“Don’t you think it’s a luxury spending a day doing nothing and just appreciating what’s around you?” a beaming Corito, the CEO of La Joya Farm Resort & Spa in Aloguinsan, Cebu, asks our group of local media who were gathered for breakfast the day after the resort’s official opening. Relieved that the resort’s launch was a success, Corito seeks feedback and input from the group on what could still be improved about the property.
In an intimate ceremonial opening the day prior, La Joya Farm Resort & Spa celebrated its official opening. It was attended by esteemed guests, including family and friends, partners, and notable government officials led by the Mayor of Aloguinsan, Mayor Cesare Ignatius Moreno.
Realizing a dream
The realization of La Joya Farm Resort & Spa is a testament to more than five years of unwavering dedication and hard work. It embodies the visionary dream of Jose G. Escario, the patriarch of the Escario family, to develop the 120 hectares worth of land they inherited in Barangay Rosario, a mountain barangay in Aloguinsan, Cebu.
Work on La Joya Farm Resort & Spa started in 2017 when Maria Socorro “Corito” Escario-Yu, Jose G. Escario’s granddaughter, an accomplished furniture and interior designer who was then based in California, had to return to Cebu to look at the farm’s potential and how it could be developed.
With passion and determination, Corito brought her grandfather’s vision to life. Supported by her husband, Dr. Joseph S. Yu, and her sibling, Janice Doreen Escario-King, along with their mother, Corazon “Zony” Borromeo-Escario, they transformed the dream into reality – La Joya Farm Resort & Spa.
La Joya: The Jewel of Aloguinsan
Those seeking a getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern living will find La Joya Farm Resort & Spa an ideal retreat.
Just a two-hour drive from Cebu City and thirty minutes from Carcar, Aloguinsan offers stunning natural landscapes and a tranquil ambiance that allows visitors to reconnect with nature. La Joya Farm Resort & Spa perfectly encapsulates this serene environment, providing an idyllic escape for those seeking respite from the fast-paced city life.
Nestled within the sprawling 120-hectare property in Barangay Rosario, the resort boasts breathtaking views of mountains, lush greenery, and picturesque gardens. It is a sanctuary where guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings, allowing them to unwind, rejuvenate, and appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
Without sacrificing comfort and privacy, each room and villa offers guests unobstructed views to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty. Dome accommodations around the property provide a luxurious glamping experience as you sleep under the stars. At the same time, villas offer a more indulgent retreat and ultimate privacy while you bask in idyllic views of the mountains.
Indulge in the refreshing waters of the resort’s beautiful infinity pool, offering an enchanting view that stretches to the horizon. Enjoy a moment of tranquility while taking a reviving swim or simply lounging by the poolside, soaking up the sun’s warmth.
Embark on a culinary adventure as the resort offers a farm-to-table dining experience featuring the freshest locally sourced or grown ingredients. The resort’s Umani Restaurant serves Pan-Asian Cuisine inspired by the countries surrounding the Philippines.
Involving the community
Without delving into the local politics of Aloguinsan, the Escarios have always been part of the development of the community within and around their farm in the midwestern region of Cebu province.
Operating La Joya Farm Resort & Spa provides employment and skills enhancement for Aloguinsanaons, especially those seeking careers in the hospitality industry.
The resort aims to provide additional income for the community by going into sustainable partnerships, such as sourcing some of the resort’s needs from the community and the community selling them certain supplies such as tourist souvenirs. This model will benefit the resort and the community by empowering the community and creating a sense of shared ownership.
One successful community empowerment model is also a tourist attraction in Aloguinsan managed by a fisherfolk community, the Bojo River Cruise. It is internationally recognized as Best Community-based Tourism at the ASEAN Tourism Awards 2017 and is located just thirty minutes away from the resort.
Currently, La Joya Resort offers bundled packages for guests who would like to do the river cruise, thus providing more income opportunities for their partner community.
The opening of La Joya Farm Resort & Spa enlivens tourism in Aloguinsan, indirectly contributing to a steady income stream for the 4th class municipality.
A Developing Concept
Over breakfast, Corito shared her expansion plans as she envisions La Joya Farm Resort & Spa as a complete destination for relaxation and tranquility.
A glass house convention or events center is already due to be constructed. Hiking and biking trails and farm tours are being finalized. An ostrich, a gift from a good friend, is expected to arrive as soon as the papers are cleared. We looked forward to her plans of constructing a traditional treehouse and a zen spa within the property.
It was almost 10 AM when our group returned to our accommodations to pack up and depart for Cebu City. More work begins for Corito and the La Joya Farm Resort & Spa team, as the first guests are expected to arrive around lunchtime that day.
We couldn’t help but be inspired by the story of LaJoya Farms Resort and Spa as it stands as a testament to the power of dreams, hard work, and community collaboration.