Excerpt from “Escape to the Country” by Ces Rodriguez for SEAIR InFlight June-July 2010
“Our house for the stay was not the bahay kubo I expected, but a model unit built all by its lonesome on the empty field. But this was a property still in the development stage, so we were happy to bunk in the modern storybook house: the roof thatched in nipa, the structure finished in a happy salmon color. Best of all, wall-to-wall windows and front-and-back second floor balconies made for good ventilation, with fresh breeze coming in from the mountains and across the empty lots.”
“The Terraza overlooked a slope of coffee seedlings to one side and tiers of cultivated vetiver grass on another. With roots snaking to a depth of up to three meters, vetiver resembles the sharp-edged wild talahib or kans grass. The farm intends to use vetiver to pave the walkways in other areas San Benito will open eventually.
“Early the next day, we visited the organic vegetable farm, inexplicably blocked from view by a wraparound tarp. Underneath the nettings, we found romaine lettuce ready to be harvested and Lilliputian strawberries being nursed in pots. Beneath open skies, yellowish cucumbers hid behind leaves and a farmhand pulled out a low shrub where peanuts clung to earth-encrusted roots. I cracked open one and was surprised by a sweetness and crunch that reminded me of singkamas or jicamas.”
“You could request the staff to serve you a salad fresh off the vegetable patch and dress it with the farm’s bottled cider honey…
There are other things you can do on the farm: feed the more docile female ostriches (seven kilos of kangkong or swamp cabbage consumed per bird per day), sample their eggs (P750 for an unfertilized egg scrambles enough for eight people), hop on a calesa for a clop around the hacienda or ride the horses that freely roam the grounds. These can be arranged upon request. Trained farm workers are there to assist anytime.”
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