For Labor Day this year, N and I decided to go to their farm in Bataan with his family to spend the day there. I was so excited at the prospect of going to a farm that I have heard so much about that I couldn’t sleep the night before.
Early morning travel to the North was easy, it was Sunday so traffic wasn’t heavy. It was also fun, because JG was constantly making me laugh in the car. Soon the city gave way to flatlands and more greenery – I smiled. It felt a little more like a holiday now.
Soon, we reached wonderful untainted and unspoiled farmlands that once lined the province I lived in. I remembered the time when Cavite was still not as crowded as it is now. The farmlands before have become residential subdivisions and has made our town feel as busy and as crowded as the city.
I remembered seeing these lands and whispering “Kirei…” ( Beautiful)… as we passed. It was truly beautiful. I love the land, unspoilt, green and looking so serene. I remembered smiling as I saw tractors working on rice paddies and carabaos. farmers and rice growing in paddies. I wanted to open the window to feel the fresh air, but I contented myself in imagining it.
Before going to the farm, we passed by a market. I was happy to see the fish so fresh it was jumping from its buckets and all the produce that were laid out for us. I couldn’t help but purchasing gigantic carrots and cucumbers and lettuce for a salad to snack on later in the week. After purchasing, fish, veggies and rice and a few other treats, we trekked back to the car and off we went to the Santi Farm.
The Santi Farm is owned by N’s family. A few acres of land spread across two barangays. It boasted a river that was running through it, and several fruit bearing trees such as mango, santol, coconuts, avocado, chico, cacao, papaya, jackfruit, calamansi – almost anything that you can think of they have it.
The farm also has a handful of farm animals such as chickens and ducks that lived and bred there. I had the pleasure of meeting Kakak, an albino duckling who I declared was my pet. There were others too. Like Puppies which JG named, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Daewoo. Chickens and ducklings littered the farm along with the dogs and a rooster.
Yes, Maia. You’re not in the City anymore.
So at 9:30 AM, we ate our much awaited and anticipated breakfast. It was definitely something worth waiting for. I mean just look at it! Rice, Fish, eggs, fresh tomatoes (which I just love) buko juice and tuyo. My mouth watered just looking at it. Now, its not definitely the time for a diet.
After breakfast, we took a little rest in the resthouse and loitered a bit. The sun was beating on us and so we slept and rested for a bit while waiting for time. Soon, it was lunch time. ( Yeah, we’re like pigs).
In the afternoon, N and I took a little walk around the front part of the land. He took me down to the river and around. I was kind of scared that I’d encounter a snake but N reassured me that all the snakes were hiding from the heat.
We walked around and found ourselves at the in the property. They dammed it up pretty well and even had a pump going through it. N is building some kind of irrigation thing that uses HydroPower and not electricity to operate it. 😀 My genius.
We passed by some parts that they haven’t fixed yet. I was amused by this tiny bamboo bridge we passed by. I wished it was longer and more challenging, but it would have to do. 😀
Even though the 100 degree heat was bearing down on us, I felt really cool under the shade of the trees. I was safe and I felt some kind of belongingness there. I wanted to be a part of that place. I wanted to really take care of it. I felt part of the Santi Family promise that the land will remained untouched. It will be preserved as long as they have the land.
We came upon some siling labuyo plants and N asked me to pick off the red ones to take home. it was a simple task, but it made me happy and well, productive. I really don’t like being idle and doing this walking around and simply enjoying N’s company and picking off peppers was a great way to fill in the time there.
There was freedom. A sense of deep serenity that set it. I was like in a Zen Palace. Each little thing had meaning. Each little thing appreciated. Everything had its purpose and what is simple and natural was beautiful. I was glad to find that there.
If they would invite me again, I know I would not hesitate to come back. I had so much fun. People were nice, everything was wonderful and the simplicity of it all was so appealing to me who usually thinks about 10 million things to do at once in the city. It was nice to slow down, take a breather and enjoy what Mother Nature gave us even for that one blip in time.