An Afternoon at Sonya’s

My SSEAYP batchmates (Not, Dep, Ivan, and Pia) and I got together this afternoon with our Japanese SSEAYP batchmate, Noby. Since Noby visited Mt. Arayat in Pampanga yesterday together with Ivan, we decided to bring him somehwere in the south this time. So, we drove to Tagaytay! 🙂

While on our way to Tagaytay, Dep decided to bring us to Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) for a quick tour. The tour ended up in PNPA’s rifle and pistol range where Noby, Ivan, and I did some firing. It was my second time to do firing (the first one was in Zamboanga last year) but still, I ended up hitting no target. Haha!

We were actually choosing between Leslie’s and Sonya’s Garden for lunch. Leslie’s offers Filipino cuisine with the Taal Lake view, while Sonya’s Garden offers organic food and the ambiance. But since Noby had already indulged himself in Filipino cuisine in Pampanga yesterday, we ended up heading towards Sonya’s Garden. (Hooray!!! I was secretly hoping that majority would choose Sonya’s since the last time I was there was ages ago.)

Sonya’s Garden Restaurant (Photo by Ivan)

We arrived at Sonya’s just in time for lunch. Upon taking our seats, we were already greeted with variety of greens – the salad. We were served with lettuce and arugula for the main vegetables, then ripe mango, broad beans, eggs, cucumber, pinapple, and papaya for the toppings, and a salad dressing. Together with the salad, the bread was also served with heavenly pesto (my favorite), white cheese, anchovies, and tapinade dips. Everyone was starving so we had to ask for three more servings of the bread (which was really tasty, by the way) and the dips!

Then came the pasta with a choice of salmon belly, mushroom, black olives, and capers toppings and sun-dried tomato sauce or chicken cream with mango.

Ivan’s Pasta Creation 🙂

We were given taragon tea between the main course and dessert. Our beverage, squeezed dalandan juice, was constantly refilled.

By the time the dessert was served, Pia, one of our batchmates, arrived. So we asked for everything to be refilled (again). 🙂

The desserts were a slice of chocolate cake for everyone, sweetened sweet potatoes, and sweet banana rolls (little turons!). I was so full by then that I didn’t get to taste the sweet potatoes anymore.

Since the rain poured hard during lunch, we weren’t able to go around the gardens. We took strolls only in the covered areas of the restaurant. Our lunch lasted for almost three hours (it was one of the longest lunches I have ever had in my entire life) and we were more than contented for the great food and the relaxed ambiance.

The menu is priced at PhP 610 per person, which we all think is very much reasonable given the healthy meal, the relaxing atmosphere, and the prompt service Sonya’s Garden had given us.

After lunch, we dropped by Panaderia, where different kinds of freshly (ultimately fresh that we could even smell newly baked bread right at the entrance) baked bread are sold.

Too bad Noby had to head down to the metro since he has reports to finish that we only passed by Amira’s, one of Tagaytay’s known delicacy stores, and the frequently visited Mushroomburger.

On our way back to Manila, we did a quick stopover at Ivan’s house to grab some coffee and taste their house specialty – enseymada.

I’m sure Noby enjoyed his afternoon with us ( 🙂 ), reminiscing our SSEAYP days, updating one another, talking to Leon (our Singaporean batchmate), and just being at Sonya’s.

Here’s a direction to Sonya’s Garden Restaurant & Country Bed and Breakfast: From South Super Highway, exit at Sta. Rosa. Take right going to Tagaytay. Upon reaching the main Aguinaldo Highway, turn right towards Nasugbu, Batangas and go past the rotonda. After Splendido Golf Course and Sunrise Hill, make a right turn on Buck Estate. Drive around 2 kilometers. Sonya’s Garden is at the left. For those who take the public transport, there are tricycles parked just right outside of Buck Estate, which can take you right to the restaurant.

SSEAYP Batchmates with Noby (2nd from left) at Sonya’s

Overlooking Taal Volcano and Taal Lake (Photo by Ivan)

Related Link: Salad Party in Sonia’s Garden by Ivan About Town

(Thanks Dep for firing activity in PNPA.)



  1. Noby said

    Hi Pam , such a nice blog this is.
    I remember the good times.
    I enjoyed.
    I will go back to Japan this morning.
    Thank you so much for your kindness.

    My report was done, but i didn’t sleep at all – Sunday and Monday.
    …But it’s OK. I am happy.

    See you again.

  2. pamalfaro said

    ON NOBY: Noby!!! Thanks for the wonderful memories too. I hope you got an A+! Haha! 🙂 Take care and have a safe trip back home. We will surely miss you…

  3. […] SONIA’S GARDEN, Tagaytay – A used-to-be secret garden, but not anymore. Sonia’s has gained popularity by word of mouth. […]

  4. Joy said

    Looks like you all had a good time. I can see the SSEAYP family has grown with the addition of Dep & Nona’s kid. See you in Cebu.

  5. pamalfaro said

    ON JOY: Hi Joy! Yup! We all had a great time! 🙂 I hope there will be many SPYs coming next year! 🙂 See you!

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