Rediscovering the joys of simple living at the Abucana Camp in Ternate, Cavite

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

Simple living has become a rarity for many, caught up in the fast-paced life they live with distractions all around them.

It’s this spirit of simplicity that the Abucana Camp wants guests to experience and rediscover, an invitation to embrace the beauty of a life well-lived—one that finds its joy in the pure and unassuming pleasures of existence.

At Abucana Camp, guests can fetch water from the poso, grill freshly caught fish, and explore the riverbanks for moments of a life guided by nature’s pace. With a direct connection to the Maragondon-Ternate River, they can fish (there’s a lot of biya to be caught), too. 

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

For much-needed rest and relaxation, guests can take a dip in the pool, take a nap on a hammock under the tree, or simply watch the birds as they dance in the sky.

Sungka and other board games are also on hand, should guests want a chill activity to pass the time. 

Guests can also immerse themselves in the community, talk with the locals, and play with dogs on their way to a nearby sandbar.

“People may not realize it, but going to a place to do essentially nothing, except, of course, to enjoy good food, wonderful company, and catch up on relaxation and sleep, is more valuable than ever,” said Patrick Gregorio, who owns the property.

The rooms at Abucana Camp are designed with a modern take on traditional bahay kubo, which gives off a true probinsya vibe as if you’re far from the stressful city life. The place is a two-hour drive from Manila, so, in a way, this is true.

The design and aesthetics are well thought out here. Even the lighting fixtures made from bamboo and crafted by locals deserve praise. They’ve even incorporated trees into the rooms’ designs, with walls built around branches of the trees, creating a unique blend of nature and comfort. 

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

Abucana Camp’s commitment to preserving nature is commendable. One of the first things guests see when they enter the property is the huge mango tree at the center, which provides shade from harsh sunlight, ensuring a cool place for people to hang out even in the middle of the day.

The inspiration to put up Abucana Camp came from Gregorio’s father, Professor Martin “Abu” Gregorio, a prominent figure at the University of the Philippines. Gregorio recalled how, as a child, their family would spend every weekend in this charming community.

“When we were kids, I never understood why we had to come to the province every weekend. Back then, there was no electricity in the area, and we only had gasera providing light at night,” he said. 

“But as I got older, I saw the value of coming to a peaceful place, of being able to collect your thoughts and feelings, of just being present at the moment. That’s what we want people to experience when they come to Abucana.”

Abucana Camp is a tribute to this legacy. It offers visitors the opportunity to disconnect from the complexities of modern life and immerse themselves in the timeless joys of probinsya life at the barrio. The camp encourages families, couples, and even large groups to step away from their mobile devices and simply embrace nature, fostering a sense of mindfulness.

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

For Gregorio, Abucana Camp isn’t just a business, it’s a social enterprise.

“It’s okay if we don’t make a lot of money from Abucana. That was never the goal. The important thing is we get to help the community, keep my father’s legacy alive, and allow people to experience a simple life,” Gregorio said.

Abucana Camp welcomes individuals, couples, families, and large groups (ideal for team-building activities, Christmas parties, or even pre-nuptial photoshoots), catering to diverse needs and desires. The place can accommodate up to 25 people at once (for P35,000, which would translate to about P1,400 per person).

Abucana Camp is more than a place to stay. It encourages families to reconnect with nature, rediscover the joy of togetherness, and share quiet moments with loved ones. It’s a place where timeless values find expression in everyday activities, creating a deeper appreciation for the beauty of simplicity.

It’s a beautiful reminder that, amidst the complexities of the modern world, the serenity of simple living can be a priceless gift to cherish.

 

Kenneth M. del Rosario
Kenneth has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer for more than 17 years, covering travel, food, motoring, technology, real estate, and business, among others.