Category: pictures

The Cashew Nut Story (part I)

The land that we have bought is formerly part of a cashew nut plantation and within our plot of land we have around 100 bearing trees. It’s a big export for the island and a good source of income for the people during wet season as they can keep for up to 2 years. We are going to do our best to keep as many of the trees as possible so we needed to look at how to harvest them.

For some reason I was under the impression that cashew nuts grew under the ground, I have no idea why but I certainly didn’t expect to see them hanging from a tree on what looks like a pear. The trees continue to bear fruit all year round but the best time to harvest is during dry season.


Once ripe the cashew nut shell can be easily separated from the cashew apple, a simple twist and then the shell is free. This then needs to be dried in the sun for a couple of days, the nut remains inside the shell as it is surrounded by a toxic black liquid that can burn the skin.

The apple can then be mixed with sugar (as its slightly acidic) and made into a fruit juice or perhaps a cider, which is another project altogether.

Part II will cover the roasting and shelling of the cashews so stay tuned folks.

San Fernando


Why did we choose San Fernando? Palawan was always the first choice – being hailed in numerous accounts as ‘the final frontier’ of the Philippines; the limestone cliffs, white sand beaches and wealth of marine life and natural wonders, it was not a difficult choice. What makes Palawan so special is the vast amount of forest and mountainous areas that still remain intact and full of life endemic to the island. Palawan is relatively undiscovered with main tourist areas in the city center, Puerto Princesa  and up in the North, El Nido. Since the completion of the road up to El Nido (it’s still quite a bumpy ride), the area has increased in population and footfall rapidly.

San Fernando is around 45mins from El Nido town, a beautiful fishing village, retaining all its charm, a true piece of the Philippines. A bay overlooking Doracaton island with sandy streets and native nipa huts, our first visit half a year ago made a lasting impression.

With a population of 2000 (and 2 now), the village has seen little development, which ticks all the boxes in terms of what we were looking for. There are plans in place to open a pier which will allow shipping directly from Manila and on to other nearby islands, and will therefore open up the area to tourism in a few years time. We have been welcomed and met some truly kind people since moving to Palawan and we hope that those who come to visit experience the same hospitality and see the stunning places the surroundings have to offer.

Our name and logo

Why Santeria? Besides being a tune by Sublime (that Luke loves)

Santeria is representative of the cultural diversity of the Philippines and the customers we hope to come our way. Santeria is a religion composed of different principles and practices from West African, Caribbean and the Roman Catholic Church. Whilst all their ideals are completely different, they have been brought together creating an entirely new philosophy.

Quite similarly the Philippines itself has a variety of influences including; Malay, Spanish and American which in turn has made the Philippines truly unique amongst their neighboring South East Asian countries.

We hope to compliment this way of thinking, gathering influences from our own experiences, those of our guests as well as local culture in a way that will be a unique and memorable.

Our branding

sagada sign
tayabas sign


Sign making by hand is still widely used in the Philippines and the handcrafted nature, with its minor irregularities are what give them so much character. Given our location on a cashew nut plantation, surrounded by forest, it seemed only apt to also give our logo a handmade, natural look and feel to it.

Influenced by the nations favourite beer; San Miguel, as well as art from South American illustrations, hand drawn and then reproduced on the computer, the tribal pattern is to represent the mountains and valleys of our surrounding area.


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