When in Manila, we are fond of celebrating special milestones in our lives and turning it to a momentous occasion. Its overwhelming success greatly depends on finding the perfect venue that will create such enchanting moments.
In my pursuit of happiness, I came across Hacienda Isabella. It may not be the easiest place to find, tucked in the off-beaten part of Carasuchi, Indang Cavite but this hidden gem is very well worth discovering. There is something about the rustic charm of countryside living that never fails to fascinate our senses.
The Hacienda is owned and built by the country’s “Pop Diva” Ms. Kuh Ledesma. It was named after her daughter and only heiress Isabella, who likewise shares her passion and love for music.
What used to be a small five bedroom farmhouse and coffee plantation became a topnotch dream garden wedding destination and ideal venue for retreats, team buildings, photo-shoots and intimate parties. Ms. Ledesma saw its business potential when a friend TV Personality Apa Ongpin held the first wedding at the garden. It was immediately followed by numerous inquiries for possible future bookings.
You’ll know it was designed with love as you look at each intricate details. Entering the main gate of this elegant white house, one is greeted by this unlacquered wooden antique door, whitewashed walls, cement floors. It screams vintage time-worn effect and the rusticity quickly engulfs you to a different time and era.
The high ceiling boasts of antique chandeliers
An array of heirloom decors like lamp shades, paintings, frames, trunks and chests were sourced abroad from various flea markets in Los Angeles where the pop diva had lived for six years.
No local nor foreign interior designers involved here. All that was needed to make the hacienda as tastefully picturesque as possible was Ms. Ledesma’s ingenuity and artistic talent. The beauty of the place radiates through her deepest expression of heart and soul. Balinese and Filipino antiques became the overall theme.
Better reserve this table by the gorgeous fireplace! It has been the perfect backdrop for many gorgeous celebrity weddings! To name a few, there’s TV host/blogger Patty Laurel, actress/beauty queen Precious Lara Quigaman, ABS-CBN’s newscaster Nadia Trinidad, Chef Luigi Muhlach, fashion models Anna Lloren and Sarah Meier.
“This property is huge!” quoting Ms. Kris Aquino, the Queen of Talk when she featured Hacienda Isabella on her show Kris TV. And true to her words, it is a vast 4.5 hectare piece of property were talking about.
It was here in the expansive lawn that I saw Ms. Kuh ledesma right in the flesh. She was sporting a crisp white polo, jeans and scarf used as a headpiece ( a typical haciendera-in-the-south look). She was very hands on when it comes to the upkeep of the place. I later on realized that I totally forgot to snap a souvenir photo with her.
Through word of mouth, news about the picturesque hacienda had spread. Soon enough, it became the favorite venue for TV shows, telenovelas and movies. The very first TV show shot in the hacienda was GMA 7′s “Now and Forever” which stars Sheryl Cruz and Zoren Legaspi. It was later followed by Vice Ganda’s movie “Petrang Kabayo”, a Filipino remake comedy film.
During my visit, a location shoot was being held. It was for GMA7’s “Mundo Mo’y Akin” (a prime time drama series currently being aired ) which stars Angelika Cruz, Jolina Magdangal and Gabby Eigenmann. Action takes place at the pool area ( this explains why I have no pictures of the pool and the gorgeous stunning veranda beside it )
The hacienda also caters to intimate lunches/dinners for couples, families and friends. Reservations is a must as the place offers exclusivity for special events and photo-shoots.
One may opt to dine alfresco amidst the lush gardens or inside the elegant white house complete with all the elaborate table settings.
While our dinner was being prepared, as to while away time, the friendly servers advised us to have a tour of the place first.
Every nook, every angle I lay my eyes upon instantly lures and entices my love for the place.
No details were overlooked. All the designs just perfectly falls right into place.
Currently, the hacienda has 53 guest rooms and 12 buildings for guests seeking to stay overnight after such extravagant joyous occasions. Close friends and family can stay over and make the wedding an overnight affair.
At 6 pm, I was blown away by the romantic candle light dinner set-up
Kudos to the very attentive server, it was like having a personal butler that will cater to your every whim and fancy. Dishes may be refilled upon request and lemonade drinks are bottomless.
The set menu costs P700/head. Here’s a complimentary basket of toasted garlic bread for starters.
A hearty serving of warm pumpkin soup
Healthy greens are up next! Romaine and iceberg lettuce with generous servings of raisins, apple slices, mango cubes, walnut bits, corn kernels, and parmesan cheese. Choose from caesar or vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar + olive oil) dressings
Then there’s Pasta Amatriciana ( with all the goodness of meat and hotdog bits) and Pasta with Tinapa Sauce. Mind you, servings are huge!
As if we weren’t full enough, a platter of roasted herbed chicken was also served.
For dessert, there’s camote fries. You could also ask for coffee and tea afterwards while capping the night.
When in Manila, make your evening dinners as enchanting as this!