27 January 2019
The morning after our Tagaytay overnight trip, we drove straight to Nuvali Park where my other relatives were waiting for us. They had organised for us to spend the day with them at a fun farm for kids. Before parting ways with my other family, we took some time to see what Nuvali Park had to offer. One of the activities available was fish feeding. For P20 (less than 50 cents AUD), you could purchase a bag of fish food to feed the thousands of koi fish that lived in the manmade lake. As soon as I dispersed some feed in the water, a once timid school of koi turned into a chaotic swarm of orange, white, black and yellow creatures, swimming on top of each other, fighting over the round pellets that had barely touched the surface. It was mesmerising to watch. Maddy was less than generous with her feeds, dropping one pellets at a time.
The Fun Farm
Half an hour away from Nuvali was the Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate. Within its grounds was The Fun Farm, an outdoor playground for kids. Day rate for visitors was P400 ($12AUD) and children under 2 were free. The first thing I noticed was the lush green surroundings. Trees were everywhere shading every part of the farm. Curated gardens lined the paths that led us to the picnic table area. We tucked in to our food of takeaway pasta, chicken and pizza. Maddy happily ate spaghetti on her own sitting next to her cousin Amerys who was doing the same.
With our bellies full, it was time to explore the farm. My cousin Ronald, his wife Dea and their daughter were happy to lead the way. First stop was the animal farm where a group of turkeys roam free. One enclosure contained a number of white ducks, lazing about. “Those are wild bush pigs,” I let Maddy know pointing to the creatures within another enclosure.
Passing by some cows enjoying the shade under the trees, we met a pony and his pony ride operator. Amerys was quick to jump onto the young horse without hesitation as she was pulled along and around the track. Maddy wanted her turn. I could tell she was a little nervous at first but she grabbed on the saddle tight, gave me a smile and she was off with the pony. Wifey and I followed close by.
“Can I climb?” Maddy asked, looking up at the three-metre high rope climb obstacle in front of her. “Only for big kids,” I said yet it didn’t stop her from trying. To my surprise, she ended up three quarters of the way up (with me behind her of course). She wasn’t sure how to get down. “Use your foot to find the rope,” I instructed and she managed to get down safely without my help at all.
There was a long queue at the zipline station. The actual zip line was not particularly long or high and I could see little kids jumping out without fear. Amerys and her mom was going to do it. I asked the operator for the age limit. “Minimum 2 years old”. Wow, I thought to myself. I wasn’t so sure if Maddy would be up to it. “Do you want to go on the zipline?” Maddy replied, “Yes”.
As the harness was being put on both of us, I looked at Maddy and she seemed calm. I was feeling more nervous than her. It was finally our turn and as we were being connected to the rope line, Maddy was having a changed of heart. “I want to be with daddy!” she said nervously but I assured her it was ok by holding her hand and before we could even count to three we were pushed out of the treehouse. Maddy and I were airborne! I looked at her and she was quiet, holding firmly on the rope attached to her hips. Such a brave girl, I thought to myself. Upon reaching the end, we were pulled back again towards the middle of the line and we were once again zipping down. I let go of the rope to show Maddy it was ok to do so and she did the same. I couldn’t have been more prouder of her at that moment.
Fresh from thrill rides, we took it down a notch and headed to the playground. All of the equipments were made from wood and other recycled materials like rope and old tyres. Maddy enjoyed pretending to drive an old broken down truck. Oli had no problem just being carried around looking all cute.
The last section of the park we visited was the row boat. One at at time, we carefully stepped into the wobbly boat. As soon as we got our bearings straight, we paddled around the miniature lake. It took a few tries before we had perfected our rowing rhythm.
A day at The Fun Farm was definitely one of the highlights of our Philippines trip. Not only did the farm’s activity catered for younger kids like Maddy, it also brought us closer to nature. I would definitely go back and recommend the place to other families with young children.