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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

August 7, 2017

KAWAYAN FARM RESTAURANT: A Pleasant Surprise in the Shadow of the Windmills

"Saan tayo kain ng lunch?"

My sister-in-law inquired as we departed from the Pililla Wind Farm.  She directed the question to me as I was the designated navigator for our  family field trip on this weekend of Aug 5-6. Truth be told, I had no ready answer for I was expecting  by 12 noon would have us checking in already in the Bakasyunan resort in the hills of Tanay. But I had to have an answer as many of us in our 2-vehicle convoy were hungry already. I looked out of the Starex and on the left side of the Manila East Road was a sign announcing that a restaurant was just nearby. I promptly directed the driver to slow down and told my sister-in-law that we are eating in


She queried back - "Is it any good?"

Without batting an eyelash,  I replied confidently - "Yes.  It is the best restaurant in this area." 

She retorted - "Really?"

I answered back - "Yup. It is the best coz it is the only restaurant in these parts." 

With this reply, I heard snickering from the back. Must be my son.

By this time, the Starex has turned left already and entered "Kawayan Farm" and as I looked out of the window of the vehicle, I glimpsed a place that looked promising. But I wasn't so sure if this place would really be a good place to have lunch. I wasn't so sure if the dining experience in this restaurant would pass muster from my loved ones. Perhaps due to a handful of forgettable experiences in roadside restaurants, I was still a bit skeptical. I remember sometimes roadside restaurants  would have not so clean dining area.  And the food selection could be a bit limited.  And at times, the promptness of serving the food is oftentimes lacking.
Big parking space inside the Kawayan Farm compound. No need to park on the side of the National Road. 
One of the dining cottages inside the Kawayan Farm. This one is near the side of the National Road. 
Kawayan Farm indeed looked promising.  The place and its surroundings was clean and almost all green.  There was a couple of dining cottages and our family proceeded to the one near the road.  Upon entering, we were met by a group of smiling and  courteous waitresses. At 11am, we were the only guests in the restaurant. There were about 8 of them and the most senior, she looked to be in her early 30s, chaperoned us to the best table in the cottage. Upon seated, my wife and her sister proceeded to order for our party of a baker's dozen. The usual staple were ordered like bulalo,  sisig, kare-kare and adobong pusit. And the head waitress recommended the pesang dalag and ginataang labong.   Pesang dalag or stewed mudfish was recommended as the mudfish is plentiful in the Laguna de Bay area. Of course, for a bamboo farm, they need to showcase bamboo products and the ginataang labong or bamboo shoots with coconut cream is top grade.
We got the best table.
After enumerating our order, I inquired from the waitress the approximate serve time. She confidently said - "10 to 15 minutes." And as she proceeded to their kitchen, I can already see the kitchen crew and the waitresses busy at work.

The kitchen crew busy cooking the food.
With more than 10 minutes to wait, I took the opportunity to go outside the dining cottage and explore the farm.  There were a lot of green, mainly bamboos.  The farm is a brainchild of Mr. Domingo Alfonso and the lawn outside had photos of him touring President Cory in the farm. Mr. Alfonso have great faith in the bamboo as a viable solution to the reforestation challenges our countryside faces.    Lined up also on the lawn were at least 7 species of bamboos.  There was also a bamboo walk.
A photo of President Cory with the ...

...owners of the Kawayan Farm.

The bamboo walk inside the farm. 
Got the chance to explore also the other dinner cottage which was overlooking the valley below. Much of the material used for the cottages are sourced from bamboo. Even the male urinal was bamboo-centric.

One of the open dining cottages.

Dining area overlooking the valley.

The walkway towards the other dining cottage.

The male urinal was bamboo-inspired.
By the time I finished my tour and got back to our dining area, the food we ordered were being observed already. I looked at the time and indeed the food were served within 15 minutes. I was impressed impressed further when got to taste the food. The bulalo and kare kare were tasteful while the labong and the pesang dalag were much appreciated.  
Ginataang labong

Pesang dalag

Kare Kare 
And we topped off the lunch with the halo halo dessert. With a cherry on top, it was much better than what we get from Chowking or any other fast food joint in the metropolis.

Looking around, I could see my family members enjoying the food. The smiles in their faces are proof positive that they enjoyed the dining experience in Kawayan.

In a way, the culinary experience in Kawayan Farm restaurant was a symbolism of our delightful experience in visiting the towns of  Pililla, Tanay and Baras.   The bounty of the sceneries and adventure is a pleasant surprise.
Pililla Wind Farm

Daranak Falls

Regina RICA in Tanay

ATV in Bakasyunan Resort

Palo Alto Falls
Did not know that these towns in the eastern outskirt of Metro Manila have so much to offer. the nature lovers and immersive adventurers in us.  Definitely, it is more fun in the provinces.




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