Santa Elena (2) and San Benito Farm

Monday 13/11

I don’t join the rest of the family for a walk on the beautiful golf course (closed on Mondays).

I eventually manage to post the 2 first days of our stay in… Japan (with one-month delay!).

We had a great lunch, outside. Big prawns and beautiful fish (lapolapo) displayed on banana leaves (burnt to remove insects), with rice and mangoes. Definitely one of the best meals of the trip! The whole family enjoys, especially the kids who can eat with their fingers!

Isabelle and I leave to San Benito farm, an organic farm located one hour from Miguel and Adeline’s place. The driver brings us there; it’s so convenient to have Miguel’s driver at our ‘disposal’.

Adeline book this one-night stay at the Farm long time ago. She has been talking so much about this place that we are very impatient to discover it. It will be the first night of the trip that we sleep in a different place than the kids (after 120 days).

The Farm at San Benito ( is a holistic wellness destination. On their website, they say “Embark on a rejuvenating journey in this private paradise and allow nature to heal your mind, body, and spirit”. A whole programme… Resting in a lush tropical jungle, The Farm is a unique wellness resort. They organize medically-guided detox procedures to yoga retreats and have great vegan cuisine.

We get a nice private “hut” (with the bathroom downstairs).

We take a tour of the resort. We start with the afternoon tea. Very peaceful place. Very quiet. Maybe “too” quiet as Isabelle says… We don’t know which treatment to choose from the exhaustive list. I wanted to try the acupuncture but their acupuncturist is on leave. Adeline and Miguel said that good massages can be done anywhere in the Philippines and that we should try something else.

We decide to take the extensive 3-hour hydrotherapy programme, in the brand new ‘Aqua Sanctuary’. We both have a therapist following us through different “stations”: saunas (wet and dry), steam bath, ice cold (bucket) shower, pressurized showers, Vichy shower, floatation ‘caisson’ in salt water… Then in the outside pool (nice setting: dark outside, blue water of the swimming pool and fire outside): Japanese onsen (40C) then jacuzzi, then hot and cold basins for the feet. The programme concludes with a (warm) foot massage and a neck massage by the therapist. Great experience, from 5pm to 8:30pm.

After a shower (with plenty of coconut oil), we go to eat. Isabelle takes a vegetable curry while I eat a salad (only salad leaves and 3-4 carrot pieces). Very light… I also drink a good Omega juice. We eat in silence…. maybe to enjoy the peacefulness of the place…


Tuesday 14/11

Isabelle wakes up early to attend the yoga class at 6am.

I feel weak; I didn’t sleep well. I continue sleeping.

At 7:30am we go to a meditation class; the setting is beautiful. I’m not sure I understand everything though…

We go to the breakfast, which is healthy but copious.

I go back to sleep till the check-out time (noon). I don’t feel well.

We put our bags at the reception and go to relax at one of the swimming pools. I read a bit; I still have to finish one of the 2 ‘WE DEMAIN’ magazines that I’ve been carrying since we left in July… Great magazine by the way! I’ll definitely subscribe when we’re back in Belgium.

At 3pm we go and attend a vegan cuisine class. First a vinaigrette, then a cheese sauce and then an ice cream (chocolate is very good and the texture is great). Everything with only vegan (and natural of course) products. Impressive!

The driver comes and picks us up at 4pm. It takes us more than 2 hours to come back home (including 45′ to do 2km at the toll).

Diner is ready when we arrive. We listen to what the kids have done during our absence. Among others, Nala gave them a mandala workshop and Adeline did a homework session with them. Thanks, it’s great! It’s also great to hear positive comments about our kids (including education); we feel proud.

I go to bed very early (before 9pm).

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