Saturday, April 14, 2012

Overwhelmed at Yoki's Farm

When my aunt said she's going to bring us to a nearby farm, I had low expectations. I knew there's going to be lettuce, mushrooms and other produce plus a big buddha but I didn't find that all too impressive.

Kuya made me do this. He was too enthusiastic so I obliged.

The mushrooms aren't ready but I started getting excited when I saw rows of lettuce of different types.

I was so surprised when Manong, our very accommodating tour guide/photographer/art director, pointed out the blackberry tree. Once I tasted it, I was sold. It was my first time.

Rosemary, basil, oregano and friends were abundant. I wanted to bring home pots but  it was too much of a hassle.

 Aside from veggies and herbs, Yoki's also has a "Bird Area" where they keep peacocks, macaws, love birds and cockatoos among others.

But perhaps the finally of the tour is this expansive collection of statues, artifacts and other fascinating trinkets from all over the world. It's amazing. Usually

Another cheesy/tourist-y shot with me and my sister directed by Kuya. That's said to be the biggest buddha in the country.

Tourists are normally not allowed beyond an enclosed area behind the big buddha but Kuya is friendly with my aunt so he gave us full access to the owners' jaw-dropping collection.

I was seriously in awe the entire time. It's amazing how they acquired this much cultural treasure from all over the world. There's India, there's Europe, there's Egypt, there's China. Imagine the logistics!

Old pool tables serve as pedestals to the pièce de résistance. That replica of a ship is said to be made of jade. Those small white balls which are supposed to depict water are actually roll-on balls from a factory that the owners had.

Kuya is responsible for the arrangement and the up-keep of this area. He says it's a work in progress. It was obvious how much he loves what he's doing. He happily snapped our photos and was very chatty. He also couldn't gush more about the owners, who, he says are very kind to them.

This place practically holds the story of the world. On one corner are religious images, on the other are old computers and typewriters.

In a separate building are the family's old books and photographs. In the same room are also awards and plaques of recognition for their philanthropy. Kuya did not want to divulge much about the family but he says they are of Chinese descent.

What seemed to be an ordinary trip to a farm felt like an inspiring immersion down a rich, storied cultural path. It's safe to say Yoki's Farm is like no other.

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