Wedding Press Release
Antipolo's enchanting garden spot
By Bibsy M. Carballo
November 10, 2009, 3:12pm
Antipolo was the place to
escape to back in the 1950s. The cool climate and tourist
attractions like the waterfalls at Hinulugang Taktak made
it a favorite destination for excursionists. Soon enough,
however, the area surrounding the falls and the river turned
into a slum colony. The river then became the sewage and dumpsite
of the squatters. Thus as a child, we feel so fortunate to
have experienced and beheld the beauty of this place just
shortly before it fell to wastage and disrepute.
The Jardin de Miramar in Antipolo
is a garden venue for private parties.
The good news is it has
been reported that the Antipolo city government, along with
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and some
private groups are raising P100 million to fund the rehabilitation
of Hinulugan Taktak. The local government and the DENR have
each pledged P30 million for the project. The remaining P40
million will be sourced from private donors. Vince Hizon,
former PBA basketball star, has been tapped to serve as waste
management consultant. We feel this project is going to be
a daunting task that would take 10 to 20 years to accomplish.
These were the thoughts
in our mind as we headed for Antipolo upon the invitation
of businesswoman Edna del Rosario. We were on our way to the
party venue she built and manages, the Jardin de Miramar.
This place has the look and feel of a museum for nature. Upon
reaching the place, we marveled at the expanse of the landscaped
gardens, all three hectares of them. The place is both a wedding
venue and a park where children can frolic in its playgrounds.
Edna says her family acquired
the property 60 years ago to serve as a summer and weekend
retreat. But when Antipolo lost its luster as a vacation spot,
the family stopped frequenting the place. As Edna ran a realty
company and was considered the “businessman” of
the brood, she was charged with managing and maintaining the
property. This was in 1992 and it wasn’t until 2005
when she decided to turn the place into a moneymaking venue
for parties. The objective was to build several distinct garden
venues sporting various themes. If only to make sure that
no garden in the property would look similar, Edna hired a
different architect and designer for each.
The first two gardens to
be opened are dubbed the Galera and the Paradiso. Perhaps
because it would be the first garden visitors would encounter
upon entering Jardin de Miramar, Edna spared no expense in
building Galera. It’s an attractive venue for kids dominated
by a 50 year-old 30-meter fishing boat that hasn’t seen
water for several years. It’s been turned into a play
boat and rechristened Angelica. The boat’s new look
was designed Ral Arrogante, the famous recycled junk sculptor.
There is also a lighthouse, a miniature Noah’s Ark and
bridges of old wood sourced from the retired fishing boat.
The Galera’s piece
de resistance is a tri-color metal sculpture by Ed Castrillo
dubbed “Fortune’s Bounty.” This stunning
work of art features eight varieties of fish. It looks particularly
striking at night when the lights designed by Edna’s
friend Shoko Matsumoto are turned on. The works of other famous
sculptors and artists also adorn the gardens, including Michael
Cacnio, Rosario Encarnacion Tan, Tony Leaño, Hannah
Liongoren, Wendy Fernando, Alfred Galvez, Daniel de la Cruz,
and Reggie Yuson.
If the site of Galera was
a former field of heliconias, the second venue Paradiso is
characterized by vegetation consisting of giant 14 year-old
royal palms that appear to thrive in the cool, unpolluted
environment. “Our royal palms are younger than the trees
you see in Greenbelt but they are taller and healthier because
of the air,” beams Edna.
The Jardin, on the other
hand, can accommodate 1,600 guests, This multi-level outdoor
wedding venue is popular among nature lovers and there is
hardly any danger of being rained out as Jardin has a total
of 11 covered venues one could always turn to.
Since 2005, Edna has opened
a new venue every year. Venues currently under construction
include the Tierra, an engaging children’s educational
outdoor gallery for vegetable gardening, and the Ylang Ylang.
The place has since served as the setting for movies and TV
commercials, including the blockbusters “Kimi Dora”
and “One More Chance,” which starred John Lloyd
Cruz and Bea Alonzo.
Apart from being a no-nonsense
workaholic, our reading of Edna is she has a rare ability
to combine commerce and art. After all, we have never seen
a garden that pays so much reverence to nature and the arts.
. . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
. . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This article and its photo
are repbublished with permission from Ms. Bibsy M. Carballo
of Bulletin Today.