Farm Tour: Day Trip at Forest Wood Garden in San Pablo

Let me tell you about a beautiful garden serving delightfully tasty and healthy food in San Pablo, Laguna. Forest Wood Garden is home of the famous pansit kalabuko. Couple Joel Frago and wife Myrna welcomed us during our visit a couple of weeks ago. Forest Wood is not just known for its Kubote Mushroom Restaurant, it's an organic farm practicing the farm-to-table concept just like many organic farms in the Philippines.

The beautiful landscape at Forest Wood Garden relaxes a tired body and mind. It's all work of the talented wife Myrna, who is also an Architect. She has mastered the art of landscaping. In fact, the Frago family and their Forest Wood Garden has been featured in different publications and television shows.

Day Trip at Forest Wood Garden in San Pablo


We had lots of buko juice fresh from the husk while sir Joel prepares the pansit-buko. I went around their cozy garden and found an old school iron (plantsa), not the electric flat iron but the one used with charcoal. I thought it's just for decoration, read on as I reveal the role of this plantsa de uling in Forest Wood.

Every where I look I would find herbs and edible plants. There are lemongrass, mint, and mushroom. Hanging bags of delicate mushrooms are adorned in the restaurant. Sir Joel harvest some and added in making pansit kalabuko. You can also buy them at P50/bag. We were told it could support your mushroom needs for about 4 months when taken cared properly.


The pretty landscape, wooden bench adds cozyness to the place. Spending some time hanging out under the tall trees, catching up with friends. When you visit, be ready for a mini hike inside the forest and meet the owner's pet. It's a baboy ramo (wild boar) I just forgot the name though.

The farm is quite big, we actually got stuck in the rain in the middle of the farm. Well, it's fine. The experience a different kind or communing with nature. The insects crawling in my legs, I did not bother much. It was my first time to experience stuck in the middle of a small forest, raining. What an awesome experience. When we got back, we had our second round of fresh buko juice and some rambutan.

me and Martin
I love the food they served us. They did a live cooking demonstration of pansit kalabuko. It comes with tons of ingredients including chopped pre-cooked wild pig and mushroom. Sir Joel uses a special sauce called coconut Aminos, which they also produce in the farm.


While waiting for the pansit kalabuko to be served, we're sipping warm mushroom soup. It's one of the dishes they used to serve in their Kubote Mushroom House. The soup was very flavorful and tasty, may I compare it to nilagang baka (beef soup).


The noodles is made of five kinds of vegetables so imagine it's pack with nutrition. The meat was tender and juicy. I could eat it as it is although they served us Turmeric rice which is kind a new to me. The second batch of pansit kalabuko was a bit spicy.

As if we're not full with pansit, we also had pork barbeque or Balol, sun scorched and herbed smoked organic wild pig (baboy ramo). The meat was tender and juicy.

I thought I was okay with buko juice until I tasted this passion fruit mixed juice. It was very delicious and refreshing. Now for dessert, Forest Wood served us two kinds of panghimagas or dessert. We certainly love the ube halaya. It was gone in a few minutes, we even asked for another serving.


Remember the plantsa de uling I mentioned earlier? This old flat-iron with pile of live coal cooks a dessert called Plantsado. May I compare it with tupig of Ilocano, just to give others an idea of this plantsado delicacy. It's basically a mixture of various root crops. It's sticky and a bit sweet best served with hot ginger or tarragon tea.


Forest Wood Garden opened its doors to the public in 2009. Almost the same year that it became a training place for farmers under the supervision of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). The owners Joel and Myrna have been practicing natural way of farming ever since it was started. One of their major crops are mushrooms thus the Kubote Mushroom House was borne and the very-Pinoy dish pansit kalabuko. Today, even students would come to Forest Wood to learn agriculture and agripreneur. Wile a lot of travelers keep on visiting the farm to experience farm-to-table concept serving only organic food.

Forest Wood Garden has helped the community in promoting tourism in San Pablo. It became a popular destination in San Pablo through word of mouth. It also supports and promotes arts through their beautiful landscape. Frago family joined and won several landscaping competitions. Most of all, Forest Wood Farm has been advocating natural farming and sustainable pig growing. Have you been to San Pablo? Maybe you could include Forest Wood Garden on your next trip to Laguna. I promise it will be worth your time.


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