Garin Farm, San Joaquin, Iloilo6:49 PM
An Aunt of mine, or rather a Tita, as we call it in the Philippines, was home for a few months last November. To celebrate togetherness, we went to Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo. Though it may be a little far from the city, it gained it's popularity by fusing agriculture, leisure, and pilgrimage in a 14-hectare inland resort.
Walking in, we were greeted by an extensive Vegetable Tunnel that houses various vine vegetables. It almost looks romantic, like dropping Wisteria flowers until you see a bitter gourd at one side, and bottle gourd on the other.
At the side of the tunnel are breeding houses for different kinds of animals. Caileigh and her cousins were very enthusiastic to find bunnies and goats. They were even excited to learn that there are various breeds of chickens. The resort also takes pride for implementing a zero-waste management where they recycle or re-purpose different farm elements so nothing gets wasted eg. chicken manure are used as fertilizers.
Garin Farm has also recreated a Filipino folk song called, Bahay Kubo where they showcase how to maximize a small patch of land by planting different kinds of vegetables as sung in the folksong. Clever.
After a short climb up a hill, you will reach what I believe as their leisure area. They have a huge lagoon where you can go kayak or rent a paddle boat, swimming pools, go horse back riding, or ride the zipline if you're feeling adventurous.
They also have a restaurant where guests can take short breaks for rest while having a snack or two. They also cater events like birthdays and gatherings. They sell ice cream popsicles made from goat's milk! The kids loves them.
After our arduous trip up the pilgrimage (will write about our experience in a different blog post), we took a short rest at the restaurant and we were a bit curious when a staff started hitting a bell. Little did we know that it was a call for the doves. Four O'clock was their feeding time. Dozens of doves flew up to the feeding site and a crowd quickly gathers as the staff shares some of the feeds for the kids to experience up close interaction with the birds.
It was also time for the fish call (that we didn't see because we were preoccupied with the doves) and the goat and lamb calls.
They have this section for the Trukey Parade where turkeys walk on a bridge to reach the higher grounds for their food. It was a unique experience that the kids were in awe! You don't always get to see turkeys walking on a parade.
That sums up our time at Garin Farm. For the kids, it was an experience for the books. Our climb up the Pilgrimage calls for a different blog post as it was a whole new different experience. We had a big difficulty of our way home though because since we were only commuting, jeepney trips back to Iloilo City usually come to a halt during night time, like 5PM. We waited for almost an hour or more to get to ride a jeepney. Oh well, let's just charge that to experience but be warned that if you plan to visit Garin Farm, it would be better to have your own vehicle so you can make good use of your time.