Alhibe Mountain Farm is located in Carmen, Cebu, Philippines.
PHOTO BY SUPPLIED
“Further beyond this point, we’ll be in heaven,” my journalist-friend, Marlen, said as we drove up a steep slope in Sac-on, a village deep in mountainous Carmen, in Cebu, Philippines. We were headed for the hidden paradise in this remote mountain village: Alhibe Mountain Farm
Nestled against the upper slopes of a hill that reaches up towards the clouds, Alhibe (which means spring cistern boxes) sits in isolation on a forested hillside, with several levels sloping down to bamboo lounge decks, a spring-fed pool, arcade trail walks and a bell tent campsite.
There’s also a bamboo yoga deck, a hammock area, and herb and vegetable gardens. It is heaven on earth, especially for nature lovers like me.
The farm, created by architect P Marinas and his interior designer wife, is euphonious with birdsong and one can hear and see the wind ruffling the trees around us. We bask in privacy, seclusion, and scenic wilderness.
The one-hectare farm holds plenty of surprises; we swam in the cold spring pool, roasted marshmallows and chocolates over a bonfire at sunset, swung in hammocks, and woke up to a morning chorus of pigeons, kingfishers, and chickens crowing, and breathtaking panoramas of Cebu’s lush mountains.
We had an alfresco dinner at the bamboo lounge deck. It is quite refreshing to dine out here, perched among the trees, the soft mountain breeze caressing our faces. For breakfast, we ate eggs from their farm and I satisfied my craving for the marvelous chorizo de Cebu. The butterfly pea milk with edible blue ternate was delightful and unique.
Our home is a mountain lodge or “payag” divided into six areas: bedroom and balcony upstairs, dining area, kitchen, terrace, and common bath below. A series of stone steps flanked by colorful mayana, bright blooms, and emerald-green foliage cascade downward toward Linaw, a spring pool that lay like a green gem shining in the sunlight.
From our perch, overlooking a magnificent mountainscape, with our faces to the wind and the sun on our backs, I feel a sense of wonder and elation. We’re so out of this world but in the seclusion of nature’s bright, abundant bloom, our inner gardens and springs are renewed. Hearts are refreshed amid this graceful isolation in the mountains. CCB/Expat Media
Christina Camingue Buo is the author of Barefoot in Siargao. This story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition Magazine
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