Adventures, Diner and Cafe, Food for Thought, Highlands, Nature, Newspapers, Places, Published Works, Resorts
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Cool Wildberry Gardens

Wildberry Gardens in Buda by Jojie Alcantara

Wildberry Gardens in Buda by Jojie Alcantara

When you come across a hidden pathway to a lush garden hideaway in the midst of nowhere, what do you do? Expect more surprises!

Wildberry Gardens in Buda © Jojie Alcantara

Wildberry Gardens in Buda © Jojie Alcantara

Finding Wildberry Gardens, a resort in the middle of nowhere (and I shall be repeating that word ever so often) on your way to Buda, was such a delightful moment. Good friends Dexter Tan and wife Ivy invited us over to their small resort up in the mountains. Did I say small? It’s actually a vast land of rolling hills where gardens of diverse plant varieties and trees thrive because of the cool weather in an elevation of 4,000 ft.

Nowhere Diner & Cafe  © Jojie Alcantara

Nowhere Diner & Cafe © Jojie Alcantara

The haven is a relaxing breath of fresh air up in the highlands of Barangay Lorega, Kitao-tao, Bukidnon. Don’t be put off by the seeming distance, it only takes an hour to reach the place. Right after Seagull Resort you reach the spot where buses stop for quarantine. Turn right towards the barangay hall, and 80 meters away you will see a quaint little house with a sign on its colorful barn doors that aptly says, “Nowhere Diner & Café”.

 The Barn at Wildberry Gardens © Jojie Alcantara

The Barn at Wildberry Gardens © Jojie Alcantara

Like a scene from some Mexican film minus a donkey tied to a post, Wildberry Gardens & Camping Grounds is an absolute delight to the senses. Nowhere Café serves very good home cooking amidst a characteristic setting of a Latino hole-in-the-wall complete with fascinating bric-a-brac items on display culled from wide travels of the owners.

Delicious meals at Wildberry Gardens

Delicious meals at Wildberry Gardens

But watch what you eat. Food comes in big servings! Mexican buffet at Php250 serves rice, stuffed chili, Mexican beef menudo, pork carnitas, papas con salsas and jugo de naranja con limon. My particular faves are on the ala carte menu:  crackers w/ wildberry jam from berries in the garden (Php45), Shotgun Willie Chillie with pandesal (Php100), Buffalo Chicken with rice (Php110), and the lip-smacking Kilig to the 7-bone Steak (Php150). My mouth waters just thinking of them again.

Nowhere Diner & Cafe  © Jojie Alcantara

Nowhere Diner & Cafe © Jojie Alcantara

This rustic, out of the way resort is open to families and groups in seminars, retreats or educational tours. It has cabins and cottages, bonfire and camping grounds, a barn pavilion, a cool tree house and a mini amphitheater.

Prairie cabins © Jojie Alcantara

Prairie cabins © Jojie Alcantara

Follow snaking trails for trekking if you enjoy looking at a vast collection of plant, flower and herb gardens. Or if you are like me, it’s paradise for macro photography.

Fun with macro in Wildberry Gardens © Jojie Alcantara

Fun with macro in Wildberry Gardens © Jojie Alcantara

In the mornings, the mist descends as you take your early walk smelling pine scents on your way to a hearty breakfast. So don’t forget to bring your jacket.

Mini Amphitheater  © Jojie Alcantara

Mini Amphitheater © Jojie Alcantara

How much does an entrance fee costs for a tour? Only Php30 last time I was there.  Should you need a fast getaway to Nowhere, simply go there and immerse yourself in the silence and beauty of nature as refreshing as the cold water they serve. It’s truly one of the best bed and breakfast experiences in the most charming pastoral setting you can ever have.

Wildberry Gardens in Buda © Jojie Alcantara

Wildberry Gardens in Buda © Jojie Alcantara

Special thanks to Ivy and Dexter Tan for the day’s relaxing visit and nature tripping. For inquiries, contact Dexter’s Mom, Tita Thelma (09164755684), who owns and manages the place together with Tito Jimmy.  If you do drop by, tell these gracious hosts to save me my bottle of wildberry jam.

(my article and photos published Feb. 1, 2010)

featured in sunstar davao by jojie alcantara

featured in sunstar davao by jojie alcantara

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Filed under: Adventures, Diner and Cafe, Food for Thought, Highlands, Nature, Newspapers, Places, Published Works, Resorts

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The author is a multi-awarded photographer, journalist, and artist whose works are featured in tourism campaigns (It's More Fun in the Philippines), covers and spreads of books and international magazines. A long time columnist of SunStar Davao, she is a frequent traveler in search of inspirational heartwarming stories of human interest. She is also an  influencer and motivational speaker who gives photography workshops in universities and organizations. A former TV personality, she has done several print and TV commercials, event hosting and speaking engagements. In 2013, she has received an award from the City Government of Davao for her significant contribution in the social media. She was one of the speakers in Photo World Asia 2017.  A web designer/blogger since the 90s, she has seen the evolution of the internet and social media transition from the perspective of a traditional media person.

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