Do you ever miss the simple life? Having to eat a gracious, fulfilling meal with nature buzzing around you; strolling after dining, having talks in between about life and whatnot? How about a literal breath of fresh air that we find so rare nowadays? When was the last time you’ve given your respiratories a treat? This is the reason why we searched far and wide to have a meal at Kawayan Farm, Pililia, Rizal.
Hidden in the picturesque roads of Pililia, Rizal is a restaurant that promises to remind you the simple joys of life. From the outside, you will be greeted by an array of bamboo and native installments that looks as though it’s stretching its arms in a frenzy of warm welcome. Once you enter Kawayan Farm, you will also be greeted by their resident Philippine Macaque, Muymuy. It was love at first sight for me. The staff allowed us to give him ripe mangoes. According to them, he loves fruits a lot! As a sign of his gratitude, and perhaps excitement, Muynuy bounced in elation and have us an amazed look. This was a heart-warming moment for me.
We were given a choice to eat inside the restaurant or in one of their kubos (native hut) outdoors. Definitely, we chose the kubo for a full experience. The hut where we dined in can fit 4 people having a meal comfortably. It has an electric fan and a complete dining set. There was also a lingering tegu inside the net that contained the dried cogon roof. While this can be something that can put customers off, I was honestly glad to see one. Goes to show how healthy the environment still is in this side of Rizal. The air was fresh and had a hint of the faint aroma of burning leaves or “siga” which is a treat to my senses because it takes me back to the good old days in the province.
While waiting for our food to be served, my partner and I wandered around the premise. We found a small bamboo chapel complete with an altar, pews, and stations of the cross along the pathway. It looked serene, solemn, and in touch with nature despite its simplicity. The church is still open and is still holding mass as displayed by the entrance.
Kawayan Farm also has a Bamboo forest which we gladly hiked. Just be careful, though, as the trail tends to be slippery when wet. It will also help to apply a mosquito repellent if you are not used to the great outdoors (just for safety measures). While on the trail, please do not bring food and avoid littering at all cost!
Opposite of the trail is the Viewpoint here you can marvel at the mountain-side view of Pililia. We were taken by the site of Laguna de Bay peeking from behind the ridges of Rizal. Although there was an electricity line running across the scenery, it was just too darn beautiful to be spoiled by that.
Along the path, you can find signs introducing you to the “Kawayan” (Bamboo tree) and how we can benefit from it. According to one of their signage, the Kawayan plays a big role against soil erosion, a major effect of deforestation. This is timely since there are some parts of Rizal where logging is prevalent. The signs also mention the many uses of this sturdy tree. You can create furniture from Bamboo, rafts, and even the house itself.
There were also different kinds of Bamboo which surprised me. All the while I thought there was only one class of Bamboo! Among those I saw at Kawayan Farm are the Australian White, the Thailand Bamboo, and the Pole Vault Bamboo, each slightly different from the other.
Chickens were also free roaming. We saw a huge rooster and even joked about him being the inspiration for Foghorn J. Leghorn of Looney Tunes. Yeah, we’re old.
Our food was served as we were returning from our hike. We ordered Kawayan Farm’s specialty, Bulalo (beef shank stew). The serving was generous just as the staff honestly described. It can feed 3 to 5 people and had we ordered more, we would not have been able to finish it. Such a tragic waste!
I can also tell why Bulalo is their specialty. How do I say this without overly patronizing Kawayan Farm Restaurant? Their Bulalo is the tastiest I had in a long time! The soup reminds me so much of a well seasoned corned beef that was manufactured and sealed to goodness! The beef tasted so fresh and succulent and there was no sign of artificial flavoring!
The staff were nice and caring. Their hospitality is gold. They even instructed for us to clap to get their attention if we need anything to which we did not do. We find it degrading on their end.
The meal at Kawayan Farm was hearty, palatable, and abundant. It was well-worth the drive! It wasn’t just a restaurant but an overall experience going back to basics. It serves as a reminder that it is still satisfying to share a meal with Mother Nature once in a while.
Kawayan Restaurant is located here: