the day we ate leaves, petals and grass

Monday, October 18, 2004

Nyahahaha! Yes, you read the title correctly. We did eat leaves, petals and grass. The day was Saturday and I was with my barkada in Tagaytay. Technically, it's in Batangas already, but it was near Tagaytay Royale Estates. The place was Sonia's Garden - a bed & breakfast with really great ambiance, but for a meatlover like me, it wasn't the place to be. The garden was beautiful. There were flowers of every size and color everywhere. There were trellises and fountains, big ceramic pots with water and floating flowers. It was breathtaking. And there were several daybeds, with white curtains, at strategic places around the garden. A massage service was also provided, it was too bad we didn't avail of it. Sonia's Garden is a beautiful place, but I will always remember it as the place where I ate a petal. Now I know how goats feel like. Hahahahaha!

Backtrack a bit before I get to the petal-eating story. :p

My barkada & I (no boyfriends and hubbies included - girls only) were going on a trip to Tagaytay last Saturday. One of our friends, Elaine, flew in from California last week and we wanted to have another road trip. It was supposed to be her wedding shower, coz she's getting married in the US next year, but somewhere along the planning stages, it became a lunch trip to Tagaytay. Aimee, Arlene & Maita picked me up at the Jollibee branch, near the Sucat exit of the South Superhighway, while the others in Michelle's SUV went ahead.

We missed the Sucat tollplaza because I didn't have my eyeglasses on and I assumed Arlene knew where we would turn, so we were at the Service road until Fil-Estate Alabang. Hehehe. In fairness, the Sucat interchange is a motorist's nightmare. There were no clear road signs, most of the time there were no traffic enforcers and it was every driver for himself. If you're not familiar with the place, you'd end up at the service road.

Even if we were in the service road and it was slower that if we were at the South Expressway, it didn't matter coz we were all laughing. Arlene said her Toyota Revo should be rechristened Mitsubishi Adventure because of the adventures they had from the moment they left Makati, until the time we got to Fil-Estate Alabang.

The thing I love about roadtrips is the "car bonding". From the time I got in the vehicle, to the time we arrived at Sonia's Garden, it was non-stop conversation. Our conversation centered around food, how big our younger brothers and sisters were, and how older we feel when we see them. But mostly it was about food.

We knew we were eating organic veggies at Sonia's, but we didn't know if they served any meat dishes. Maita mentioned that when her Aunt ate there, Sonia, the owner, offered them a petal and said it was edible. At that point we were like, "Oh no! Why did we end up having reservations at Sonia's?" Aims & Arlene didn't have breakfast, and every food place we passed by were temptations, coz all four of us in the Revo were carnivores. We saw a bulalo restaurant and our reaction was, "wow bulalo, yummmm...". We passed by Josephine's and said, "sana sa Josephine's na lang tayo, o kaya Antonio's". Were were craving for meat and we haven't even arrived at Sonia's yet!

At some point I told a story about a friend mistakenly calling Burger King, Burger Machine, and Arlene started singing the old Burger Machine jingle. No, not the one by Eraserheads, but the one that goes, "Burger machine, the burger that never sleeps... you're never far from a burger, a burger machine" Wahaahaha! See what the thought of meat deprivation can do to a person?

Nearing the turn towards Sonia's, we saw two road vendors selling yummy crabs. We were thinking that if we end up eating an all-veggie lunch, we'd pass by mushroom burger, Josephine's, the bulaluhan, or buy the crabs and go to Arlene's house in Tagaytay, cook it and eat it there. I said, "It's okay if we eat veggies, I like it naman. Just don't make me eat damo and I'll be fine." We laughed and a couple of minutes later we were at Sonia's.

Elaine, Michelle, Monski, Mela, Bel and Michelle (Elaine's fiance Mark's sister) were already there and eating the salad greens. We exchanged pleasantries and started eating. I laughed when I got the salad greens and there was something grass like there. Maita saw it and said, "Hala, J, may damo nga!" There were some petals, too, by the way. Hahaha! It was actually good, coz I had lots of carrot & sinkamas strips, lettuce, parmesan & feta cheese, eggs, soya (soya nga ba yun? :p) and dressing. Then the pasta arrived and Arlene, Maita and I looked at each other and smiled as if to say, "Hallelujah! may pasta!" It was delicious. It was like a make-your-own-pasta-dish. You can choose if you want it with tomato sauce, white sauce, pesto. There were shrimps, mushrooms, anchovies. We tried all combinations. hahaha! It was filling because it was all-you-can-eat. :p

After eating we toured the place, went to the gift shop and of course the bathroom. The bathrooms were so nice. One was overlooking the hill below and the design was rustic yet the amenities were very modern. Yup, we're girls, we notice stuff like that. Hahaha!

After the garden we went to the massage area and the cottages. On the way, there was a cow mooing in the background. We laughed when Maita said the cow was telling the meatlovers that he was there and we could still eat him if we wanted to. Haha!

After Sonia's Aims, Arlene, Maita & I went to Calaruega. We wanted to check the place coz Aimee's boyfriend Eric's sister is going to get married there (and maybe Aims and Eric, in the near future). The others went ahead and we were just gonna meet them at Bel's house in Paranaque, on the way to Makati to have dinner (oo, kakain na naman kami ;p) with friends Ria, Abby, Mona & Jenny So, who couldn't join us in Tagaytay.

There was a wedding when we arrived and we decided to take a peek. We parked quite a distance from the church, and were on the way up when a boy around the age of 10, said something to us. We couldn't understand him coz he was covering his mouth with his shirt (don't know why, hahaha!), so we continued hiking up and talking.

"Ano yung sabi nung bata?"

"Ewan.. parang sabi nya walang daan dun"

"What if the boy is right and there is no way up there?"

"May daan eh. Look, may taong bumaba."

So we climbed the stone steps and a guard peeked and said, "Ma'am, di pwede dito." Ack! We should have listened to the boy (if we could understand him :p) Aims asked if it was okay if we just take a peek from where we were and that guard said yes. For lack of a better word, I'd say the place was beautiful. Just the right place for a romantic, solemn wedding. I was out of breath and not entirely because of the hike up, but because of the place.

On the way to the car, we were thinking of what to say to the boy when we pass by him and he says, "I told you so"

"Hindi mo naman sinabi, eh"

"Di ka namin naintindihan kasi nagtatago ka sa loob ng shirt mo."

When we passed by him again, he didn't say "I told you so" but something else we still couldn't understand. Nyahahaha!

We went to Arlene's house before going back to Manila, coz she had to give something to Mang Ambo, the caretaker. I've always loved that house (Arlene, *wink *wink. hahahaha!). The view from there was amazing. From the garden and from the balcony, you'd be looking directly at Taal Volcano. We hadn't been there in years and we said the small pond with the bridge looked smaller than we remembered it. But of course it didn't shrink, we grew up. :)

Before leaving Tagaytay, we went to 7-11 and bought supplies (water, gummy bears, chichiria, ciggies). We saw some Mister Donut Belgian munchies, the ones they called loveknots last valentine. It was divine! The chocolate just melts in your mouth. :D The stuff we bought at 7-11 totally negated all the healthy food we ate at Sonia's. :p

It was a Saturday to remember. A day with friends is always fun and I hope we can do that again soon. We all need breaks from our busy schedules, right?