Picture this: you’re atop a hill overlooking the city, and right below you is terrace upon terrace of flowers and all sorts of gorgeous greenery.
All around you nature seems to present itself perfectly– impeccably landscaped and dare I say it– Instagram-worthy. This scene feels like it couldn’t get any better but it does, right after you sip your warm cup of coffee, sit back in your curtained cabana and watch the sun set behind the mountains.
Now pop that pretty picture bubble in your head and make it a reality at Terrazas de Flores!
Terrazas de Flores is a relatively new botanical garden located in Sitio Tiguib, Brgy. Malubog (just a bit further than La Tegola Busay) and is literally what its Spanish name says: terraces of flowers. This beautiful garden features row upon descending row of vibrant local flowering plants and bushes, covering the hillside like a lush green tapestry. It is exquisite, breathtaking and relaxing- and just about every other compliment you could think of.
Entrance to Terrazas comes at an affordable Php75 per head, and renting a pretty little cabana (that can easily seat 7 people) comes at just Php100/hour. There’s free seating at the cafe however, with more seats in the upper areas near the comfort rooms. We didn’t buy anything from the cafe when we were there, but it looked like they sell a few snacks (ring cakes, empanadas and drinks) and I think they now have rice meals.
It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind, escape the troubles of city life and take in nature’s goodness. For students and nature enthusiasts, it’s a great way to learn more about the local flora as each plant in Terrazas comes with its own label, made possible in partnership with the Biology Department of the University of San Carlos.
Of course it’s also the perfect place to take pictures, which is exactly what we did!
A small group of photography enthusiasts from my company invited me to (ahem) model for them in this informal little shoot. As you can probably tell from the results, Terrazas is no doubt THE place to have your photo shoots, be it for debuts or prenups.
Professional photo shoots can be done at Terrazas for a fee of Php1,500, which is actually relatively cheaper compared to other venues.
Apart from the fairly reasonable pricing and of course, the beauty and variety of backdrops you’ll find at Terrazas, one other reason that I think Terrazas is the perfect place for photo shoots is… their comfort room.
Now some of you may be going “wha–?” but ladies, you know what I’m talking about. During photo shoots changing into different outfits in a snap and getting your hair and makeup done can be stressful, and they can be even more stressful when done in a dark, dank, tiny restroom. At Terrazas, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Their comfort room is quite spacious with several hooks for clothes and things, a medium-sized ottoman for more storage and seating, and reasonably spacious sink space with an outlet for hair blowers, flat irons, etc. It’s also very clean (the cleaning lady was always keen to keep it that way, I salute you cleaning lady!) and well-decorated too.
For those who are 4-wheel challenged, transportation comes at Php100/head on habal-habal (one-way). For those who aren’t 4-wheel challenged, parking spaces are available on two levels inside Terrazas: right as you enter the gate and further up the terraces.
Some tips for when you go:
- Go on a sunny day! Apart from making sure you go during business hours (Terrazas is open every day from 9am to 8pm), you should make sure to check the weather forecast and schedule your visit on a sunny day. It would be a bummer to go and not be able to get near the pretty flowers because of a little precipitation.
- Bring a powerful car. Of course, climbing to Busay already necessitates that you bring a powerful car, but parking inside Terrazas might require a little extra power. The climb is steeper compared to that on the main road, but is manageable. If you have an SUV, 4×4 or a multicab it shouldn’t be a problem. If not, you can always just park outside the Terrazas gates, by the roadside (I’ve been informed that the owner is currently negotiating with neighbors to establish more parking spaces near the road).
- Prepare to climb. You can’t have terraces without stairs, and at Terrazas there are plenty. If you’ve got a bad knee or are averse to climbing lots of stairs, then you better have a powerful car so you can park in the upper level parking area. It’s much closer to the cafe and midway through the terraces, saving you from most of the stair-climbing.
- Bring mosquito repellent, especially if you’re planning to stay past sunset. These are bukid areas, so there will be mosquitoes.
- Take lots of pictures! There are so many ways you can capture the beauty of this place with your camera. You can go up close on the pretty flowers and plants, take a selfie, or go wide and capture the view from the top.
- Last but certainly not the least, be careful and kind to your green friends! This garden took EIGHT YEARS of hard work to complete. Don’t let those years go to waste by carelessly plucking flowers and trampling on the little bushes.
That’s about all the advice I can give. Hope you enjoy your visit as much as my co-workers and I did!
*Special thanks to Terrazas de Flores for being very generous with us, and to my amazing photographer friends (make sure you check out their amazing work!), Vincent Aycardo, Maria Janessa Batoctoy Doroon, Jowie Joellyn Vi Ti, Marc Christian and Joshua Glenn Nacilla Paldo.