Agape Springs

Part 1 of pics from a trip to the Philippines.
First stop, Agape Springs Farm and Resthouse, in Dasmarinas, Cavite.  What an amazing start to a wonderful trip to the motherland!
These are iPhone photos (not great, but better than a stick in the eye)!  
Serene, lovely, dramatic.  Conducive to inner reflection, awareness, and relaxation while exploring the wonders of a tropical landscape.  It's a nature preserve on about 30 acres, blessed with wildlife and blazing colors, soft breezes and amazing light.  If I sound like a documentary narrator, it's because the landscape was that mesmerizing.  I'm not English so I won't even attempt that dry, understated way of describing the grandiose.  I literally marvelled my way up one side and down the other of the small area I managed to view in two days.
One of the thousands of astonishing plants on the farm, these Jade Vines are relatively rare and difficult to propagate.  Like something out of a dream, "exotic" is an understatement for these enormous, breathtaking blooms. 
It's a mango tree, and it's over a hundred years old!  This giant is affectionately named after a folk hero some consider the Philippine "Robin Hood".  Brings to mind a certain tree inhabited by blue people…

Graceful stone terraces pay homage to the Banaue Rice Terraces near the family's hometown of Baguio City.  The Igorot/Ifugao (a general term for the many tribes indigenous to the Mountain (Cordilleran) Provinces) are revered for their many skills, among them stonework and terrace construction, using no mortar and minimal tools.  The spaces they've constructed around the farm are a testament to and reminder of the enduring spirit and tradition of the Cordilleran indigenous peoples. 

Dappled light falls across these stones, lending an air of leafy mystery.  Add trees rustling in the breeze and rain tapping gently on water and stone, it's nothing short of magical.  This is Eden in the 21st century, trying to hold its ground against infringement, development, and the modern disdain for conservation and cultural preservation.
Hard to believe we got off a 16-hour flight and did this magical mystery walking tour!

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