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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Never say never…Why we changed our minds about Boracay

November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

My fiance and I went to Boracay about four summers ago. We didn’t like it. We thought the island was overrated–being anti-social vacationers, we detested the crowd and the noise and vowed never to go back.

Fast forward to 2009. Fiance asked me to plan a getaway vacation in the middle of October. We were both stressed out from work and we needed a break. I decided to flip out my Enjoy card and checked out the affiliated hotels and resorts. On a whim, I checked out Patio Pacific Boracay’s site. I asked my fiance if he was willing to give Boracay another try. Friends kept telling me to go there on off-season to avoid the crowds plus resorts give great promotional rates at these times.

I contacted Patio Pacific then reserved a room for 4 days and 3 nights (we booked the trip a couple of weeks before Ondoy hit). Arranging the reservations with my Enjoy card perks was a breeze. All transactions were via email. The sales rep was so accommodating and was able to answer all my questions. I personally think that our stay at this resort-hotel was what made the trip so worth it.

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Escape to Coffee Paradise

December 12, 2008 3 comments

A friend of mine from work celebrated her birthday by inviting us to this secluded place in the outskirts of Tagaytay. The timing couldn’t have been better since I’ve been dying to escape Manila for the last couple of weeks.

My idea of a perfect vacation is “escape”. I like peace and quiet–the less people there are, the better.

the coffee farmhouse signage

The Coffee Farmhouse was perfect. We were lucky that we had the entire place all to ourselves.  It was so peaceful and calming; there were no reminders of the outside world. I have to admit that the lack of internet access bothered me a bit but after a few hours, I settled in.

Our rooms were big and comfortable. We didn’t have television sets–the owners explained that they want to “force” their guests to leave their rooms and explore the outdoors.  The estate was surrounded by coffee trees of different varieties and there were “resting stations” all around–native duyans and wooden swings where guests can sit and relax, read a book or take a nap.

coffee farm2

coffee farm3

There was no time to be bored since there was plenty to do. The place had a lap pool which we weren’t able to use since it was just too cold. We had bikes and scooters at our disposal…I was painfully reminded that it’s been a long time since I had any exercise.

LAP POOL coffee farm

There’s a half court for basketball and areas for volleyball and badminton. I played volleyball for the first time in over ten years and it showed. It was still a blast though.

The estate also had a pingpong table and a recreation room with a dartboard and a billiard table. As if that wasn’t enough, board games such as scrabble and chess were available for our use as well. Perfect activities for couch potatoes who don’t want to spend too much time outdoors.

Best of all, there was videoke! 🙂 Since we had the whole place to ourselves, it was easier to shed inhibitions for our mini-concert that night. Kulang na lang beer. 🙂

coffee farm alone timeMy best memory of the place was when I took some time alone at the corner of the main house to just relax; the smell of coffee wafting towards me. I can’t remember the last time I felt that peaceful. I read a chapter of a book then watched a movie on my ipod (I am a techno-addict–I admit it!) before going outside to take a nap in one of the duyans.

The food was great! We felt that every meal served would fit 6 to 8 people instead of just us 4. Everything, as in everything, was delicious. We had buco pie for morning snacks, beef stew and chopsuey for lunch (yummy!), tortillas and nachos for afternoon snack, and the piece de resistance, kare-kare served with ensaladang mangga for dinner. We had to literally stop ourselves from eating too much.  The next day, we were served boneless bangus with salted eggs for breakfast. Sira ang diet!

I specially liked how the owners of the place personally took care of us. They made it feel like home. They were so maasikaso. This informal, yet very warm hospitality made the Coffee Farmhouse more charming. There were no uniformed waiters, no room service, not even a front desk, but somehow, we never lacked for anything.

Of course, the best part of the entire trip for me was the endless supply of brewed coffee. Being a coffee addict, this place was my idea of heaven. Nothing beats smelling freshly brewed coffee all day long.

I will definitely go back there. The place is but a few hours’ drive from Manila and it’s the perfect escape from everyday stress. Great place, great food and bottomless coffee. It’s just perfect.

duyan