from a a famous country club in Indonesia, but the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) rejected the name, so it was registered Afamosa.

What is Afamosa, fellas?

It’s the 3rd tourism destination in the town of San Juan (Ilocos Sur) which awed the media officials from the Ilocos Sur Integrated Press.

First, there is the RSQ Museum and Techno-Park, a multi-million house of cultural treasures and artifacts owned and managed by former NAPOCOR President Roland S. Quilala. It is now considered as one of the historical destinations of the town and a tourism attraction in the province.

Second is that wonder farm in Barangay Muraya called the Malakas Integrated Organic Farm, a 2.8-hectare farm housing a mushroom lab, a mushroom production house and a lot of flora and fauna where everything is organic: no commercial fertilizer, no insecticide or pesticide and absolutely no chemical in the propagation of everything inside. It is the source of the famous bagnet mushroom, burger mushroom, mushroom rolls, mushroom balls and other delicacies made of mushroom.

Amusing, isn’t it?

If you haven’t been to RSQ and Malakas Farm, then you are missing a portion of your tourist life.

Now, comes Afamosa Villas Resort, fellas.

It would have been Villa Marcela Resort, but as in the A’Famosa case, it was rejected, too by the DTI, so it settled for Afamosa, now starting to be a popular tourist destination in the town.

What’s different in this resort?

It is located in the eastern side of San Juan, less than one kilometer from the national highway. It is situated along the same road going to Pikkang Falls in Barangay Malamin. Pikkang Falls is a beautiful tourist attraction east of Barangay Malamin proper where one has to hike at least a kilometer over big river stones and narrow trailways to reach the place. Overlooking the Muraya River and mountain areas of Barangay Darao, Afamosa Villas Resort is inspired by native and nature ambience.

What are striking here are the igloo-type pavilions adorned with native structures akin to the Java cottages in Malaysia. The structures are so enticing that at first glance, one will wonder where the concepts are taken.

“Well, I combined all possible styles I researched online and we came up with these structures,” said Richard Agbayani, one of the owners.

And why villas resort?

At the southern end of the resort are the villa-type hotel rooms named after flowers such as tulip and lilac. Each room is equipped with all the amenities one could think of. At the center of the resort is a wide grass garden for garden wedding surrounded by palm trees and ornamental plants.

“Very soon, there will be children’s park here so that when families come, there will be playground for their kids,” he said.

What is something here that is different from other resorts?

“The swimming pools, most probably. They are equipped with underwater lightings specially designed for night swimming. Besides, there is a semi spiral slide which everyone can enjoy,” he said.

Richard also said he would be developing next the creek area beside the pool so as to come out with a running water fishpond where visitors can catch fish using hook and line.

“I’m planning to construct cottages on top of the creek and below will be the fishpond. You see, Afamosa is something of a kind and the fees, too, are very minimal,” he said.

Of course, there is a restaurant, a bar and a canteen here inspired by ethnic concepts.

So, when you visit San Juan town, your days will be most complete if you check in at Afamosa Villas Resort and then one by one, you visit RSQ Museum first and then Malakas Farm next while enjoying the facilities and villas at Afamosa.

The trio of RSQ Museum, Malakas Farm and Afamosa can be a package tour day for people seeking a different adventure aside from the usual destinations in the cities. It’s a countryside adventure and one could easily access these places as they are in the same town, not so far away from each other.

Oooops, don’t forget to have your souvenir photo-ops in front of the municipal hall, fellas. The structure looks like a buri hut inspired by the town’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) which is buri products. It was constructed through Mayor Benjamin Sarmiento who found the buri hat an inspiration in its construction. It is one of the most unique town halls in the region or even in the country as it’s the only town hall which looks like a “payabyab.” It’s around 100 meters north of RSQ Museum along the national highway.

So, next time you go north, drop by in San Juan town and visit something else different from your usual destination: the RSQ Museum and Techno-Park, the Malakas Integrated Organic Farm and Afamosa Villas Resort.

A trio of destination.

An experience of a lifetime.

Only in San Juan, Ilocos Sur. #