WHEN you come across a hidden pathway to a lush garden hideaway in the midst of nowhere, what do you do? Expect more surprises!
Finding Wildberry Gardens & Camping Grounds, a resort in the middle of nowhere (and I shall be repeating that word ever so often) on your way to Buda, was such a delightful moment.
Good friends Dexter Tan and wife Ivy invited us over to their small resort up in the mountains. Did I say small? It's actually a vast land of rolling hills where gardens of diverse plant varieties and trees thrive because of the cool weather in high elevation.
The haven is a relaxing breath of fresh air up in the highlands of Barangay Lorega, Kitao-tao, Bukidnon. Don't be put off by the seeming distance, it only takes an hour to reach the place.
Right after Seagull Resort you reach the spot where buses stop for quarantine. Turn right towards the barangay hall, and 80 meters away you will see a quaint little house with a sign on its colorful barn doors that aptly says, "Nowhere Diner & Caf‚."
Like a scene from some Mexican film minus a donkey tied to a post, Wildberry Gardens is an absolute delight to the senses. Nowhere Caf‚ serves very good home cooking amidst a characteristic setting of a latino hole-in-the-wall complete with fascinating bric-a-brac items on display culled from wide travels of the owners.
But watch what you eat. Food comes in big servings! Mexican buffet at P250 serves rice, stuffed chili, Mexican beef menudo, pork carnitas, papas con salsas and jugo de naranja con limon.
My particular faves are on the ala carte menu: ÿcrackers with wildberry jam from berries in the garden (P45), Shotgun Willie Chillie with pandesal (P100), Buffalo Chicken with rice (P110), and the lip-smacking Kilig to the 7-bone Steak (P150). My mouth waters just thinking of them again.
This rustic, out of the way resort is open to families and groups in seminars, retreats or educational tours. It has cabins and cottages, bonfire and camping grounds, a barn pavilion, a cool tree house and a mini amphitheater.
Follow snaking trails for trekking if you enjoy looking at a vast collection of plant, flower and herb gardens. Or if you are like me, it's paradise for macro photography.
In the mornings, the mist descends as you take your early walk smelling pine scents on your way to a hearty breakfast. So don't forget to bring your jacket.
How much does an entrance fee costs for a tour? Only P30 last time I was there.
Should you need a fast getaway to Nowhere, simply go there and immerse yourself in the silence and beauty of nature as refreshing as the cold water they serve.
It's truly one of the best bed and breakfast experiences in the most charming pastoral setting you can ever have.
Special thanks to Ivy and Dexter for the day's relaxing visit and nature tripping.
For inquiries, contact Dexter's Mom, Tita Thelma (09164755684), who owns and manages the place together with Tito Jimmy. If you do drop by, tell these gracious hosts to save me my bottle of wildberry jam. (Email writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.witerary.com.)