Hindi talaga ako nagpapalagpas ng mga contest-contest. Several years ago, naglalakad ako sa mall, nakashorts, sando at kumakain ng ice cream, may public speaking contest daw. Five minute extemporaneous speaking contest, bubunutin mo yung topic from a hat. Tingingnan ko yung prize: P1000.00 gift certificate from SM. Kung ngayon ngang abugado ako e hindi ko tatanggihan yun, ano pa kaya kung dugyuting college student pa lang ako. Di ko na maalala ang topic, basta pang miss universe. Environment. World peace. Echos. Ahem. Nanalo ako, first place. (Yun pala ang gift certificate, SM appliance center lang. HIndi SM department store. Pero okay pa din, nagkaroon kami ng bagong electric fan.)
Anong point? Mahilig talaga ako sa mga pakontes-kontes. Bring it on, babeh. Go lang ng go. Kaya ko ito shinashare kasi nanalo ako today lang ng laptop bag. Yahooo! Asteeeg. Salamat sa www.kikay.exchange.ph, ang isa sa paborito kong website na tinuro sa akin ni Golda. Salamat din kay Jill (at congrats for passing the bar, atty.). Tignan niyo yung bag. Kung gusto niyo bumili, punta kayo dito.
At eto naman ang aking… naks…. winning piece. Kung gusto niyo makita in actual form, andito.
Kinabuhayan cafe Bed and Breakfast
Of course I love Quezon. It is after all, the place where my passion for agrarian reform has taken wing. Say “Quezon” and I think landlord harassment and economic displacement. In short – work. Little did I guess that tucked inside that yawning mass of land and hotbed of rural violence, is a tiny gem of a place where one can find her momentary quiet and the larger-than-life problems are temporarily put on hold.
Kinabuhayan Bed and Breakfast in Dolores, Quezon, hardly looks promising on the outside. The façade has none of the grandeur of big, glitzy resorts. When you enter the premises, you are greeted at the doorstep by the owner of the place, a middle-aged, English-speaking guy with long hair named Jay and his pet pig named Onion. He greets you flamboyantly, like long-lost friends, and then chitchats with you about anything and everything under the sun.
Perhaps the best way to describe the place is also the best way to describe its owner – spontaneous, warm, a little bit crazy, a whole lot of charming. One sees no formal landscaped hedges, or pompous fountains. It is a sprawling garden, a mess of flowers and plants and trees growing randomly and profusely. Wrought iron chairs and tables are found in strategic corners, under a canopy of bouganvilleas, perhaps, or under the shade of an acacia tree.
Kinabuhayan’s gourmet food is its main draw. The food Jay prepares is nothing short of amazing. There are no menus; everyone eats what he prepares. No need to worry, though, because he does not disappoint. We had spareribs, fish, mushroom risotto, lamb, roast chicken, curry, and the most unforgettable salad of herbs and fresh flowers drizzled with Jay’s secret vinaigrette. Dinner is a candlelit affair under a canopy of stars and Japanese lanterns, and is served with a glass of champagne. After dinner, Jay and his sidekick Ralph invite everyone to a lambanog nightcap. No rowdy videoke here – guitar, lambanog and John Lennon songs are the way to go.
Sleeping arrangements are two-story kubos with no walls. There is a sala set on the first floor, and on the second floor, a futon with a kulambo. If you booked ahead of time, you can request for the treehouse. If you booked last minute, prepare to sleep in a small tent, which can in itself be quite an experience.
In the morning, they can bring you to Kubli Springs to swim. It’s private so no need to worry about crowds. If the weather so permits, Jay will set up dinner there. Since Dolores is the gateway to Banahaw, tours are being offered at an extra charge.
Each meal in Kinabuhayan Café Bed and Breakfast costs P600.00. If you stay for three meals, accommodations are free. It’s near Manila, so you may just have lunch there and take a dip in the springs. But believe me when I say that Kinabuhayan is at its most enchanting under the blanket of night, when the stars sing a love song to the most secret parts of you, and the rest of the world fades to black.