Ms. TM Discovers Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen

Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen is more than just a restaurant. It is originally a farm located in Calinan, Davao City, which expanded to a bed and breakfast establishment offering the experience of going back to our Filipino roots and living the “Bukid” style to their customers.

Balik Bukid Farm was originally created for the benefit of the owner’s family—to enjoy the benefits of a simpler and cleaner lifestyle. Then it has been extended to friends, and later on to the friends of friends. Eventually, they decided to open their doors to consumers as well. Armed with their advocacy, Balik Bukid Farm is consistently winning the hearts of Davaoeños to have a greener lifestyle.

They also opened a restaurant that serves fresh “farm to table” food from the produce of their farm. Located at Quimpo Boulevard, a highly populated area in Davao City, Balik Bukid serves as a pop of freshness in a bustling city.

Staying true to its name, Balik Bukid Farm’s rooms are nipa huts and bungalows which are icons of Philippine culture and have been used by the Filipino indigenous communities, way before the Spaniards came to the Philippines. Nipa huts has become the symbolism “bayanihan,” which is a Filipino value referring to unity towards a common goal. Balik Bukid Farm captures this exquisitely by taking their customers to witness the most basic culture Filipinos once had. Balik Bukid Farm is a perfect reflection of the simple farm life of the Filipinos. The rural atmosphere and the farm to table food experience provide a breath of fresh air to city-dwellers and give them a break from the fast-paced, instant and commercialized lifestyle. Balik Bukid Farm offers their Nipa houses at very affordable prices, ranging from PHP1,500-3,500 per hut.

They also offer various activities during your stay at the farm, such as witnessing natural farming in action, seminars about recycling, Bisaya-style hilot, and even a ride on their family’s carabao named Inday!

The natural farm tour is a tour to educate their customers on the impact of natural farming to their personal health and to the environment. This is a big move of Balik Bukid Farm to promote overall wellbeing, not only to the consumers but also to their living surroundings. They are hitting two birds with one stone promoting good health and a cleaner environment, by showcasing the beauty of green and organic living.

Did you know that Cardiovascular disease and Diabetes are the top two killer diseases in the Philippines? These may be hereditary, but may also be acquired through poor lifestyle choices. Our culture’s way of eating is partly also a reason. Filipinos are known to be festive in their meals—with our daily mealtimes mainly consisting of the staple white rice and savory fried foods. The high sugar content and excessive cholesterol intake from these foods may lead to various diseases. It also doesn’t help that we are in a digital era, where physical activities are often neglected and replaced by the convenience of technology-driven equipment and activities, reducing our desire to exercise.

Balik Bukid’s advocacy to go back and experience the simpler and most basic Filipino lifestyle highly benefits our overall wellbeing, by once again acquainting us to our roots where everything is fresh and served from “farm to table.” They also advocate greener lifestyle by holding seminars on how to properly recycle, teaching individuals to reduce waste and save resources.

They have taken their advocacy to heart by having a “sari-sari store” selling only upcycled and reused items—materials that we normally consider as junk but made into something valuable and reusable.

If you would like to experience the farm for yourself, here are the maps to Balik Bukid in Wangan and to their restaurant in Quimpo.

As with their restaurant at Quimpo, Balik Bukid is consistent with their values, that even the interiors of the restaurant reflect it. Choosing sustainable and simple materials to their construction, this restaurant is a glimpse of what they offer at their farm. I truly felt the bukid-style freshness this restaurant is aiming for.

I was really excited as I was about to enter this restaurant because of the authentic feel it has outside. It made me more curious what the inside would look like.

When I entered the place, there was a fresh and authentic provincial feel to it. Even though the weather outside was hot and humid, the inside of this restaurant was cool and fresh. Maybe it was because the whole place was surrounded by house plants, light materials and cool interiors design, that walking inside made felt like I was not in a hot city at all.

I also noticed the continuous design they have—from the lights to the tables and even the placemats—everything was sustainable and recycled. Most of the items inside this restaurant are economically sustainable.

The cool and sustainable decors also complement well the food they serve. They did not skimp on freshness and quality, maintaining their signature taste that will keep you coming back for more.

Quite clever for a menu, right? Now, let me share with you the wonderful meals I tried from their  menu:

Gumamela Juice (PHP85/jar)

Talk about unique right? Well I didn’t even know gumamela was edible, how much more being turned into a drink. But turns out this drink was uniquely delicious. It has a sweet and floral taste and makes you want to chug down the whole glass. This is a unique offering of Balik Bukid that is indeed a must-try!

Guinoong Kusinero Salad (PHP180)

This salad is a mixture of fresh greens, bacon and beef strips, chicken chunks, and grated mozzarella. The simplicity of the ingredients makes this one a winner. This salad that banked more on the natural flavor of each ingredient rather than enhance them with spices brought out the new meaning of fresh.

Chicken Wings and Kesong Puti (PHP160)

Ah, the chicken wings with barbeque sauce and kesong puti dip! The combination was quite unique and worked well together. The chicken remained crispy even with that thick, sweet and peppery barbeque sauce. The peppery sweetness of the chicken blended well with the mild, tangy and milky taste of that kesong puti sauce. Urging me to dig in and bite after bite the whole dish was gone before my eyes.

The Classic BBQ Kostilyas (PHP260)

According to Balik Bukid, “kostilyas” is the Cebuano term for ribs. This main dish is most recommended among the main courses. It was the first thing my table attendant suggested me when I asked for the best-seller. Upon taking a bite, the barbecued ribs was savor and tasted extraordinary. It was also fork tender and very meaty. Served with their Kaning Dilaw (rice cooked with butter and turmeric & bell pepper), this dish was a sure hit for me!

Tinolang Manok (PHP185)

This is a traditional Tinolang Manok cooked in the most nostalgic way possible. Excluding the use of artificial flavorings, this soup is made with real and fresh chicken stock. Allowing me to taste the flavorful chicken in its most authentic way possible.

Seafood Express (PHP260)

This is a shrimp, imbao shells and malasugue soup in coconut milk. This soup is a carousel of freshness from the seafood, sweetness from the coconut milk with a hint of spiciness to bring the dish all together.

Kaning Asul (PHP35/cup)

This is regular rice cooked with blue ternate flower. Although it tasted pretty much like regular rice, I couldn’t pass up that pretty blue color. Blue ternate flower by the way is known to be full of antioxidants.

Balik Bukid also had excellent dessert offerings. So definitely I tried those too.

Panacotta (PHP150)

Perfect and classic panacotta served with one scoop of homemade ice cream. The light taste of that panacotta is good way to neutralize the savory dishes I just had. It tasted fresh and light, perfectly paired well with the ice cream.

Tsokolate Islands (PHP185)

This dessert is made of 3 scoops of homemade tablea ice cream, sandwiched between choux pastry and finished off with chocolate syrup on top. It may have very simple ingredients but it’s simply amazing. The chocolate ice cream, in itself, was a sure winner. But when sandwiched between those choux pastry, they tasted heavenly. The light airy and slightly chewy pastry elevated the already delicious taste of the homemade ice cream. And topping it all with chocolate syrup just made my day.

Here are other food recommendations without photo: Homemade Bread Platter and Kesong Puti (160php), Garlic Beef Ta Pao (180php), Laing (PHP171), Mushroom Chicken (PHP170), Fried Ice Cream (PHP150), Turmeric Juice (PHP100/jar).

Everything in their menu was made from scratch with expertise and love. It was a delight to take part in Balik Bukid’s food and advocacy. And for sure everyone who shares this experience will definitely take home not just a memory, but also a value to their well-being, community and culture.

I very well understand how the stress of city life can exhaust your minds and bodies. So give yourselves a huge favor and go have this rejuvenating “farm to table” experience at Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen. I promise, you will never regret it. You’re welcome.

Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen

Sandawa Plaza Quimpo Blvd. Davao City, Philippines

Telephone Number: (082) 296 4543

Instagram: @balikbukid



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