Road trips are one of the most enjoyable ways to travel. Watching the views of the metropolis slowly peel away from you is amazingly gratifying, even if you know it’s just going to be for a couple of hours. Invited by LBC Foundation’s (and long-time friend) Nena Wuthrich to see the launch of Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Enchanted Farm Countryside Fair was a welcome invite especially since the work week ahead was going to start with a two day long strat planning session for my company. What better way to disconnect than by reconnecting to nature and sampling some of its yummy produced? Armed with my trusty woven bag and an extra market “bag” inside we headed north at 8am.
Even though I was extremely nervous about having been assigned navigator by Nena, the directions she had downloaded were so good that we only nearly missed a turn once. About two hours (and one bathroom break) later we arrived just in time to see GK’s visionary founder, Tony Meloto, open up the event with a heartwarming speech. Of course, after that the politicians arrived (they all seem to have the same vibe and dress sense-not to mention product in their hair) so we decided to look around. Nena had also invited the family of Carlo, Joey and their darling daughter Carmen Blanco and they arrived shortly after we did.
First stop was the Human Nature store:
These are products that are highly effective and reasonably priced. Plus, if you become a independent distributor you can make a little money on the side. The products practically sell themselves. I’m a fan of their deodorant and hand sanitizer, upon Nena’s recommendation I’m going to add their Natural Strengthening Shampoo to my beauty kit next.
After going around a bit and checking out the map of the area provided, we decided to make our way to the Dairy Farm which was a little makeshift booth where one could find carabao and goat milk and cheeses. Our eyes automatically zeroed in on the fresh bruschettas being prepared such as this one made out of kesong puti and pesto:
Or you could get a nice selection for Php 70
We were recommended to pair up any of our foodie finds with some brewed iced tea, or its variant, purple tea (made out of kamote tops) from the cleverly named Bayani Brew:
After walking around we finally decided to settle down and eat, after I asked Nena and Joey to pose against the background of the “al fresco” places to eat:
Looked like people had the same idea so we had to look for a place to sit down pronto:
After tucking into some traditional pinoy dishes such as monggo, lechon and laing, we decided to visit the Bamboo Palace, but along the way there were some pictures that needed taking:
I had to have a little fun too with the (ehem) youngest member of our road trip:
This palace made out of bamboo was a bit of a mystery to us since we weren’t quite sure what it’s purpose would be. I guess it would just be multi-purpose. We could imagine that in the evenings it would be pleasantly breezy with a wonderful view:
What a wonderful new place to bring friends or one’s family-a great way to support our local farmers and have an alternative to the usual tourist-y and party spots in the country. I do believe that these GK-led endeavors will have long term staying power. I look forward to seeing more of these kinds of places sprout up all over the Philippines. Best of all, it gives someone like me (who loves any kind of adventure plus food) a chance to get away from the daily grind of the city. Not only did I get some fresh air and a really fun time with people who appreciate this community-type project but I left with two great finds:
and the winner:
Weekend warrior? GK Enchanted Farm has houses were you can stay for a couple of days. Do something different the next time you have free time, while helping our fellowmen who live closest to the land. Happy week ahead!