A spur of the moment road trip had me thanking my lucky stars for that long weekend initially unwelcomed. It was a hectic past few months with our planning season up in full steam and planning for any long weekend was not part of it. But at the last minute, my friends and I decided to make the most of the long weekend and a trip to Abe’s Farm ensued. Chillin’ at Abe’s was just what I needed to recharge for more slaving away to come.
A “no pressure-whatever” kinda weekend kicked off with a leisurely drive to Pampanga, stopping along the way for a relaxed breakfast,
followed by a delectable Cajun lunch at Cottage Kitchen before finally arriving at our destination where we had our dessert or shall we say mid-afternoon snack.
Clockwise: Turon with langka and ube (banana roll with jackfruit and yam); Sticky rice with mango and ice cream; Tsokolate Eh (native chocolate); pepper lights that added charm to the dining area.
Yes it was mid-afternoon when we got to Abe’s Farm… I told you, no pressure.
What used to be the private rest house of Larry J. Cruz is now a resort (of some sort) albeit with limited accommodation.
The house, built using a lot of indigenous materials, holds many of LJC’s personal belongings. In fact, the rooms in the house are off-limits. “It is only for family when they come visit”, we were told.
We felt so at home, watching TV at the “sala” while waiting for dinner as if it were our own home. When it was ready, we were ushered to the dining room. Yes, pampered in the truest sense of the word.
Abe’s Farm opened its doors to the public just before his passing a few years ago. I remember the first time I set foot on this beautiful rustic house nestled at the foothills of Mt. Arayat was during one of his birthday celebration – no I do not know him personally then but my friend G does. I tagged along. Last year, I unwittingly found myself there again, this time a less private affair. While in Magalang (looking for another restaurant), we noticed several “Abe’s Farm” road signs, we were curious – could it really be the same Abe’s Farm? We decided to follow the signs and yes, it is one and the same. We ended up having lunch there but couldn’t stay the night.
This time around, I made sure we spent the night — in an Ifugao hut, no less. A real hut transported from Banaue but with modern amenities such as airconditioning and lights. A nice compromise considering Pampanga is not exactly Banaue, temperature-wise.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the poolside reading, chatting and chilling out, away from the hustle and bustle of the metro.
Clockwise: Sungka – a natve boardgame; where I spent the afternoon reading; my tamarind juice – yum!; what’s left of our wine after dinner.
And best of all, we booked ourselves a massage at Nurture Spa at the other end of the lot. After dinner we trekked to the other side for that blissful massage which sent us to dreamland in no time.
Nuture Spa in daytime
If only we didn’t have to trek back to our hut… it was nice to know that they do have rooms available as well. So does it merit a next time? How can I say no to that?
Please do check out more wonderful worlds here.
Barangay Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga
From Manila, take the Angeles Exit on the NLEX (45 minutes from Balintawak tollgate). Follow the Magalang Road leading to the town plaza (15 minutes). From there ask directions to Barangay Ayala (less than 10 minutes). In Ayala, go past a resort n the left, proceed to Livestock Village (2 minutes) and you will see the Abe’s Farm sign on the corner.