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September 17, 2010 / iselgarcia

Where the Sun Salutes the Earth

“Oomm. Oommm.”

The chant reverberated in my ears as I focused on my inhales and exhales. I could hear the birds chirp. The water cascading from the fountain sounded strangely near.

If I had any misgivings about waking up early on a holiday morning, they were out of my head by the time I opened my eyes and bid the yoga instructor “Namaste.” I very seldom experience moments that I can really call peaceful— and this happened to be one of them. The sight of rolling, green gardens; serene ponds; graceful waterfalls and the crisp, white-yellow glow of early sunlight; made the Downward Facing Dogs and Cobra positions at 7am well worth it.

My trip to The Farm at San Benito was completely spur of the moment. My sister and I had originally planned on going to HongKong for the National Hero’s Day long weekend but the tragic events involving the Philippines and HongKong made us cancel our trip.

Located in Lipa, Batangas, The Farm at San Benito is obscurely hidden atop a hill. I felt a rush of excitement as we drove up the winding, tree-lined road leading to the main entrance. When we finally got off at the reception area, I knew: we had arrived in Spa Heaven.

The room/hut that we booked, called Sulu Terrace, was a sight for tired eyes. Designed like a traditional Ifugao hut, it had rustic charm combined with modern comforts: air conditioning, plush beds, a full bath with a rain shower head.    

Resisting the urge to drop into bed and sleep the stress of work away, we looked through the day’s activity pamphlet (which had events ranging from trampoline-jumping to cooking vegan dishes) and chose the one we arrived just in time for: afternoon meditation.

There are several things you can do in San Benito. Besides the daily activities they offer, the farm has three/four swimming pools, a Spa and a vegan restaurant. Not in the mood for swimming, though, my sister and I booked ourselves for after-dinner massages in the Spa. Though the Spa prices were rather steep, it was quite worth it. I don’t think I’ve had a better massage in my life. Plus, the Spa itself was beautiful.

After our massages, the night was still a bit too young for us to head off to bed. So, we got a couple of books and decided to while away the time by drinking wine and reading in the Alive! restaurant. What about the food? Though I’m too much of a foodie to ever consider turning vegan, the fare was refreshing, flavorful and satisfying— at least for a weekend.  

Overall, my experience in San Benito was positive. Although it was a little too quiet for my taste (Think crickets. I had to restrain myself from screaming at the top of my lungs at one point), it was a restful and welcome change from the fast-paced city life.

Would I go back? Honestly, I don’t see myself needing to go back for a little while yet. I’m at a time in my life when I like hustle and bustle, colors and noise. But if you feel exceptionally tired and deflated or you just need to de-stress and shut the world out for a little while, The Farm in San Benito is definitely a place I would recommend.

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