The Castle is open! For decades the gates of the strange house beside the Alijis-Murcia road have been shut. People have caught a glimpse of the strange towers overlooking the walls and wondered what was inside. Well, wonder no more. Finally the gates are open and the old castle house is now a tourist attraction and houses Kampana Cafe.
The castle was built by Don Esteban Guanzon in the 1970’s for his family. He enjoyed having his kids and their friends come over and play in the castle and in the grounds that he created.
Kampana Cafe is set inside the main house structure. There are plenty of tables and chairs and the place has an old Philippine house atmosphere. For me, it felt like I was visiting my grandmother’s house. The wood and the floor is reminiscent of that period.
We stepped out onto the balcony of the cafe and had our first view of the castle and its grounds. It looks awesome. The castle sparkles under a fresh coat of paint and looks very clean and inviting.
The grounds are undergoing renovation when we visited. There were many workers rushing about putting the finishing touches on the castle. There were birdcages with birds inside scattered all throughout the gardens. The main entrance to the castle is through two stone lions which were lovingly repainted.
We took a quick look around the grounds before heading up into the castle. There are several interesting things to see around the castle grounds. One prominent feature is a manmade pond with several statues and seats shaped like hands.
A miniature castle is also on the castle grounds. This brought a smile to my face – It is every boy’s dream to have a castle where you could play pretend and have battles with your toys. I’m pretty sure the owners kids did the same thing and played with this castle decades ago.
The miniature castle has a moat, gates and towers. Not bad!
There are several statues in the garden. We spotted this pair of minotaurs/carabao people hanging out with an ostrich. The owners have started replanting the gardens so for now the vegetation looks sparse.
The three monkeys – still speaking no evil, hearing no evil and seeing no evil after several decades.
A centaur couple beckons to visitors.
Finally our tour of the castle grounds was over and it was time to head inside the castle.
The door is made of coco lumber and looks just like a medieval wooden door.
Two thrones and a long dining table are in the main castle room. The whole room manages to capture the feeling of being in a medieval castle. With a little imagination, it is not difficult to imagine knights, kings and princes sitting at the dining table. I love the thrones and the little wooden seats. This place is perfect for photoshoots and parties – I hope the owners do rent out this place for functions because this place is really beautiful!
Two thrones are on either side of the long dining table. They are decorated with a lion motif. Very nice.
Detail of the ornaments on the two thrones.
A peacock serving dish is on the table (Hint to owners – this needs polishing asap!
There is a trap door at the side of the dining room. Wow! Where does it lead? To the dungeons? Very exciting! Unfortunately the rest of the castle is still undergoing renovations so as of now the only room that is available to visit is the main dining room.
On our way out we passed through this lion head entryway, It is surprisingly well made. It seems to be in the process of being covered in a tile mosaic. I do hope that details such as the eye gets preserved.
Back to Kampana Cafe to eat! We had burgers and fries, Tapa and Siomai. They’re ok!
Kampana Cafe and the castle grounds are still under renovation and soft opening. There’s not much to see yet – BUT you can still have a good time. Kids will love this place. I loved our visit here but some of our group thought it was a borderline tourist trap. Personally, I had a great time and I think Kampana cafe is worth going back to even while they are undergoing renovations and even after they finish renovating the castle and grounds.
Kampana Cafe is located along Alijis Murcia road.
Opens from 10am to 7:00 pm
Entrance fee is 50 pesos
Contact them via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kampanacafe/
The Bacolod food hunters did not receive any incentives, cash or freebies for this review.