Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Ranch Resort

Following the huge number of visitors coming to the bee farm, my brother Clifford and I decided to open a small guesthouse with some swimming pools where guests can relax and unwind from the trip and the tour. The concept was to make a ranch type dwelling with open-air lobby, restaurant and cafe. We couldn't agree between the two of us on one type of structure so we compromised and built what we both individually liked. Architect Rey Bunye sewed the buildings together into one cohesive structure which turned out gorgeous! We named it The Ranch Resort.

 The Facade

The Ranch Resort now has a main swimming pool and a children's pool. Being built is a crazy river pool, splash pool and a pirate's pool.

 The Main Pool

Children's Pool

We have opened twelve rooms for our guests. The rooms are designed in contemporary style with details on american western influence. Six of the bedrooms are in standard size, four in superior size and two in deluxe size. 

Superior Room

Superior Room Toilet and Bath

We call the Resort's Cafe, The Red Rooster since most of the details have farm chicken details. This is a air-conditioned room where guests can have breakfast and coffee. The interiors are done in French Provencal style with an admix of old-Cebu furniture.
Red Rooster Cafe

Red Rooster Cafe

Red Rooster Cafe

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Gaite Ranch Bee Farm, Toledo City Cebu


The Gaite Ranch Bee Farm
The Farm
I grew up in a city; not in one of those big, urban, and incredibly-hectic cities but in one of those quiet, laid-back, and historic ones. Our house was just a block away from the Plaza Mayor; quite close to the hub of the City’s daily activities. While living in the city center had its perks, it too had some disadvantages. One of them was that we were so far from the nearest farm. So I grew up not knowing how the rice that we eat everyday come into being. I was ignorant of the fact that there is a planting season for crops like corn.

Our Organic Honey 
In my 30’s, I inherited a substantial agricultural property from my family.  I didn’t quite know what to do with it. I was then living in a highly urbanizes city and had a successful medical practice and the farm was a couple of hours drive away. I tried my luck and became a weekend farmer. First I started planting corn. In no time, I had a bountiful harvest of premium yellow-golden grains. But I found out that I couldn’t sell the grains because the market price was way below my production cost. So I said to myself, why don’t I raise pigs since pigs eat corn.

Hand-made soap with honey
 Before the first year ended, I had in my hands 16 of the cutest and pinkest of piglets squealing their lungs out. I was happy. I was happy before I found out that I could not sell my pigs because the market price was again lower than the production cost. So I decided to keep the piglets and turn them into breeders. In a few months time, they were eating 5 sacks of feeds a day and with such food come such manure. So I told myself that the manure would make such rich fertilizer to a garden. And foolishly, I sat off the make a beautiful garden.

Bee on a flower
 I spent the next years planting my dream garden. It was not easy. The farm used to be a rice paddy and had clay soil. Clay holds to water when wet and turns into a rock-hard material when dry.  I had to dig deep and wide to replace the clay with porous soil and of course the manure. And when it was finished, I sat down on the terrace and looked out onto the beautiful flowers blooming in all shape and size. I was in awe! I told myself what a beautiful sight it would have been if there were birds and bees hovering around the bloom. It did not take me a week to find myself hammering into shape a Langstroth Beehive. And this you might say is where our adventure with the bee begins.
Premium Rose-scented hand-made soap

Our beehives

Our bee-friendly garden

Peacock at the farm

Me and Maggie Donan resting after a trail ride.

The Gaite Ranch Bee Farm can organize a trail ride.
Sundrop flowers are a favorite.
Me on my arabian horse.

Orchids at the garden

The Gaite Ranch Bee Farm gives organic eggs
to indigent members of the community.

Imported gamecocks in the farm
 Eclectus roratus breeding program

Leeah the chihuahua

An owl

A Molluccan Cockatoo