DOT launches Cavite’s Centers for Fun

EMV Flower Farm in Indang

Cavite, Metro Manila’s next-door neighbor, is synonymous with historic spots related to the 1896 Philippine Revolution and Tagaytay Ridge, regarded as a year-long getaway because of its cool climate.

But beyond history and the panoramic view of the Taal Volcano and Lake, the province boasts of a wide array of destinations which encompasses faith, food, farm, adventure, and nearly everything in between.

The Department of Tourism (DOT), as part of its continuing effort to reboot tourism in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region, recently launched the “Center for Fun” circuits in Cavite.

The initiative, which is part of the DOT’s national Tourism Recovery and Response Plan (TRRP), has also developed similar circuits for the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

DOT Calabarzon Acting Regional Director Marites Castro at Yoki’s Farm in Mendez

According to DOT Calabarzon Acting Regional Director Marites Castro, the “Center for Fun” program streamlines development efforts in coordination with local governments and tourism stakeholders to ensure observance of COVID-19 safety protocols.

She said the DOT regional office and tour operators recently made a simulation tour of the sites in upland Cavite, most of which are farm- and nature-themed establishments which have dining, recreation and accommodation facilities.

In Alfonso, included in the circuit are trailblazing pioneer farm tourism site Sonya’s Garden, and Queen’s Strawberry Farm, which takes pride in its strawberry-themed restaurant and chic boutique lodging.

In Indang town is EMV Flower Farm, a sprawling flower garden with pyramid log cabins, swimming pools and pavilion for special events; and Bounty Harvest Farm, where you can buy healthy agricultural produce, dine al fresco with Pinoy comfort food, or immerse in agrarian living by staying at the bahay kubo-style cottages.

Queen’s Strawberry Farm

Also within the town is Cavite State University, an agriculture-oriented government school which is tapping into countryside-themed educational tours through its Agri Eco Tourism Park.

Encounter a variety of fowls and farm animals up close and personal at Yoki’s Farm and Paradizoo, which are just minutes away from each other in Mendez.

Bite into the rich culinary heritage of the province at Asiong’s Caviteño Restaurant in Bucal, Silang for a taste of heirloom dishes which have been eclipsed by urbanization.

Shut yourself from the outside world at Shambala Silang, a garden yoga retreat, slow food dining outlet, and repository of indigenous and craft from all over the archipelago. Tucked in the town’s interior villages, it recreated the Banaue Rice Terraces with matching authentic Ifugao tribal huts where visitors can stay overnight.

Guests can also visit the parish churches of Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Tanza, Naic, Maragondon, Indang, Silang and Cavite City which have religious and historic significance.

Shambala Silang

Castro said that the DOT Calabarzon program is highlighting the region’s rich culinary traditions in line with the thrust of DOT Secretary Christina Frasco on food tourism and the development of new and alternative attractions.

For a consummate tour, the circuits can also offer the farm-to-table dining, the Green Corridor Initiatives, and sports adventure such as scuba diving which is focused in Batangas.

The DOT also has a broader list of accredited establishments in Cavite, which includes Luntiang Republika in Alfonso, Teofely’s Farm and The Weekend Farmer in Silang, Terraverde Farm in Maragondon, and Farmer’s Table at Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay City.