Tourism took a big hit as COVID-19 became a formidable global health threat. Globally, governments had shut down their borders and issued travel bans. Locally, checkpoints and protocols made it difficult to cross even village borders. Travel, on which tourism relies, became extremely difficult.
But as the Philippine government eases quarantine restrictions, our tourist destinations are finally reopening, providing a much-needed reprieve especially for those who had been cooped up in their homes or isolated within their towns and cities since March. The government is in fact looking at domestic tourism—Filipinos visiting local destinations—to jumpstart the industry’s recovery.
Among the destinations ready to welcome visitors nowadays is Tagaytay City. Even without a travel pass, people are now allowed to enter this well-loved tourism destination, which is currently under modified general community quarantine. You may once again enjoy the highland temperature without trouble—just make sure to comply with the minimum health and safety standards.
Despite the difficulties it faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Taal eruption earlier this year, Tagaytay City’s tourism industry is determined to make up for lost time. Top tourist spots are open. One can now ride a horse at Picnic Grove and splurge on souvenirs at People’s Park. Nearly 80 percent of restaurants are operating again. You can now pursue the hunt for the best barako coffee, bulalo or buko pie. Some bed and breakfast facilities have resumed operations while other hotels are expected to follow suit.
Some serenity may do you better at this point, though. If you are looking to stay in upland Cavite to commune with nature, not far away from the city is Sonya’s Garden. You can breathe in the fresh air and breathe out the troubles that have built up during the lockdown. Since opening in 1998, the place has grown increasingly popular for being a therapeutic escape for the weariest of souls.
Let’s say you’re already in Tagaytay and hunger strikes. You can drive to Sonya’s Garden for sumptuous, nutritious food, whose fruits and vegetables—and sometimes even flowers—are the place’s own produce, tended only the organic way. You can try the best-selling salads to get the distinct plot-to-plate experience that the location has to offer. Don’t forget to visit the panaderia to take home its famous Spanish bread and cheese hopia. Sonya’s Garden also sells fresh harvests, like papaya, dragon fruit and avocado. Plantitos and plantitas would rejoice to see their selection of plants that are looking for their next home.
The bed-and-breakfast, the main draw of Sonya’s Garden, has officially reopened after months. Guests will get to stay in quaint rooms nestled among flowers and trees; and try “The Art of Doing Nothing,” a program that includes only stress-free activities, like lessons in basic gardening and compost-making, among others. Guests can watch the fireflies during mating season but, as the Yuletide nears, the beautiful décor will provide the awe. One other unique offering is the freedom to walk or trek within the property. One will find the running spring and the edible landscape gardens worth the sweat.
If you want to understand how Sonya’s Garden works, it is offering a worthwhile proposition: take a three-day masterclass from the place’s originator herself, Sonya Garcia. From Oct. 9 to 11, she will teach natural farming techniques, growing plants and composting methods, among other practices employed at the garden. The lesson includes accommodations, meals and workshop materials—basically the Sonya’s Garden package with, more importantly, the cherished gardening secrets as the giveaway.
Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer.Net last September 26, 2020 4:14am and written by Vaughn Alviar.