Nueva Vizcaya is known for its heart-pumping tourist attractions. There’s spelunking at the Aglipay Caves, whitewater rafting at Governor’s Rapids, and soaring through the air with Nueva Vizcaya Paragliding while enjoying its cool climate.
If you feel like catching your breath and slowing time down, make sure to visit Macababbad’s Orchidarium, Cacao, and Coffee Farm.
This two-hectare property in Bayombong has been transformed into an orchid garden with resort-like landscaping and amenities in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, a few minutes’ ride from the paragliding village of Tiblac, in the town of Ambaguio.
There is a fountain and a gazebo, rows of orchids from around the world, and a patio to sit on and admire the view. Nearby, a farm grows its own cacao and coffee.
Named after the family who owns it, it is managed by Sophia Macababbad Garrucho. She and her nine siblings inherited the property after their parents passed away. At the time, they all lived in the US but Garrucho was the only one who flew back home to tend to the farm.
Many of the facilities were built to entertain her family when they visit and even prolong their stay. For example, the bakery was constructed so her siblings could make pastries. A sibling likes orchids, so Garrucho expanded the farm’s collection.
Thousands of blooms
Today, there are 6,000 orchids on the farm. Half are vanda orchids, which produce beautiful blooms, while the rest are a mix of other genera.
The orchids are purchased from all over the world. Garrucho, who used to travel twice a year, would buy over a hundred orchids to bring back home. Hobbyists will recognize popular genera such as phalaenopsis, dancing-lady, and dendrobium.
Apart from orchids, the Macababbad Farm also grows dragonfruit, lanzones, passionfruit, durian, longan, bananas, calamansi (Philippine lime), and rambutan. They sell their produce at more affordable prices.
A cacao and coffee haven
The Macababbad farm is home to the Nueva Vizcaya Cacao Growers Association, and they have also partnered with a Belgian company to improve the quality of their chocolates.
There are 1,000 cacao plants, and the tablea grown here is turned into hot chocolate and included in the piaya (unleavened flatbread) that they serve to guests. According to Garrucho, they are learning to make cakes and other confections as well.
There are also 500 coffee plants, which the farm processes, serves, and sells to guests. They take pride in their homegrown blend, a mix of robusta coffee beans and hazelnut.
Macababbad’s hot chocolate and coffee are so in demand that there’s not enough supply to bring to Manila. A guest once bought 20 bags, while a local official usually buys six to 10. If you want to try these out, you have to visit the farm. Prices are competitive: a 250-gram bag of coffee costs PHP 150 (USD 2.98).
Even their pastries are sought-after: guests sometimes drive by to purchase piaya to bring back home. One time, a guest bought 500 pieces. Another time, a customer bought 1,000 pieces of hopia (a flaky pastry with a filling).
Macababbad’s Orchidarium, Cacao, and Coffee Farm provides the balance for the high-adrenaline activities in Nueva Vizcaya. After days of exploring the land, waters, and air of the province, there’s nothing like biting into a freshly-made piaya, dipping it in hot chocolate, and breathing in the aroma of orchids.
Macababbad’s Orchidarium, Cacao, and Coffee Farm
Purok Tres, Busilac, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Opening hours: 8AM – 4PM
Contact Number: +63 935 432 1783
Entrance fee: PHP 50 (USD 0.99), which comes with hot chocolate or coffee, piaya, pan de sal (bread roll), and hopia
How to get there: Macababbad’s Orchidarium, Cacao, and Coffee Farm can be accessed through a private or public vehicle since it is located along a highway.
Outsource the Planning
For a seamless trip, you may leave the planning to DOT’s accredited tour operators in Nueva Vizcaya:
- Travelesque Tours
+639 (078) 430 0147 / +63917 673 1031 / +63926 776 6869
Macababbad’s Orchidarium, Cacao, and Coffee Farm is part of the tourism circuit Feel the Vibe Vizcaya!
Tourist destinations in Nueva Vizcaya are ready for local travelers! Guests are required to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and regularly wash hands before dining in. These places have sanitary and contact tracing procedures such as registration and temperature check at the reception and using alcohol to sanitize hands before entering the premises. To know more about Nueva Vizcaya, visit https://nuevavizcaya.gov.ph/..
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.