Albay Accommodations | A Quiet Retreat at Mirisbiris Garden and Nature Center

Sunday, August 27, 2017

mirisbiris garden and nature center albay

When my friend Rome told me about Mirisbiris, I almost panicked. I thought he meant Misibis. This and that place isn't really within my means. Fortunately, all was cleared up when he sent me Mirisbiris' website and connected me with its owners husband-and-wife Chris and Glenda Newhall. In the website, I found photos of a quaint bed-and-breakfast surrounded by lots of greens. It also supplied me with more information and what I learned piqued my interest. The place, it turns out, was a not-for-profit establishment and employs locals to maintain it. The profit goes to a number of scholars (most of which are children of its employees) and towards a community livelihood organization. There's also an organic farm and botanical garden, and it's apparently very near the beach.

So during my week-long adventure with my bestfriend Tophee, we stayed overnight at this place. Named after the Bicolano word for "babbling water", Mirisbiris is tucked comfortably in a parcel of secondary-growth forest in the town of Sto. Domingo in Albay.


THE ROOMS
Mirisbiris has a total of four rooms in the main house/visitor center. All named after flowers, these four rooms can comfortably accommodate up to 32 people. These rooms can be outfitted with bunk beds, twin beds, or double beds. Rosal and Cadena de Amor have air conditioning and private baths while Ylang-Ylang and Gumamela have electric fans, and share the common baths.
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Aside from these rooms, there is also a 2-bedroom bungalow called Villa Serena that also has a small kitchen. It is right by the beach and can be accessed by a 15-minute trek through Mirisbiris's nature trail. Each room has a double bed, and there's also two bunk beds that could accommodate 4 more persons.


THE AMENITIES
Mirisbiris functions as an events place, a bed-and-breakfast, a restaurant serving organic fanfare, and a photoshoot venue. It spans more than 10 hectares, all of which are dedicated to cultivating a harmonious relationship with nature. 
mirisbiris visitor center
Mirisbiris is nestled comfortably amidst greens

mirisbiris garden and nature center
The cozy Gazebo surrounded by a fish pond

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The "Cave" which is perfect for conventions and seminars

The restaurant serves dishes with ingredients straight from the nearby organic farm while the botanical garden perpetually shrouds the place with flowery fragrance.
mirisbiris restaurant
The Anahaw Room – Mirisbiris' in-house restaurant

Mirisbiris' best feature, in my opinion, is its nature trail which is free for everyone to visit. It's a 15-minute paved path through the woods, complete with a restroom along the way. Tall, towering trees provide shade to the trail, and the many plants make for a beautiful backdrop. The trail forks with one path leading deeper to the forest and another towards a private beach with crushed rocks for a shore. Here, a cluster of dark boulders and a cozy cove that could be perfect for camping opens up to the sea and affords a different perspective of the Mayon Volcano.
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mirisbiris albay

A post shared by Photos by Tophee (@photophee_ph) on


tophee marquez photos

mayon volcano beach

mirisbiris beach



THE SERVICE
Hands down one of the best places I've stayed at. Staying here feels like you're just off vacationing with your relatives. It is homey and rustic. Falling asleep to the song of cicadas then waking up to the chatter of birds all in the comforts of an air-conditioned room is something you don't get to experience often. 

The staff too is lovely. Everyone will greet you with a smile, and it feels like you're among friends and family. I must say, however, that aside from the nature trail, the food is my absolute favorite. I wanted to stay longer simply because of the food. You know how some food are delicious but not really nourishing, probably because of all the artificial flavors they have? Well, in Mirisbiris's Anahaw Room – its restaurant/coffee shop – the food is delicious and nourishing. It was here that I had the best omelet! The dishes are reasonably priced and are light and hearty. Let me tell you, I'd stay here for months just for the food. Add in the daily trek to the nature trail and I'd probably become the healthiest person ever. Absolutely 100% will come back!
anahaw room menu

anahaw room menu

anahaw room menu


THE RATES
For the AC rooms, Php1,400 for 1-2 persons, Php500/additional pax; and Php3,600 for a group of up to 8 adults (children are free). For the fan rooms, Php1,200 for 1-2 persons, Php400/additional pax; and Php3,000 for a group of up to 8 adults (children are free). 

Meanwhile, Villa Serena could be rented for Php4,000/night for 8 pax; Php400/additional pax. This rate already includes breakfast.

For pre-nup photoshoots, a fee of Php1,500 is charged, but is free if you book your wedding reception with the place.

For more information, go to their website.

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Sumlang Lake

HOW TO GET THERE
See location in Google Maps here
From Legazpi City, head over to the jeepney terminal beside Savemore. Get on a jeepney bound to Sto. Domingo. Fare is Php18/head. Alight at the Municipal Hall, right across the church. From here, walk towards the blue tricycle terminal. These blue tricycles can take you to Brgy. Salvacion. You may charter the tricycle for Php100 good for 3 pax or wait for other passengers and pay only Php14/head. Tell the driver to drop you off at Mirisbiris. 

To get back to Sto. Domingo's town proper, hail any of the tricycles that pass by Mirisbiris. Fare is Php14/head. In the town proper, there are jeepneys heading to Legazpi, Tabaco, and other parts of Albay. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
Mirisbiris, to be truthful, is what some would considered as "out of the way", especially if they're looking to visit Albay's most popular tourist spots. However, for those into off-the-beaten paths and keen to have a different but equally meaningful experience, a stay at Mirisbiris is totally worth it. The tourist spots are just an hour or so away, come to really think of it. Highly recommended! 

Mirisbiris Garden and Nature Center
Brgy. Salvacion, Sto. Domingo, Albay
 +63 995 536 8719, +63 926 684-6807
mirisbirisgarden@gmail.com

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