I climbed up the incline, up a series of steps, way past villas fenced with ornamental plants and flowering bushes. At the end of a pebbled pathway, I was amazed at what I saw: a beautiful thatched roof villa with white walls surrounded by a garden. It’s interior peeking through the transparent facade.
From where I was, the path led to a pond populated with water cabbages and fishes and one has to step on the series of rocks strategically placed one after the other in order to reach the veranda and into the villa. With the sprawling garden, trees around and a quite and windy place, I was home.
There’s a lot to love in Tahanan, a secluded space at the highest portion of Pulang Lupa, a posh hilltop residential enclave a few minutes from Diniwid Beach. It’s villa is hemmed in with greenery and woodland while an aquaponics garden provide fresh organic garden salad plants. It’s where one gets close to nature with several bird species calling out during the day and crickets sing during the night. And at times, don’t be surprised as nature’s denizens can visit you anytime.
The villa has ample amenities. It has a fully functioning kitchen and refrigerator so that you can cook and stock. A spacious living room with cozy sofas. A comfortable queen sized bed with soft pillows and a stylish netting to keep mosquitoes at bay. It also has a washroom and the toilet has a tub. Add in a functional wifi and I can stay here for weeks on end.
What do I like about the place? It’s the tranquility and privacy, the back-to-nature setting in a beautiful modern Asian architecture that is in tune with the environment: well ventilated, open but still provides privacy in areas that need to be private. And, most of all, if I want to dine and have fun in the more boisterous White Beach, it’s just a short ride away. If I want a secluded beach with less people, I can just walk to Diniwid Cove or take another but shorter ride to Puka Beach.
Although I stayed alone here for four nights, the gardener was present everyday tending to the growing salad garden. From time to time, the cleaning lady comes to clean the villa, make the bed and tidy up the place.
Just to manage expectations, Tahanan is around 5 minutes climb up a hill from the main road to Diniwid over a well maintained pathway that initially starts as a series of steps in the first minute then segues to a leisurely slope covered with vegetation that makes it a pleasing stroll. It passes other beautiful villas with gardens along the way. This little inconvenience is nothing compared to my actual experience which was really great. The stunning intricately carved door from another property along the way is a must see!
To reach Tahanan from the Cagban Jetty, it’s advisable to hire a tricycle to Diniwid. Depending on your negotiation skills, it may cost you from P150 up. Always coordinate first with the property so that someone can meet and assist you in Diniwid. If you are coming from White Beach, you can hire a tricycle (P100) or wait for a ride with other passengers (P15-20).
There are local eateries and a few restaurants at the Diniwid road or at the beachfront. However, if you’re fond of cooking, buy groceries and stock up.
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