Stay at Abe’s Farm to enjoy a slice of rural life, Filipino style…
Stay at Abe’s Farm to enjoy a slice of rural life, Filipino style. Abe means ‘friend’ in Kapampangan and this peaceful getaway in Pampanga province is named for its founder, Emilio ‘Abe’ Aguilar Cruz. He was the son of a Filipino diplomat and a celebrated artist, as well as a writer and historian who used to host weekend art sessions with friends. Abe’s Farm sits at the foot of Arayat, a dormant volcano that they would often paint.
The place isn’t really a farm, it’s a four-acre rural estate surrounded by countryside. The property offers an eclectic mix of villas to suit couples and families. There’s even a typical Ifugao house that you can sleep in to experience what traditional life is like in the Luzon province. You can learn more about Emilio Cruz in the small, on-site museum which is set in a replica of an old house and displays some of his personal memorabilia.
The thing I like most about Abe’s Farm is the food. Filipinos love to eat and the people of Pampanga are known for their cuisine. It gives you a real taste of what we like in our dishes; rich, sweet things, pork and rice. The restaurant at Abe’s Farm serves a collection of famous regional dishes such as banana blossom salad, which we shred and put with coconut milk and some chilis. The restaurant is set in a big Filipino house called a bahay kubo, which is decorated with Cruz’s art work and made of bamboo and antique wood.
Behind the restaurant, there’s a great swimming pool, which is perfect for guests to take a dip in after a long journey. We usually stop at Abe’s Farm to break up the 10-hour drive from Banaue back to Manila. There’s also a spa where you can have a relaxing treatment. Generally, Abe’s Farm is the perfect place to just soak up the tranquil scenery before heading back to the city or trekking to nearby Mount Pinatubo.