ON THE mountaintop of Carmen, Cebu—specifically in Sitio Baucan, Barangay Sac-on—is a one-hectare farm stay. A site with zero phone signal and internet connection, it brings to life the line “disconnect to connect.”
What used to be an exclusive farm stay is now open for bookings since last April. Alhibè, a farm by M+S, aspires to share the great experiences its owners and their friends have whenever they were at the farm: A breath of fresh air, lush greenery, stress-free living.
The farm has a two-storey hut with a full-sized bed good for two. It features a wide terrace where one can star gaze, and drink his cup of coffee or tea. Below the bedroom is a spacious open deck where the kitchen is (bring your own food to cook or order ahead). There is a dining area with a long wooden table and bench, and the living area with a bamboo sala set and board games. Even from the ground floor, one can catch a magnificent view of the sunrise or sunset.
At the lower left side of the hut, there’s a circular-shaped natural swimming pool with big bird’s nests for lounging, just like the ones in Bali, Indonesia, and man-made mini falls surrounded with plants. This area is called “Linaw” (Clarity). Hammocks tied to trees are located a few steps away from the pool. It also has a “Patag” (flat area) where people can play badminton, hide and seek, volleyball, sing campfire songs or exchange stories at the campfire area. The huge bell tents with inflatable waterbeds are placed at the Patag.
Since it is a farm stay, insects are expected. One should bring the necessary repellents. And its source of electricity is connected to the town’s power grid which sometimes fluctuates and may not be reliable to supply power continuously. Guests are encouraged to use the electricity conservatively, as most of the night lights are powered through solar charging and lasts only until 2 a.m. at the most.
The whole property is securely fenced with metal pipes and a wire mesh. Flood lights with motion sensors are installed to specific areas for added security system, and a caretaker with his golden retriever are present all day and night to look over the guests.
The name “Alhibè” is inspired by an old spring water tank brand which was commonly used in the area. It’s a Visayan term which means a water collection reservoir. Truly, when set against the backdrop of fast-paced and, often times, distracting technology, the place is an oasis of tranquility.