Monday, April 9, 2007

viaje del sol: fun in the farm

after such a serene lunch in lake pandin, it was time for us to head to our weekend headquarters. sitio de amor farm resort is the bondad family's own farm which they opened to the public as a bed and breakfast.

unlike the drive to pandin, sitio de amor is a breeze to find. just coast along maharlika highway and look out for the following landmarks to your left: the meralco compound, the kusina salud sign, and ridge park hotel inn. pretty soon, you will find the sitio de amor farm sign on the left as well, pointing to a small street.

a small, bumpy dirt road greeted us as we bounced our way to the farm. it's just a short drive from the highway to the farm's iron gates. once we entered the sprawling grounds, a lady carrying fresh towels walked up to us and led us to our home for the weekend.

a handsome, long-haired dog walked up to the car and wagged its tail as a welcome to the family's new guests. it really felt like we were invited over for the holiday, and family friends were offering us their home to stay in. the house was located in the middle of the property. we entered through the kitchen, which had access to our room.

our room was lovely and homey, there were two double beds covered with fragrant, floral sheets. the fresh towels the lady was bringing a short while ago were now folded and placed at the foot of the beds. a daybed sat facing a large television set. a separate room that doubled as a storage closet also housed our bathroom, which was simple and clean.

everything about the farm made us feel so comfortable and welcome. the atmosphere was very friendly, almost like we were part of their family. breakfasts would be spent with the bondads, talking about their farm, their dogs, the other things they're planning for the farm. we'd share adventures while slicing our longganisas or forking salty fresh pineapple chunks from a large bowl. ms. amor even recommended other places for us to check out while we were there.

even with our busy itinerary, we still found time to explore the farm. we got to see the cozy nooks and gazebos where curling up with a book would be nice. there were some huts that had hammocks in them, where siesta would be ideal (susie actually took a nap in one of them!). and of course, we couldn't miss taking a dip in their lagoon, which was fed with fresh water from the river by the farm. i actually got to see the river, complete with playful children and a bathing carabao.

the farm also had a pavilion that was undergoing repairs. i think they're extending it so they can accommodate weddings and other special functions. there was also an unfinished house near the lagoon, which had wooden and brick accents. i found it so lovely, and i want to go back to see it when the whole thing is done.

the area was filled with trees and colorful plants. various animals also lived there. we found out that the dog who welcomed us is rocky, and the yappy mini pinscher that we're all scared of is called loda. my sister not only got to bond with rocky, but she also got to ride around the property on horseback. there were also bird cages near our room, one of them actually housed a young eagle.

at night, everything felt different. we'd always while away the time by playing cards and watching videos (the family had quite a huge collection of dvds) until we started drifting off to sleep. but at 4am, we would all be up, and feel an otherworldly presence in the room. we would hear rat claws scurrying up on the roof. at times, we'd hear a loud tap on the wooden door. i even heard noises inside the large porcelain jar beside my bed. whatever it was that woke us up had us waiting for the sun to come up before we'd go back to sleep.

still, though, i believe we all had a lot of fun while we were on the farm. the good times definitely outweigh the experiences we had in the middle of the night. the bondads' warmth and hospitality will be better remembered than our sleepless nights.

click here for more photos of sitio de amor farm resort.

contact information:
sitio de amor farm resort
km. 88.8 maharlika highway
san antonio 1, balanga, san pablo city, laguna
contact person: ms. amor bondad
mobile: 0918-9274346
manila tel. no.: (02) 5527340
san pablo tel. no.: (049) 2461565
rates: bed and breakfast: P900 per person per night; daytrip with buffet lunch: P600 per person.
prior reservations are required.


Mon Navarrs said...

I should visit this place.

Great post, keep up the travel and tour reviews!

Sus said...

I slept like a log... hmmm?