A secret garden lies somewhere least expected. We’ve read about that in books and watched it in movies. In terms of Philippine travel, one may think about another secret garden near Tagaytay City — the former Sonya’s Secret Garden. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Recently, we discovered a Secret Garden at the most unexpected time and in an unexpected place — Novaliches, Quezon City.
Quietly tucked in one corner of a subdivision somewhere in Novaliches (not in the Caloocan side, but in Quezon City) is a “Secret Garden”. We’ve passed this way many times and we’ve seen the place featured in GMA7‘s Unang Hirit. Yet we never had the urge to drop by, that is, until tonight.
We arrived at a little past 7 pm and except the light of the carriage at the entrance, the place was dark and we thought it’s already closed. It was indeed closed and we took hesitant steps towards the carriage, checking if Cinderella is asleep in her pumpkin-turned-carriage or if the wretched stepmother would shoo us away. We didn’t see any of them, although it’s not difficult for one’s mind to wander when confronted with such a garden oasis in the middle of the bustling Metro. Instead, we were met by the warm and gracious owners who welcomed us into the place, flicked on the lights and showed us the nooks and crannies of the place (thanks to the De Guzman couple). I must say it was a surprise. The moment the lights came on, the place came alive.
The brochure summarizes the experience:
In the bustling town of Novaliches lies an enclave that aims to soothe your body, calm your senses and renew your spirit. The Secret Garden offers majestic venues, recreational activities, comfortable rooms, catering services and delicious food from the Cave Resto.
All these pleasures are conveniently accessible in less than an hour drive from the outskirts of Metro Manila.
Unlock the desire to experience the best things life has to offer. We are committed to serve you at the SECRET GARDEN.
There are a number of function areas, big enough for a marriage ceremony, debuts, birthday celebrations and other occasions. Rates are really reasonable, as compared to, say, Fernwood or Gazebo Royale.
A photo shows the function area just below the Cave Room and adjacent to another function area at the swimming pool. A stage could be set-up over the swimming pool for a unique wedding setting. Of course, the swimming pool could very well be used for what it’s intended — swimming (how much for use of the swimming pool? free for guests and P250 per head for the rest).
There are also a number of rooms available for those who wish to stay here. We understand some have decided to spend the honeymoon in the Master’s Bedroom, at the second floor of the main building. This is economical and logical, so the newly-weds could rest right away after the wedding ceremonies and reception. There’s a Cave Room for the more adventurous.
How to get there? Discussing the directions to Secret Garden is really tricky, which is probably the reason why it’s called the Secret Garden. If you’re at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, one of the access roads is Mindanao Avenue (sandwiched by McDonald’s and the Veteran’s Hospital/Golf Course). Near the end of Mindanao Avenue is the intersection with Quirino Highway (before that, the intersections with Congressional Ave. then Tandang Sora). Turn right at Quirino Ave. then just go straight, way past Channel 5. Turn left at Gen. Luis Street and when you see Shell Gas Station to the right, turn right at the arc/entrance of T.S. Cruz Subdivision (if you’ve reached the old compound of Motolite or the Flying V Gas Station, you’ve missed the entrance by around 300 meters). Just go straight after entering the subdivision, then look for this specific address: Lot 7-12 Block 10 Seiko Street, Interville 3, Novaliches, Quezon City. Or you could ask for directions once inside the subdivision. Have plenty of patience and treat this as an interesting hunting expedition. It is, after all, a secret garden.