I always love nature and doing out of town trips are something I always like to do.
Had the opportunity to visit a new farm resort in Tagaytay and I tagged along some of my Blogger friends: Myke Soon, Ruth Floresca, John Michael Bueno and Rod Magaru. Too bad Ferdie Bondoy failed to join us because of family reasons.
The plan was to experience an overnight stay at Gratchi’s Getaway (also known as Gratchi’s Farm Resort) and to cover its open house the next day. We had events earlier that day that’s why we end up hitting the road around 6:00 PM or so. We reached Gratchi’s Getaway and we were welcomed by its owner, mother and son, Mrs. Gratchi Nuval and Geoffrey Nuval, and a good friend from way back, Tammy Zalameda who works there as Marketing Executive.
A quick look at Gratchi’s Getaway and I already fell in love with the place (and it’s even night time when I first saw it!). The cool breeze, the nice cottages and the warm reception was more than enough to enjoy my stay there.
Geoffrey Naval was the one to give us a quick tour and led us to our designated rooms at the one they called “The Ruins”. It was amazingly done! Although you can still smell the paint and wooden varnish, given it is not yet really finished, I can already visualize how good this resort farm will become.
All of us decided to take individual rooms to enjoy it fully. Although it differs with space (Rod got the double decker bed, John Michael had the two bed and mine have a wider room space), all of their rooms are comfy. And because it’s in Tagaytay, all you need is to open the window to feel the cool Tagaytay wind. But you need not worry about mosquitoes as the room’s windows have nets and there’s none actually.
The Ruins is actually like a big house, full of rooms. It is a 3-storey building with super cool interior and exteriors designs. I personally loved the customized railings of their stairs. After we’re settled with our chosen rooms, we explored The Ruins and went up at their still-unfurnished 3rd floor where we found a billiard pool and a ping pong table.
While waiting for our dinner to be served, John Michael, Myke and I played the billiards while Rod and Ruth enjoyed playing the ping pong. Geoffrey then joined in and we chatted about future plans for Gratchi’s Getaway. He mentioned to us about the place having a trail at the back where their guests can do some nature trekking and he invited us to try it.
I didn’t put too much thought about it as we were called for our dinner. At the ground floor of The Ruins is a big space where guests can have group seminars, and a dining place. We were all touched when we found a white board with a written welcome greeting with our names on it. Seriously, that’s very nice because we all felt very special. Simple gestures and simple thoughts are way too special to ignore.
Dinner is served. And lo and behold, our dinner are made of MUSHROOMS!
I am a huge fan of mushrooms and I actually enjoyed eating at Bodhi Vegetarian Health Food (located mostly at the food court of SM malls). Anyways, our dinner were mushroom kare-kare, fried mushroom, and for dessert, sweet mushroom that actually tastes like ‘bucayo’ or macapuno. We also shared a bottle of beer and plenty of laughs and interesting stories with Mrs. Gratchi and Geoffrey.
We were reminded of the planned trekking and we’re told that we will do it early morning so we decided to rest in our respected rooms. Some of us though worked online (Geoffrey lent us their Globe WiFi dongle) and the others played with their iPad. You can’t really take away technology to us Bloggers! Hehehehehe.
Morning come and we’re greeted with a cool breeze and gentle rain. I thought we wont be pushing with the trekking plans and what we’ll be doing instead is to just tour the whole farm. After having our breakfast and took some photos, Geoffrey handed us some sticks we can use on our tour. And to my surprise, the tour I’m expecting was actually the trekking part already! I don’t want to be a kill-joy so I joined the group and went up and down at the back of Gratchi’s farm.
I never included trekking in my bucket list, and now I know why! Aside from me not in proper attire (I’m wearing pants, running shoes and thank God I decided to change to a shirt from the original polo shirt I am wearing) and not physically fit to do such.
The mountain is a bit steep to begin with and although there are man-made tracks, it is a bit hard walking through that path. I saw Myke and John Michael lose their balance a bit and I really took my time walking and holding to whatever branches I see. But of course, it is not always safe to do that because some branches may brake and you have to be careful with every step you make because you might eventually slip.
Anyway, we all survived going down the mountain and once more, fell in love with the untouched beauty of the forest. The cold river, the rocks, the cave and the struggle going down is all worth it. I love everything I see down there!
But just when I thought it’s done, some of us have to walk barefooted because it’s a bit hard walking at the stone-y river side. But on my part, is because I don’t want to get my white Newton shoes all wet and dirty.
And the worst part of trekking? Climbing back! And to put more shame with my trekking experience, my pants got ripped from my struggle to climb that mountain! And I swear I nearly faint doing that! I’m very thankful to that damn stick and to our tour guide who helped us with the trekking.
An hour of trekking really makes me literally catch my breath and really tortured me! But I am not regretting it as I know, this is something I need to experience and it is not something I’d like to do every day. Our tour continued and our next stop (and actually the last stop) is the Bulwagan (a big pavilion) where we get to meet some of the guests and where our lunch is served. I’m totally exhausted with the trekking that all I wanted is to drink water. We were served with various kind of kakanin, pansit bihon and fresh buko which I enjoyed a lot!
The group decided to take a break and rest a little and take a bath while Geoffrey is forced to do another round of trekking as requested by their other guests. I pity the dude! But he looked fit so I guess he can survive it… and he didn’t because after that, we never get to see him after because he was sleeping until we left the farm. Hehehehe.
After a few minute of rest, our tour continued this time with Mrs. Gratchi accompanying our group. She toured us at the other side of the farm and I was thrilled to see their mushroom house! For the first time in my life, I am seeing so many mushrooms, oyster mushrooms to be exact! And it is fascinating to know how this beautiful thing grows!
I love Mrs. Gratchi’s rumor and stories. She made us feel at home and relaxed. It’s like we know her for a long time already. Her warm accommodation is something I would look forward in my future visit at Gratchi’s Getaway. She also showed us some of their herbal garden and some of their pets including a pot belly pig, monkey, goats, chicken and dogs.
The last part of the tour, we joined the other guests uphill to see Gratchi’s activity area. It has some courses where you can have a company retreats or team buildings. Would love to try that sometime. Sadly, we have no enough time that day to experience everything Gratchi’s Getaway has to offer.
I love our experience at Gratchi’s Getaway. And I am looking forward to see it fully developed soon. The place is very promising and I believe family and even barkada will enjoy staying there.
By the way, Gratchi’s Getaway will be holding a seminar on Mushroom Spawn Production and Growing (Oyster Mushroom – Pleurotus ostreatus) on April 15, 2012 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Do check it out. Click here for other information about the seminar.
If you’re the adventurous type, you will love Gratchi’s Getaway’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ride, their original “wall” climbing facility, the hanging bridge, the zip line, and the soon-to-be swimming pool.
Experience real farming as you harvest fresh fruits and vegetables in season.
Gratchi’s Getaway is located at Tagaytay / Barangay Cabangaan, Silang, Cavite. For inquires and reservation, please call (02) 664-1633, 0918-910-9633 or 0922-8472824, e-mail: email@example.com or visit their official website at http://www.gratchi.com.
Come and enjoy at Gratchi’s Getaway—Tagaytay Eco-Farm Resort – the new destination for a great escape!