15 July 2009

Sonya's Garden

31 miles north of the Philippines largest city, there is a volcano in a volcano surrounded by blue sky and blue water. Pineapple farms, fruit markets, and furniture makers line the single road up the mountain. Water pouring down all around, reminding everyone that this is only the start of the rainy season, when we reached the summit the black clouds opened long enough to catch a glimpse, if only briefly.
High above Manila, the city dwellers desert the hustle for the cool breezes of the mountains. On the outskirts of Tagaytay City, hidden in the lush green hills is Sonya's Bed and Breakfast. The mysterious founder and namesake grows all her own food right behind the kitchen. In every nook, behind every tropical plant awaits a piece of the exotic countryside or garden wonder.
Once inside the enchanted garden, small brick paths lined with herbs and flowers lead to a water tower half hidden by trees and the restaurant for the weary traveller to stop and sample the fare.
Inside the restaurant, which resembles a huge screened porch the light glows a soft green, a reminder of the trees above. From the wood beams hang colored glass chandeliers, trees grow out of the ground inside with orchids growing on their trunks.
Everyday lunch is served, and it is always a fixed menu. Fresh salad, cheeses, dressings, nuts, and fruits followed by spaghetti and a multitude of toppings ranging from sweet sauces to perfect pestos. For dessert, chocolate cake and cooked fruits.
All of the food is locally grown, a few feet from the kitchen in screened in structures. Entirely organic.
A secret garden in the shadow of active volcanoes. The flowers, little flames, in their own Pacific ring of fire.

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