Saturday, April 1, 2017

New Baguio attraction inspired by world's best gardens


Hidden deep in Benguet Mountains is an outdoor Green Living Room featuring 24 beautiful landscapes inspired by the best gardens in the World.
Each garden has its story to tell: the origin of life is a legend told at the Inca garden, the love story that was torn apart at the Romeo and Juliet garden, the musical garden that rhymes with the wind, and many more.
The Zen garden and concentric garden are places to contemplate and meditate. The favorite of many visitors is the mirror garden where they can have creative photography of themselves.
Aside from the Award winning flowers from All American Selections (AAS), other materials like rocks, twigs, sand, cement, pebbles, even strings and mirrors are artistically used to design the 24 gardens and ponds located inside a 3-hectare mountain resort called Mount Costa.
The clean, crisp and fresh mountain air amidst the sound of tranquility is a glimpse of what Baguio used to be before the hustle and bustle of modern society.
It has 5,500 meters walking trails with paved or graveled horizontal trails and senorita step rises on vertical trails.
Park designer Pat Acosta said “There is a total of 24 gardens initially designed inside the 3-hectare compound.” He said they “pick up the best garden designs and put them in the park for Filipinos to get a taste of the best gardens in the world.”
Some of the designs, however, are their own like the Spectrum Garden designed by her daughter Vita Acosta who finished Fine Arts.
Acosta, a horticulturist said this family property along the Pico-Lamtang Road in La Trinidad was bought in 1978 by their parents Col. Voltaire Acosta and Cleotilde to develop as a strawberry farm. However, due to a virus that plagued the farm, it was discontinued. Sometime in 2015, the Acostas arrived at a notion that will become a game-changer in the tourism landscape of the Cordillera.
The family hoped that this resort located 30 minutes away from Baguio will bloom like the flowers of the Panagbenga Festival. At the moment, only half of it was developed and they are planning to expand to the remaining 3 hectares with more garden designs.
Mount Costa has other amenities like park benches, a playground, clean toilets, food kiosks and picnic tables. With the exception of baby food items, outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the gardens.
“This is a place where one can take all the time they need to stroll and reflect,” said Acosta. However, he said the place is not for the general audience but only for those who really appreciate nature and designs.
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With the soft opening entrance fee of P350.00 that will likely to increase on the grand launching this May, it is indeed not affordable to everyone. But that amount is small to someone who is looking for inspiration and ideas.
“The Green Living Room symbolizes the reuniting as one with Mother Nature with the green advocacy that the family upholds,” said Acosta.
Mount Costa was derived from the owners’ family name and being developed by three generation of Acostas from the Baby boomers to the Generation X and Y.
“Mount Costa serves as Voltaire and Cleotilde’s legacy, perseverance and the very essence of the Cordileras where nature prospers together with nature,” said Acosta.
TheAcostas are cousins of comedian and author Garry Lising.


This article was first published by ABS-CBN News