Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Sleepy Province of Ilocos Sur, Part III (Archive)

Wildlife and flora were next on our list as we visited the Baluarte and Hidden Garden.

Baluarte, according to its website, is an 80-hectare estate owned by Chavit Singson, who decided to convert the same into a wildlife sanctuary. He opened it to the public, with the end in view of forging a bond between the people and nature. When we visited the place, it was still a work in progress. The best thing about Baluarte? Admission is free.

Images of the Baluarte:

baluarte

tigers at baluarte

animals at baluarte 

Hidden Garden is a product of a change of heart. The website relates that Francis Flores, the garden’s owner, suffered from three heart attacks and half of his body was paralyzed. He decided to change his life by starting a garden and becoming a landscape architect. What initially started as a therapy for the owner flourished into business. Right in the middle of the garden’s greens and rainbow-colored flowers is Lilong and Lilang Coffee Shop, which serves local delicacies. It was hot, we were sweating – time to sample the coffee shop’s native halo-halo. The best thing about the halo-halo? It had no beans!

Images from the Hidden Garden:

hidden garden

hidden garden

hidden garden

-jrlee