La Huerta de Rosario – where Farming is an Art (and the Farm is the Artist’s Canvass) – has become a favourite place to bring visitors for lunch (especially on the way to Legazpi). The organic vegetables in season feed our hungry visitors, but the paintings, the plants, and the homey ambiance fills the soul.
There is a hidden gem of a place in the municipality of Baao in Camarines Sur. Right along the highway, tucked behind growing, indigenous trees, is a four-hectare organic vegetable farm. A walking path covered with a charming trellis leads you to a little hut decorated with random antiques (our favorite of which is the original PNR sign of Baao). Waiting for us was a spread of vegetables just harvested from the garden – okra, ampalaya (bitter melon), tomatoes and basil.
Also waiting for us was Ms. Bernadette De Los Santos, the inspiring lady behind La Huerta de Rosario. Her story is just as inspiring as the scenery at her organic farm. After spending some time abroad, she came back to her hometown and slowly started to put together her farm. She took the workshops offered by the Department of Agriculture (such an excellent idea – we definitely want to do that too!) and started planting. Aside from offering the freshest vegetables, a charming two-bedroom cottage with a large common area is perfect for overnight team buildings. The beautiful blue walls, paintings and bottles add to the character of the small house.
In this beautiful blue house, Ms. De Los Santos finds the perfect space to paint. For writers looking for a place for inspiration, this is definitely the best place to go. What amazes us though is not just the beauty of the place but the heart that goes into it. Aside from the farm, Ms. De Los Santos runs a social enterprise in town. If you go to her shop (which is also her family’s ancestral house), you’ll find a group of women sewing fashionable bags and putting together button jewelry.
A trip to La Huerta will definitely make your visit to Baao very interesting and shopping much more meaningful.
If you’re interested in having lunch at La Huerta de Rosario, you should call at least one day before and make reservations.
You can call: +63 919 5887877 (mobile)
How to get there: La Huerta de Rosario is along the Maharlika Highway (after Naga, you’ll hit Pili, Bula and then Baao). The first barangay of Baao is Agdangan. You will see St. John of the Cross Parish on the left side. After a kilometer or two, you will see the Sta. Teresita Barangay Chapel on the right. After two waiting sheds (all on the right side), make a right. La Huerta will be right there on your right!