The Coffee Farmhouse
Lately, I’ve been running out of ideas on where to go with the kids and the family. It seems that most places that are “acceptable” to the kids are either in the mall or the beach. I’m honestly getting sick and tired of bringing the kids to the mall because there’s just too many people and there are a lot of stores that “attract” the kids and thus incurring unwanted expenses. I wanted to take the kids somewhere where they can run around and be kids, just like what I had when I was younger.
As a kid growing up in the province, I had the wonderful experience where I was climbing trees, eating fresh fruit (you can’t get any fresher than picking the fruit from the tree, wiping it on your shirt and popping it in your mouth) and running after animals. Of course, the animals also ran after me and I still have a score to settle with a vindictive goose. I’ve always wanted my kids to have the same experience but living in the city makes this goal quite difficult to achieve. However, I did find (almost) everything that I was looking for with The Coffee Farmhouse.
The Coffee Farmhouse is a gated sprawling one acre coffee farm that has opened its doors to the public back in 2008. The owners, Bert and Bebet Arenal are a lovely couple that is so warm and gregarious that you instantly feel like you’re at your own home. The place is a wonderful mix of coffee, fruit and ornamental trees and plants with pathways that take you all around the estate.
Initially, we were worried that the kids wouldn’t have anything to do but we were delightfully proven wrong. Though there is a pool in the estate, the kids only took a dip in it twice, not because of the weather but because of the other things that they were allowed to do. They have a “play room” which has a foosball table, ping-pong table, bikes and scooters that you can use at any time. The play room also doubles as a conference room or a function room. They also have a wonderful presentation about coffee and how it’s made. The kids spent a lot of time in this room when it was raining but the moment the rain stopped, they were out like a bunny from a cage! Don’t think the adults didn’t do the same though. Most of the time the bikes were being used by my teenage cousins.
All around the estate are big wooden swings for you to rest your weary feet. If swings are not your cup of tea, there’s a plethora of hammocks under the coffee trees, perfect for resting and kicking your heels up to read that novel you’ve been planning to finish these past few months. They also have a basketball court that I called the Nature Ball because it was surrounded by trees and plants. If basketball isn’t your thing, you can hang out at the pool house and play a bit of snooker or 8 ball. They also have a volleyball/badminton court complete with nets and other paraphernalia.
I personally loved the food. It was fresh and as much as possible, they used ingredients that came from their own garden. The food was simple but sublime and plentiful! Parang wala na kaming ginawa doon kungdi kumain! And you don’t get three square meals, you get a pentagon!
The living quarters were simple and modest but homey. There are accommodations that are suited for couples and there are the family rooms that are dormitories which can fit in 10 people comfortably. So, if you’re just a couple looking for time together in a nice quiet place or if you’re a family with kids and more, The Coffee Farmhouse is perfect.
Our kids had so much fun. From exploring to picking fruits and climbing trees and even catching the errant frog and cricket, they were given an experience that they would never forget. The adults had fun as well, spending quality time with the family and just hanging out.
Be warned though that the mobile phone signal is quite weak and you would have to look for that weird tree near the pool house just to get a decent signal. I think it’s a blessing in disguise that this happens. I mean, come on, you went to a place to relax and spend quality time with the family and you’re on your phone or computer still working? (Ask my mother, she got told off by my daughter. hehehe)
The Coffee Farmhouse requires prior reservations and ocular visits are allowed by appointment. Rates are extremely affordable (Php 2,200 per person – this includes use of the facilities, your 5 meals and accommodations) and if you ask nicely, Mister Bert will allow you to pick as much guavas and santol as you want.
Oh, and yeah, you get unlimited cups of coffee. Kapeng Barako, mind you. :)