My Mother’s Garden
Back in the corners of Zamora Street in Pasay, there stands a peculiar house that seems to be a secret paradise known only to those who explore the tight streets of the city. For our 7th anniversary, Dio and I took a wild swing and went to this peculiar place to see what the internet hype is all about.
It was a random trip. We were debating on how to celebrate such an occasion, trying to figure out if the best way to go is for a trip out of town, or to stay in a fabulous hotel that we may only see once. With such enthusiasm, we logged onto the internet, searching for places here and there. As I typed “Secrets of Pasay”, I browsed through pages on Google to see a post on a Secret Garden located just a couple of blocks away from my house. I researched on this, further establishing an interest in both me and Dio on this place. And as the dawn nears our anniversary date, we decided to march onto this lovely abode.
We rode a tricycle, just saying “to Zamora, please”, unknown if this street is a long stretch to where we actually wanted to go to. Off we went, and discovered a moss-covered gate with trees sprouting out despite the midst of buildings and pollution sprouting from all inches of the city. We did not know if it was the right place as it just looked like a house owned by some fancy millionaire, hiding from judgmental eyes.
We knocked on the large gate, and a kind-looking woman opened it for us. She welcomed us with a smile and asked, “Are you here for the secret garden?”. Dio and I, with our dumbfounded look, smiled and nodded. We followed her to a short path made out of bricks, into an opening resembling that of a fancy restaurant somewhere else – not in Pasay. We looked at each other and thought, “This must be it”.
The kind woman asked us where we wanted to be seated, and we noticed that there were no other people there. It was definitely a secret to everyone else except to those who had been there. How or who found out about the place first is in itself a secret.
Dio and I sat down, observing the entire architecture of the place. It provoked us to think how such a building came into an existence, knowing that there is a plaque outside of their main door saying that it was built by one of the Philippine’s National Artists.
As we stayed there, talking about the many random philosophies that came to us, the kind woman came back bringing with her several dishes and drinks – some of which Dio and I never thought of conjuring up when we cook for ourselves. They were composed mainly of vegetables and greens, but other colors brightened up our entire meal. We enjoyed many a dish in our time there, from black pasta to red rice, from vegetables to chicken. It was a vegan paradise, but enjoyable by meat-lovers as well. As we enjoyed these dishes of majestic tastes, I suddenly realized that I was sipping more that what I can handle of their fruit-injected drink. It was carbonated water infused with watermelon and mango, but its effects are something I crave even now.
As we grew tired of eating – yes, you can experience such, Dio and I headed outside. We wanted to breathe in the fresh air the many orchids and trees the garden was providing. Despite the weather’s sunny disposition, we stayed cool, drinking our fruit water and lounging on the seats outside. There were orchids sprouting everywhere, flowers and plants displayed on every inch of the garden. I told Dio that I wanted to have such a garden if time and money permits me.
For a few moments, we stayed outside and talked of how amazing it is for such a place to exist despite the turmoils of the outside. As we were enjoying the solitude, the kind woman went to us to announce that the desserts were already on our table. Surprised, we walked back inside to see that there was not one, but several desserts ready for us to enjoy. We nibbled on each one, taking photographs as we go along, savoring each morsel. They were all heavenly in taste, and the atmosphere of the house made it more enjoyable.
It took a while before we finished all of the dishes served to us, but we pushed through. We felt bad on not being able to finish the pasta as we grew full of the other meals. Hesitantly, we asked the kind woman if we could have the pasta wrapped as we wanted to take a piece of the serenity and the meals home. She did so, always smiling as if we were always welcome to join them in their abode.
As she got back, we paid our dues and thanked her for their hospitality. Our payment was surprising to us as they could have asked more than we got from their services. We walked out, stopping to look at the garden again, and continued to be mesmerized of the secret paradise.
My Mother’s Garden (formerly known as Secret Garden) is located in 2650 Zamora St., Pasay City, Philippines. It is only per reservation, and is open from 11:00am to 11:00pm. For more information, you can contact them through Facebook, or through their contact number: (+63) (02) 831-8407.