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This Family-Owned Farm in Batangas Looks Straight Out of a Fairy Tale

Ybonita Farm and Villas is charming and perfect for well-deserved vacations with loved ones

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Photography: courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

If your idea of the perfect staycation involves expansive fields, dazzling washes of sunlight, artfully-designed abodes, and the total absence of city noise, Ybonita Farm and Villas should be high on your destination wishlist.

Nestled in the wild grasslands of Calatagan, Batangas, the family-run farm is a 2.3 hectare property ideal for camping, biking, bonfires, and hearty dining. Anyone who loves the outdoors, glamping, and animals would immediately fall in love with the area as it's also home to a number of pets—including two cats named Ash and Fall, who were rescued from the 2020 Tagaytay eruption, a pony named Hailey, and plenty of friendly dogs and puppies. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The villas sit peacefully amongst the trees. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive featureThe villas were designed by Chef Mo's brother, Patrick Henri Caunan, while their dad, Henry, takes care of the gardening! PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

Rustic villas are dispersed across the farm, positioned far apart, as if they sprouted out of the ground organically. They blend in with the towering trees, giving the place a serene, undisturbed vibe. "We're one of places people go when they want to get away from the stress in Manila," shares Chef Monique Caunan, who runs the farm with her parents Yvonne and Henry, and siblings Py, a lawyer, Olivia, a marketing professional, and Patrick Henri, an interior designer, who actually designed all of the Ybonita villas, as well as the central lanai. 

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The central lanai can also be used for wedding and special events.  PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

The family acquired the farm in 2013, initially planning to turn it into a private getaway and rest hub. While the siblings would occasionally invite friends over, they never considered opening it to the public until they learned about the international hosting platform Airbnb in 2016. After naming the property Ybonita, joining their mother's real name (Yvonne) with her grandfather's nickname for her (Bonita), they then listed their two existing villas on the platform. The rest was history: According to Chef Mo, they were 90% booked over the course of the next two years, speedily going from private family property to a bustling hidden gem. Due to popular demand, they then built two more villas over the course of 2017 to 2019. As of December 2021, they're closed for facility improvement, but will be back in 2022. 

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature Left to right: Olivia, Py, Yvonne, Patrick Henri, and Chef Mo. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

In case you're looking for a place to rest and recharge, we've compiled all the reasons why Ybonita Farm and Villas will be worth a visit, once they officially open this year. 

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The Villas 

They may be on a farm, but each of the four villas promise a luxurious, comfortable stay. They are all airconditioned, equipped with clean, plush beds, desks, refrigerators, individual sockets, and more. Each villa also features tastefully-designed bathrooms that make for ideal selfie spots. We promise—the villas are totally IG-worthy. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The first villa ever built was the Ipugo villa, where the siblings would vacation. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Ipugo Villa 

The Ipugo Villa was the first one ever built, and houses a total of four guests. It's inspired by the Ipugo houses of Ifugao, and starts at P5,800 a night.

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The first floor houses the bathroom and lanai/dining area, while the airconditioned sleeping quarters are upstairs. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Caceres Villa 

Named after the Spanish city, the Caceres Villa houses four guests and starts at only P5,500 a night. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Facebook/Ybonita Farms and Villas

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The Spanish-inspired Caceres Villa has its own outdoor lanai. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Coconino Villa 

Crafted entirely out of coconuts, the cozy Coconino Villa is perfect for vacationing couples who want some peace and quiet. Rates start at P4,000 a night. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The petite Coconino villa is perfect for couples and pairs. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Yvatan Villa 

Chef Mo's personal favorite, the Yvatan Villa has a 12-guest capacity, and is inspired by the distinctive ivatan stone houses of Batanes. This is the perfect accommodation for large families, or groups of friends. Book it for P15,000 a night. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The first floor of the Yvatan villa. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature There are plenty of beds on the second floor! PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature The washroom is filled with natural light. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

Food and Drink 

Chef Mo is a trained chef who previously worked full-time in the United States before she returned to the Philippines in 2017 to run Ybonita's operations. She's in charge of prepping the meals at Ybonita, so you can always expect top-notch eats. (They offer free table-setting services for special occasions, too!) 

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If you'll be checking in for a minimum of two nights, you'll get breakfast packages on the house. If you want to avail of the full meal package, which includes lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner, rates start at a P700 per head per day. Before check-in, you'll receive a menu and an order form, so you can plan out your meals over the course of your stay—no need to worry about ordering on the day itself. You'll get to feast on a myriad of tried-and-true Filipino dishes, including Crispy Pata, Pork Binagoongan, Adobo, Lechon, Chili Garlic Shrimp, Inihaw na Isda, Grilled Squid, and others. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature Breakfast at the Ipugo Villa lanai. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Activities and Services 

Sandbar Day Trip 

Since Calatagan is a seaside municipality, you'll also get to enjoy some vitamin sea during your stay at Ybonita Farm and Villas. You can book a day trip to a sandbar, which is located 20 minutes away from the farm. To get there, you'll have to take a 10-minute drive to the beach, and a 10-minute boat ride to the sandbar proper. There, you'll get to stay in a bamboo floating house, and enjoy a binalot-style lunch. The package costs P3,500 for a maximum of 10 people, and P350 per head for 11 people and above. The lunch costs P600 per head. 

A beach and a farm experience rolled into one? You really get the best of both worlds! 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature You can tour the sandbar in a bamboo raft from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

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Animal Feeding 

You're in luck, animal lovers! Animal feeding at the farm is free for guests. You'll be provided with feed, and will be assisted by a staff member. 

ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

Bonfire and Smores Kit 

What would a camping trip be without a bonfire and smores? Their smores kit costs P400 for two to three people.

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature Each villa has its own bonfire area. PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

Massages 

To really let loose and relax, you can even book massages right in your villa. These only cost P600 per hour. 

Is it worth the stay? 

Ybonita Farm and Villas ticks all the boxes of a solid recharging spot: It's family-friendly, nature-centric, and built for your comfort. For those reasons alone, we say it's a must-book. Not to mention the photogenic interior design and homey, familial vibe that permeates the whole property. 

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ybonita farm and villas exclusive feature PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ybonita Farm and Villas

How to get there? 

It's best if you bring your own vehicle, ideally one optimized for rough roads. The road to farm is rather organic and bumpy, which is an adventure in and of itself. You may request the Google Maps or Waze pin upon booking for convenience. Here's a tip: Turn left once you see Pedro Palacio Memorial School (which is on the left in front of Stilts Calatagan entrance) at Barangay Santa Ana, Calatagan. 

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Take note, though! Ybonita Farm and Villas will officially reopen in January 2022. For now, keep posted via their official Facebook page here

***

This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Realliving.com.ph editors.

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