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Why would I travel three hours to get to nature when it could just be less than an hour's drive from my house? I stumbled upon this gem of a place on the internet when I needed a place that would allow my team members the option for quick emergency assistance if we needed it (one has an aging mother who needed attention and was being looked after by a caregiver overnight to make our 2-day planning session possible; another has some medical concerns after having gone through dialysis). Antipolo was close enough to key hospital or medical care if we needed it so I searched for places ("retreats") in Antipolo and found Flor's garden (thank you, God!). I have asked looloo to add the place to their list because I believe they should be supported.
Their advocacy is to help Filipinos rediscover what is innately and naturally Pinoy by experiencing nature (local trees, herbs, plants), and helping us go back to our roots.
From the lodging to the food to the service... Sana nga lahat ng Pinoy ay ganito. I suddenly miss Gil, Fely, Aileen and the rest of the service team who made us feel like we were at home with our families. Home-cooking that reminded me of my grandma's cooking and surprised me with all the organic stuff I got to eat:
Blue ternate rice, turmeric rice, blooming salad (in photo), ginatang adobong manok at baboy, guisadong puso ng saging, pinausukang baboy (oven/pugon-cooked like Lechon but better), seared fish with herbs and garlic, cold saba with langka and other fruits and flowers with kakang gata (sarap!), ginataang bilobilo, nilagang yellow kamote with the yummiest dip I have ever tasted (gata with condensada etc), nilagang mani, fresh Dalandan juice, balimbing juice, Guyabano juice and Guyabano tea, etc. etc. Sarap. Lutong-bahay and served to you by people who seem to truly love what they are doing.
The main house was made of all natural materials or nature-friendly materials... The second floor allows for big groups where 6-10 individual beds can be put out and they have three rooms that can fit 3-4 people per room. This is not a place for partying but for quiet, honest conversations, and just coming back to nature and simplicity.
There is an infinity pool by the main house with gazebos around that allow you to just sit and watch nature. It has a view of the mountains and it is breath-taking.
Our team enjoyed our two days' stay here and we have decided to make this our annual retreat place. :) No airconditioning needed because the place is enveloped by trees and surrounded by mountains/hills.
Must try... Definitely! Tell me if you try this place out... I hope you like it. It is by reservation only which is wonderful. We weren't given a menu option and there is no need to ask for one. Just tell them what you need (number of meals) and allow them to surprise you. Say if you have certain allergies, though... That may be important info...
The cost of staying here is super reasonable (I do not want to post it here to give the operators leeway to adjust their rates as I believe what they charged us was low for the service, food and total experience we had). This is a place that has its advocacy in mind, first and foremost, and I hope people support it.
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