travel

A Weekend @ The Farm

My husband and I tried to look for a hotel/resort with a reasonably sized tub because he wanted to soak in bath salts due to his lumbar strain. Thus, when I found out that “The Farm at San Benito” in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines had this feature in its property, I messaged its management to let me know if they had running promotions. I was positively surprised by how responsive they were via instagram, committing to get in touch incase they had one. And get this, they did not forget. They eventually offered me a buy one, take one promo and I availed of it without batting an eyelid. Just kidding! I still contemplated about this of course but eventually, I decided to go for it since I am all for new experiences and it’s for my husband’s well-being (or mine really as an excuse for his).

The day finally arrived and we left Manila late in the afternoon. At approximately 7 pm, we arrived at “The Farm” and were welcomed by a very amiable receptionist who explained to us the house rules in this resort as well as the available activities. We were then brought by one of its attendants to the Palmera Glass Villa.

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The window shades were still covering the glass panels when we arrived but with options to pull it up in the morning. Such a nice place all to ourselves, we haven’t done much yet and already, we felt that we were in a luxe environment.

Since we were famished, we went to their restaurant called “Alive.” All their food offerings were vegan so I was a little worried for my husband, a meat lover. I’m glad though that he enjoyed the Tofu Steak that he ordered.

Along with our meal came some free coconut crackers with a spread that wasn’t cheese but tasted like cheese.

We also had this tangy cabernet savignon wine – Sierra Batico – from Chile. It had a bit of spice but I am not certain if it was from the pasta I’ve had or if it was the wine itself. In all, it was a nice and quiet evening with live acoustic entertainment.

The morning after, I pulled up the shades and was welcomed by a beautiful garden.

We were even lucky to have a peacock visitor right outside our room.

It was so quiet that I actually heard water trickling and a distinct buzzing sound, probably crickets.

We then went back to “Alive” for breakfast and after this, my husband opted to rest while I went to the gym to use its treadmill. After 20 minutes of walking, I attended a “Hatha Yoga” class in the ampitheater. I was literally the only student there so I had the instructor all to myself. Here is what the place looks like.

I felt quite refreshed after this. It was my first official yoga session and the instructor informed me of the training center in Sikatuna Village where this traditional type of yoga is taught. He also informed me that Hatha yoga focuses more on breathing and general body wellness. I am very much interested in giving this a serious try, time permitting.

For lunch, we went to the city and ate at “Gastro Publiko” on my friend’s recommendation. The place was very busy and it had a pub feel with a lot of liquor on display. Surprisingly, the food was pretty cheap and delectable. For a little over Php 500 pesos, our palettes were satisfied. Talk about not breaking the bank while having the time of your life. This plus we had the best laing ever.

Afterwards, we decided to go malling at (where else but) SM Lipa. By the time we were done with window shopping, we headed back to “The Farm” and called it a night.

On our second (and last) day, we decided to join the morning’s “Power Walk” activity before taking our breakfast. While we could not follow the pace of our guide and one of the guests with us, we enjoyed communing with nature.

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The property is so huge and exclusive that one can only imagine the hows of maintaining such a massive establishment. And get this, the company grows its own vegetables. They even have a compost pit for leaves. Bravo!

Since “The Farm” is mainly a wellness spa, most of the people who come here avail of its various treatments. Needless to say, this place is tailor fit for a distinct group of clientele who are hoping to receive state-of-the art medical care in a private enclave.

As for me, I pretty much just basked in this moment of peace and quiet. I also tried to enjoy the healthy food offerings and marveled at its unique flavors. I appreciated that which surrounded me – the pools, lush greenery, man-made lakes, and cottages.

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On top of it all is the strong customer service of the staff of “The Farm.” I have been to different places for an array of reasons but nothing beats a team of welcoming professionals whose main goal is to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Super polite and greeting you with a warm smile, this is what every establishment should espouse.

We look forward to coming back with our kids in tow. We might even take a side trip and swing by “Candlelight Cafe” as my friend was saying such nice things about this coffee place.

We drove home via San Pablo, Laguna and got to see Laguna de Bay and theses awesome windmills along the road.

We arrived home a little before 6 pm but felt quite satisfied with our enjoyable Lipa, Batangas trip.

Takeaways:

What was impressed upon me was how “The Farm” at San Benito advocates sustainable living. It’s amazing that the food in “Alive” mostly come from its own vegetable garden and fruits from its surrounding orchard.

And while I am personally not into tilling soil and planting trees, I suppose it is worth a try this 2019. Making healthier food options should likewise be in my “to do” list in the coming year. Repurposing things and consuming less is a third plan of action.

Here’s a few quotes worth sharing on sustainable living:

No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” – David Attenborough

We can sit back, do nothing and watch our planet be destroyed. Or we can take action, become advocates and start making lifestyle choices which are kinder to people and the planet.” – Kira Simpson

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

How to Reach “The Farm:”

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