A look inside the kubo
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Panuluyan Farmstay: Banig & Breakfast, Local Chocolates, and Beautiful Advocacy

Panuluyan Farmstay in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque 

Marinduque has been long known as the destination to witness the annual Moryonan Lenten Rites, and I never knew what else can be found in the quaint but charming province island until the Department of Tourism Region 4B MIMAROPA invited us for a familiarization tour. This tour included a stopover at Panuluyan Farmstay, in the highlands, at the heart of the municipality of Sta. Cruz.

Panuluyan is located in Barangay Masalukot
Panuluyan is located in Barangay Masalukot

The very vision of Panuluyan Farmstay originates from the beautiful word “Panunuluyan” which symbolizes the Filipino culture of coming home, sleeping soundly in a kubo, and just hanging out at home with your loved ones over local home-cooked meals. This is exactly the concept of the place – they want the guests to experience peaceful rustic farm living. The farm features various crops and greens, but what most guests come back to are the chocolates produced using their harvest from the cacao farm. They serve chocolate-infused dishes and drinks!

A look inside the kubo
A look inside the kubo

At present, they are also offering their fantastic version of B&B or Banig and Breakfast. They have huts or the traditional kubo, not cottages, and banig or woven mats instead of mattresses – exactly like a Filipino sleeping essentials before. This is also because they made good use of what’s available around instead of outsourcing. If you can’t sleep without an air conditioner, don’t worry! The cool mountain air will surely lull you to sleep as attested by the other guests. Rates for the Banig & Breakfast start at P1850 for 2 with a free day tour access pass, breakfast, and free use of their amenities.

Cool mountain breeze, come through!
Cool mountain breeze, come through!

In the morning, you’ll wake up to the sound of the wind and birds and the gorgeous view of the mountains with the farm scenery around while indulging in their simple but delicious breakfast featuring their special hot tsokolate.

Take home some of their products
Take home some of their products

More than just a business, Panuluyan is a farmstay with great advocacy. Aside from championing sustainability with their no plastic campaign, they introduced the PANALO sa TATLO AgriTech-Tourism Sustainability model that teaches their partner farmers how to diversify their crops, create products, and finally have their own Panuluyan and host a farmstay on their own cacao or abaca farms which can help them earn more. It’s awe-inspiring how some of them eventually learned how to make chocolates, even innovate recipes, and take advantage of what the farm can bring.

Everything’s irresistibly so good!
Everything’s irresistibly so good!

After the orientation upon our arrival, we got a tasting tray filled with some of Panuluyan Farmstay’s specialties, such as the Choco Leche Flan, a piece of their chocolates, and Marinduque’s pride arrowroot cookie dipped in chocolate.

How To Go To Panuluyan Farmstay

Aboard a private vehicle, we reached it after an hour guided by maps online. We were booked with Dream Favor Travel and Tours and experienced a hassle-free trip. This is the easiest option because getting on public transportation may take too long as they will wait for the vehicles to be filled with passengers before going.

Panuluyan Farmstay’s pretty gazebo
Panuluyan Farmstay’s pretty gazebo

Although tedious, DIY trips are absolutely possible! If you are coming straight from the Balanacan Port, ride the jeepney that will pass by the municipality of Sta. Cruz. Travel time is more or less an hour. Then, ask the driver’s assistance to drop you off downtown and then hail a tricycle to take you to Panuluyan Farmstay. Travel time is more or less 15 minutes. Jeepney fare is roughly about P50-100, and the tricycle will most likely be around P200 per way, or it may also depend on how well you can haggle.

Day tour at Panuluyan Farmstay

If you’re pressed for time, you can also go on a day tour for an entrance fee of only P75 on weekdays and P100 on weekends and holidays. Kids aged 7 and below are 50% off the adult rates. This access allows you to use the Panuluyan huts with no limit, visit the Azotea Eatery and try their chocolate-infused dishes, enjoy the gorgeous views, and roam around the whole farmstay.

Hapag-kainan’ at Panuluyan Farmstay is exactly like a Filipino home’s dining area
Hapag-kainan’ at Panuluyan Farmstay is exactly like a Filipino home’s dining area

Personally, I’d go back here to have an overnight stay, enjoy the view for a longer time, and try the ‘hilik-himbing’ formula using the kubo and banig for sleeping that they’ve been taking pride in!

Panuluyan Farmstay

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Written by Desa Tayting

Desa Tayting is a 20-something freelance writer and social media manager based in Manila. She tells stories through words and photos as fueled by coffee and travels.

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