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You’ve scaled too many mountains, bummed for days in the beach, and seen enough caves and waterfalls. You’ve had enough time on the road chasing adventures. Perhaps you owe yourself a break? Stop from all the running around and decide to do just nothing on a lazy weekend.

I didn’t mean locking yourself in your room or overstaying in the spa. If you have at least a day to spare, go to a farm anywhere in the countryside and slow down. And if by chance your trip ends up in Negros Occidental, book your stay at Melba’s Farm in Talisay City.

Melba’s Farm is a 10-hectare property of the Carranza’s, about 21 kilometers from Bacolod City. It’s a secluded spot in the middle of the woods, snuggled in the sturdy mahogany and lanzones trees. It has an open-air clubhouse on a hill, a breezy venue for corporate meetings and seminars. For a relaxing me-time, Melba’s has two homey villas and an intimate infinity pool that has an overlooking view of Bacolod. The farm’s owner, Alvin Carranza, named it after his mom, a big portrait of whom hangs on the wall of the clubhouse.

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Getting There

Melba’s Farm is accessible from Bacolod through Alangilan. From Campuestohan Highland Resort, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to reach the farm. There’s some thrill getting there. The 2-kilometer dirt road from the highway to the farm is not a very comfy ride. No joke, the getting-there part can spoil your trip if transportation is not well-planned. In fact, I’ve read in one blog that their group had to walk with their luggage and stuff, because of some challenges in transportation.

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So, if you’re driving, better come on a 4×4 car or a pickup. If you’re game for some habal-habal (motorcycle) ride, some guys from Campuestohan may be willing to take you to the farm. They can charge about P100. The best option for a stress-free visit, however, is to arrange your transportation with Alvin ahead of time, so he can assist you with car rentals. Easy!

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Home Sweet Home

Once you reach the farm, everything becomes your daydreamed vacation. At the entrance, the sign reads: Look deep into nature and you will understand everything. Eds, Manuel, and the other staff of Melba’s will welcome you at the clubhouse. Get refreshed with the view of the pool and the greens as you wait for your tea or buko.

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The clubhouse is a common area for visitors and this is also where meals are served. It has a TV set, a sofa, chairs, tables, and benches.

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Some vintage items probably from the homes of the Carranza’s—an old telephone, a typewriter, a radio, and a sewing machine—also add a unique touch to the place.

Rambo, the resident dog, will also be there to welcome you.

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FYI, Rambo is a lady dog. I tried my best to do some background check, but no one in the farm could recall why and how she got that name.


The Posh Cabins

I booked the smallest of the two villas, the spacious Mahogany Room which can hold up to four guests. A portion of the wall has sliding glass doors that give you a good view of the trees. It has a terrace, a big matrimonial bed, toilet and bath, TV, cabinets and shelves, lamps, and a ceiling fan. No aircon. The farm is generally cool during the day, and temperature drops at night especially in the rainy season. And—no internet. When all you need to do is relax, read a book, meditate, and just enjoy with nature, who needs internet anyway?

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The Lauan Room–the family room–is good for four, although it can accommodate up to 10 guests. It has modern fixtures and a bathtub!


Enjoying Farm Life

It was easy to fall in love with the entire setup of no aircon, no wifi, no mall a short ride away. It was totally rejuvenating, especially after that rope course at Campuestohan which drained my energy. Of course, there’s the pool anytime you want a dip, and there’s Rambo for playtime.

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At sunset, I setup the tripod I picked from Hey Joe Gadgets. I watched the clouds race to the west as the brilliant pink sky transform to darkness until all I could see were the twinkling night lights of Bacolod City.

The farm gets too quiet after sunset. I decided to take a short swim after dinner and then slipped under the blanket. Heavy rain poured the whole night. All I could hear was music from the crickets partying in the forest, the gecko who wanted a little attention, and some rolling thunder from a distance. The sound of rain falling on the grass roof and the swooshing electric fan finally sent me to sleep.

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In the morning, I woke up refreshed I couldn’t resist taking the much-needed selfie. Eds served me breakfast of sausage, sunny-side egg, and coffee and invited to go around the farm, gather honey and pick some buko.

But, because of the tight schedule, I decided to pack up, get back on the road and trek to the waterfalls in Patag. I said goodbye to Rambo and the staff sent me off with their smile. Eds gave me a ride to the jeepney terminal, and that made the finale of my unforgettable retreat at Melba’s Farm.


MELBA’S FARM

The farm is managed by Alvin Carranza, Managing Director of Teen Azkals Foundation and President of MacGraphics Carranz, a media company that specialize on billboards and advertising technology. Check the Facebook page of Melba’s Farm for inquiries.

CONTACT DETAILS
Brgy. Cabatangan, Sitio Masanglad
Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Email: outdoorman@mac.com
Mobile: 0917-531-4403
Facebook: Melba’s Farm
RATES
Mahogany Room: P2,800 (bed & breakfast for 2)
Family Room: P4,800 (bed & breakfast for 4)
Clubhouse: P2,500 (4 hours, 5 tables, 30 chairs)
Outdoor: P3,500 (4 hours, 5 tables, 30 chairs)

M O B I L E     P H O T O G R A P  H Y

All photos in this article, unless otherwise captioned, were taken with a smartphone. For this post, we banked on the power of Huawei Mate S, which is a super phone for both outdoor and indoor photography. Visit Huawei’s Facebook page for more details about their products.

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ArisMape

ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.