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Wild cinnamon bark tea, berry wine, coco sugar brownies–Hindy Tantoco’s ‘Balik Bukid’ buys



Hindy Weber-Tantoco could very well be our generation’s poster child for hip and stylish country living. After living it up in the hustle and bustle of the fashion industry, she turned in her stilettos and embraced the countryside.

“We truly love where we live in Sta. Elena.” Hindy says. “There is something special about it that people feel and respond to when they are here. We began to realize that the city folk were really yearning to ‘get away’ to be with their family and bond with each other in the midst of a beautiful natural setting. It became clear that there was a need for balance in our ‘plugged-in’ lives. So we decided to open Sta. Elena and the Fun Farm to the public as a community country fair called Balik Bukid.”

The Balik Bukid Fair happens twice a year. Through it, Hindy gives city dwellers a taste of the country through various activities, such as live music all day, arts and crafts for kids, puppet shows and musical theater. Guests also get to experience farm animal encounters— horseback riding, carabao-cart riding, fishing, feeding rabbits and guinea pigs. Children enjoy the sprinkler playground, sandbox, bamboo obstacle course and get all dirty in a Mud Dash race.

“What makes us different is that we, the organizers, live here and we live this lifestyle. It’s not something we do just to follow a trend or draw publicity. We put meaning in everything we do and we always keep the ‘intangibles’ in mind,” says Hindy.

One of the highlights of Balik Bukid is an al fresco bazaar featuring Hindy’s handpicked array of handmade, sustainable, homemade and local artisanal products. These include:

Ritual’s Wild Cassia tea

Ritual’s Wild Cassia tea

“I’m a fan of Ritual and I’m always keeping an eye out for its latest offerings. This time, it has wild cinnamon bark that I take as morning tea.” (info@ritualshop.com)

Papier-Mâché Giraffe


“I have a collection of Takatak Project’s papier-mâché horses, so I instantly took to this new, cute printed giraffe.” (Order through 0999-3666786)

Bungalow 300 placemats

Bungalow 300 placemats

“Household staples with a bit more flair than the usual. I love the custom-printed chevron placemats.” (Bungalow300@gmail.com)

Domesticity Kitchen towels


“I love the French sack cloth look—perfect for my kitchen.” (0917-8906721)

Shorts by Mire

“Mire does upcycled and reworked fashion—a concept I love because I think there’s just too much fashion waste in the world.” (0917-3001103)

Personalized Tote by Aranaz

“The perfect summer tote—and who can resist brandishing it with your own initials on it?”



Silk Robe by Gift Genie

Silk Robe by Gift Genie


“A robe you can wear in and out of your boudoir. Looks great with denim shorts, too.”


T Wrap by Tara Soriano

“The T-shirt gets revamped yet again—this time as a neckpiece/scarf/turban.” (0917-8988277)


Popsie Cakes

“Popsie bakes only on Sundays, and I think that’s because she puts so much of her heart into her delicious desserts.” (0927-5402927)

Theodore’s and Naturaleza


“Theodore’s is a great new home-care brand with such sweet packaging to boot. Naturaleza is an all-around natural soap. I use it for practically everything.”

(theodoreshomecare@yahoo.com; Naturaleza, 0917-7533904)

De Boer Organiques

De Boer Organiques


“Such yummy scents. The Casablanca Lily is my go-to summer scent.” (deboerorganiques@googlemail.com)



“To-die-for, super-dense but amazingly moist brownies. The superfood version uses gluten-free flour, coco sugar and chia seeds. Doesn’t get any better than that.” (0917-8445104)

Lemuria products


“Healthy fermented superfoods distributed by Healthy Grocery. My faves are Turmeric, Gotu Kola and Mangosteen.” (thehealthygrocery@gmail.com)

Paper Chic Studio


“Love all the fun prints for impromptu parties at home; the cute paper straws are such a find.”


Saint Ambrose wine

Saint Ambrose wine


“Locally made from wild berries, surprisingly good and refreshing sweet wine.” (0917-8284711)

Derm Argan


“I use Argan oil for my hair, so I’m sure this is great for my skin, too.” (0917-8991015)

Balay Kalipay


“This is my mom-in-law’s; she sources indigenous crafts from all over the country, and supports the communities that produce them.” (0939-5396945)

Follow the writer on Twitter and Instagram @aminaaranaz

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Tags: Balik Bukid Fair , Hindy Weber-Tantoco , Lifestyle

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