Alhibe Farm in Carmen
What is the point of allowing ourselves to be so busy that we trade away the things that make us whole? What a relief it was for my working hours to end: there was still work lying around to start, but no responsibility to be available. I'm still trying to persuade myself that I don't have to feel guilty if I don't check into Slack at least once. I attempt to relax it by breathing into it like a tense muscle. But here is the change, the stretch. I did myself a favor for once.
ALHIBE FARM, CARMEN, CEBU—As we drove down the winding road leading to Alhibe Farm, it was undeniable how serene it was. The clamor and commotion of the city slowly fade. Then it was replaced by the rustle of leaves and the occasional chirping of birds. The lush foliage featured a canopy of towering trees and flowers. As excitement built, we stood on a bamboo fence with an out-of-fantasy woven door. As it opened, a paradise welcomed us. And in many respects, Alhibe Farm was just that.
Lately, farms have drawn me. Why, I don't exactly know. I like how the farm keeps my peace and self-healing. Forty-two kilometers, that what it takes to escape from the busyness of Cebu City. True to what Alhibe means, a farm lies in a catch basin of natural spring water within the hills and the middle of the forest in the Municipality of Carmen. Here we find a humble home for those like me who want to stop and take a fresh breath in a sanctuary. It was an up-and-down drive through river crossings, and uneven roads, about 30 minutes tops, to reach Alhibé Farm. The farm is a nice blend of coolness and adventure, ensuring a tranquil accord with nature, oneself, and company while enjoying the farm stay inside the one-hectare property.
Alhibe Farm is the birthchild of Marvin (architect) and his wife Sheryl (interior designer). They share a passion for creating space that speaks of their creativity and love for nature, believing in the life-changing experience of being one with nature away from the rush and bustle of city life and wishing to share it with others.
While on the trail leading to the cabins and tents, I couldn't help but be in awe of the beautiful landscape surrounding me. The undulating hills stretched as far as the eye could reach with lush foliage. The cold wind caressed my skin, and the soothing fragrance of flowers filled my senses. Alhibe Farm is beyond stunning. The rustic wooden structures merged in seamlessly with the natural surroundings, lending the farm a timeless feel. The trail going to the farm was daunting but worth it.
The staff at Alhibe Farm warmly greeted and welcomed us. Then, they escorted us to our comfortable wooden cabin. The cottage has everything we needed for a comfortable stay, including a roomy bedroom, a warm sitting space, and a private terrace with a stunning outlook on the farm. The natural noise enforced a tranquil ambiance, making it the ideal setting for a pleasant stay.
Exploring the farm was a fun excursion and informative. Although we didn't come to learn about sustainable agriculture, we were there for a staycation, but learning one or two was a delight. I was curious, though. And the staff was willing to answer me. We were ecstatic to see fresh fruits and vegetables and farm-to-table meals.
We went to the natural spring water that flowed through the farm once we settled there. We couldn't resist stepping in for a swim since the crystal-clear water was energizing and pleasant. We felt our troubles melt away and our spirits brighten as we splashed around in the water.
Aside from that, walking around the trails is not a let-go as well. We spent the afternoon exploring the farm, hiking around the farm, and taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The mini forest was ideal for a stroll or a more challenging excursion. The Patag field was especially intriguing since it contrasted with the naturally sloping ground. I relaxed in the Alhibé Swing and the Birds Nest Lounge. Some people did yoga on the Bantawan Yoga Deck.
The farm's glamping tents gave a sophisticated and comfortable experience to immerse in nature. Each tent has a comfy bed, warm blankets, and other facilities to make my stay as pleasant as possible. Awakening to the sounds of nature and fresh air is an ideal way to begin the day.
As the sun set, we gathered around a campfire beneath the stars to enjoy a delicious meal. We enjoyed every mouthful while telling tales and laughing with our new friends. We felt more connected to nature and ourselves as we sat around the bonfire and talked about life. The farm's peaceful tranquility and the sounds of crickets and frogs reminded us of the beauty and simplicity of life. We were glad for the opportunity to get away from the strains of everyday life and immerse ourselves in the bliss of tranquillity.
All photos are from the author.