Have you ever dreamed of escaping city life—even just for a day be greeted by the sound of birds chirping in the morning and fresh air breezing through your window?
As pandemic restrictions ease, many Filipinos are heading to tourist spots seeking peace and comfort from the busy city. Luckily, Ybonita Farm and Villas offers a haven of peace and relaxation to its guests. This exclusive getaway promises exclusivity—you or your family don't need to worry about crowds.
Named after its owner, Yvonne, Ybonita Farm and Villas is located on a private farm in Calatagan, Batangas, only a three to four-hour drive from Manila.
What was once a retirement home became a paradise for others. The little villas inside the 2.3 hectares of land offer great views, ambiance, and an outdoor space where kids can run around and play. Did we also mention that it is only a five-minute drive to the beach?
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Chef Monique "Mo" Caunan, the daughter of Yvonne, talked about how the villas provide a personalized experience to every guest.
"We try our best to stick as close as possible to the term 'farm experience' with the design of our natural farm, the feel or vibe while you're checked in," she said.
According to Caunan, their place is popular with those who need a getaway from their daily life in the city, mainly people who just need to recharge with some down time as well as families with little kids.
In terms of the food, the chef said they serve traditional Filipino dishes like it was made at home.
"Our menu may look like your typical Filipino dishes, but we make sure that we cook it the traditional way like how your grandparents make it," Chef Mo said.
Nostalgia and home-cooked meals are secrets to cooking Pinoy food the right way, she explained. "It hits home every time."
Here is a little guide to picking the perfect villa for yourself, your partner, your family, or barkada, as well as some places you might want to visit while you're there. After all, why not make the best out of the farm?
The Coconino Villa is also known as the "Honeymoon Villa." It's perfect for a couple who wants to spend an intimate time together.
Everything in the villa, which is made of coconut trees, is sturdy yet neat looking. There's a glass door that can be closed with a curtain for added privacy. And to keep you and your partner from bumping into each other, there's a unique double-access bathroom.
Overnight rates at the Coconino Villa are at P5,500 per night (good for 2 people) while rates per night for a minimum of 2 nights go for P5,000.
Want to experience a Spanish-themed villa? Then the Caceres Villa is the right one for you.
Suitable for two to four people—best for a family with little kids—the villa has a vast mango tree perfect for shade and relaxation while you take a sip of your favorite drink.
Overnight rates at the Caceres Villa are at P6,000 (good for 2-4 people) while rates per night for a minimum of 2 nights are at P5,000.
If Spanish is not the theme you want, why not go local with the Ipugo Villa? This villa mixes modern and traditional designs inspired by the Ifugaos.
Suitable for more than four people, this villa houses two floors. The first floor features an outdoor lanai and a bathroom, while the upper one touts space for beds and a gorgeous view of the skies.
Overnight rates at the Ipugo Villa are at P7,500 (good for 2-4 people) while rates per night for a minimum of 2 nights are at P6,500.
For big groups and families, Ybonita has the Yvatan Villa, which can house from six to 12 people.
Like the Ipugo, this Batanes-inspired villa is two floors high. But for seniors who might have a difficult time climbing the stairs, the first floor has two easily accessible queen-sized beds.
It has a living area, a lanai, and two bathrooms. The second floor has its changing divider, three queen size beds, and two single beds. Its princess balcony is perfect for watching the sunset or enjoying the natural view.
The Yvatan villa is surrounded by tons of trees, making it hidden and perfect for relaxation and detachment from the busy city life.
It comes in two price ranges: P17,000 for an overnight stay with a bed and breakfast good for 6-12 people, and P15,000 for a three-days-two-nights stay.
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family, why not try it once? All rooms have their own refrigerator, TV, and a two-way sound system for communication. All bookings come with traditional Filipino Breakfast.
Aside from the villas, here are some must-visit spots at the farm.
The Mahogany Road serves as a pathway that connects all of the villas. It's perfect for those who like going for a stroll and feeling the breeze.
Ybonita's Secret Garden
When you feel the temperature rising, refresh at the Ybonita's Secret Garden's pool. Surrounded by lush greenery, it's best for families with kids and might be the favorite spot for our plantitos and plantitas.
Of course, it's not Ybonita Farm and Villas without the farm. The land is home to goats, sheep, horses, dogs, and more that you can come out and meet!
Caunan adds that guests can also book a day tour with the Sandbar or Balsa Tour, which is just a 15-minute drive to the docking area and a 10-minute boat ride from the property. Visitors can also visit nearby beaches and stop by Cape Santiago Lighthouse, roughly 10 minutes away from the farm.