Hillcreek Gardens, Tagaytay

After looking for Santorini-inspired venue, we headed to look for a garden setting which is also for the purpose of having a photo shoot. We only visited two places but Hillcreek Gardens won the heart of my boss and the photographer, because there are so many promising spots to strike a pose.

During our ocular, there was a wedding set up prepared by the Hillcreek team.

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Hillcreek Gardens

Let me share with you the pictures I took during our ocular and the actual shoot day.

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Hillcreek Gardens
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Hillcreek Gardens

We ask for their rate, reserved via email and settled the bill on the day of the shoot.

5 hours inclusive of 5 pax, 5 free cup of coffee and a dressing room – P6,000

exceeding rate – P1,500/hour

upgraded the room with air conditioner – P1,000

exceeding person – P150

Also, they do not allow of bringing food inside the venue but they offer food menu for P400/person.  In our case, we only ate outside the venue during the shoot. Teehee!

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Hillcreek Gardens
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Hillcreek Gardens

The place is magical isn’t?

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Hillcreek Gardens is a lovely and a reassuring place for your wedding day or if you are looking for a place to have a photo shoot in a garden concept. The sales or the reservations associate are all helpful and welcoming; they attended my queries about our concerns with a smile on their faces.

Hillcreek Gardens, Tagaytay


Address: 134 Luksuhin, Mangas Rd, Alfonso Cavite


Disclaimer: I am not being paid to write this review.


Villa Nonita, Tagaytay

My workmates and I did an ocular in Tagaytay for a good place to have photo shoot and we’re specifically looking for a Santorini-inspired venue. There are three places on our list: Meteora, Costiera Fermiliana and Villa Nonita. Villa Nonita is the last place we had for viewing because the way going to this place is not a joke. The road is steep to get there so we had to go down from the vehicle to go up by climbing. Yes, it’s a climb as Miley Cyrus would say.

After the climb, it’s worth it.Nonita exterior (1)

That view!Nonita view (5)

Nonita exterior (5)

the photo shoot day!

The rate they gave us is P10,000 for a 5-hour photo shoot. However, our shoot will run for whole day. Luckily, the owner of the villa was there so my boss and the owner did all the talking. Meanwhile my eyes are on feast and so my camera phone…

The living rooms! There’s a lot!!Nonita living room (2)

It’s not Santorini if there’s no stairs!

The view at the rooftop

Nonita up (1)

Villa Nonita is not just for photo shoot but also for accommodation and vacation, especially honeymoon! There were Koreans who just had their check-out during the time we had our ocular.

The bedrooms. Look, there’s a bath tub beside the bed! I smell romance ❤

The living room, dining area, and kitchen area. By looking at these pictures, I can attest that Villa Nonita is a best choice to relax.

The owner also put waterfalls at the second floor. She said that whenever she feels stressed, she would just look at the scenic view of Taal Lake, have her massage and turn on the waterfalls. What a life!


More details here!

I was really looking forward to have a trip in Ilocos because there’s also a Santorini-inspired tourist spot there but it just feel so awesome how God made it easier for me to not travel far just to experience the pseudo-Greece hehehe. The downside though in Tagaytay is the absence of the sea but Villa Nonita has a pool and picturesque view of Taal. Imagine from Manila, it only took me 2 hours to have that Santorini feels! Therefore, this place is enough to feed the hungry soul of travel experience.

For inquiries, you may contact:
Norman De Paz Santos – 09277970495

Address: LIGAYA DRIVE SUNGAY EAST Tagaytay City, Philippines

Photography Class in Vilca Art & Designs

Last May, I attended a photography workshop located in Diliman, Quezon City. I learned about the studio from a friend who always runs in the UP Diliman oval run route. Coincidentally, she saw the post on a bulletin board and since she knows that I am very much interested to learn about the basics of photography. The initial rate for a 12-hour class costs P 3,640, but I was able to get a 10% discount, bringing the fee down to P 3,276. I paid the first half last April and settled the other half on the day of my first class. Meanwhile, my other classmates availed the deal offered by the studio online and paid P 1,000 for a 6 hour-class.

Owned by UP graduate couple, Ms. Ervie Villanueva and Mr. Geri Carretero, named their art studio after their surnames. Aside from basic photography, they also offer other art related classes. Fees for arts & crafts, drawing, painting, and cartooning are inclusive of materials while photography students need to bring their own cameras.

On our first day, Sir Jeremy, our instructor, taught us the following:

  1. The functions of the SLR parts
  2. How to take care of our cameras properly
  3. How aperture, ISO, and shutter speed are interconnected
  4. How to compose our photo before pressing the shutter button,
  5. Apply the things we have learned by going outside to take shots and to have a workshop afterwards

The class is composed of photography enthusiasts from different ages. Nevertheless, just like a camera’s shutter, we clicked and got along with one another in an instant. This is probably, because we share the same interests.

On our second day, we focused more on black & white photography. After that, I went solo on my third day and fourth day with Sir Geri and learned about perspective photography, DSLR accessories, abstract photography, and photo editing.

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Learning ISO, aperture, shutter speed
black & white photography
black & white photography
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abstract photography
vilca art (4)
photo editing

Both of my sessions with Sir Jeremy and Sir Geri ended with the same message: Practice makes perfect, so that means I need to buy more memory cards and batteries!

I have realized that photography is not just pushing the button to take a good photo. Photography is about observing the ordinary things and turning them into something interesting. It is an art of angles, light and sometimes, a matter of perfect timing.

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” Ernst Haas

SLR accessories
SLR accessories
arts & crafts
arts & crafts
Sir Geri and Me
Sir Geri and Me
new found friends
Classmates with Sir Jeremy

Vilca Art & Designs Studio

Unit 4C, 4th Flr Tempus Place II, 21 Matalino St.

Brgy Central, DIliman, Quezon City

0915 877 9491