News and Events
Well, 2020 was a tough year for everyone -- in health issues, tourism, education, jobs, and almost every other aspect. It was compounded for us by 3 back-to-back typhoons in October and November. 2021 is starting better.
Our summer reading program had to be put on hold for this year; we'll resume it as soon as we can. Mirisbiris scholars (college students) are getting most of their instruction online, and are progressing and graduating more or less on track, without the ceremonies, of course.
On June 15, 2020, the Mirisbiris Garden visitor center and also Villa Serena re-opened with DOT authorization, adhering to DOT/IATF guidelines for protection against COVID. Among other things, we must keep visitor numbers small, observe social distancing, check guest temperatures, ensure that overnight guests fill out health questionnaire, and follow quarantine rules for those from outside Bicol. Larger functions must wait.
We maintained the gardens during the COVID-19 shutdown, only to have significant damage from the late-season typhoons. By February 2021 we've completed most post-typhoon repairs and are renewing the gardens. Nature will help -- it always does.
During the lockdown, we invested in the future and added one more attraction, a gazebo and catwalk overlooking the ocean and Mayon Volcano. You can reach it by following signs to the forest and then to the bamboo grove, and you can proceed from there down some rustic steps to the hanging bridge and the beach. We were starting to add a maze for children, too, but that has been delayed by the typhoons.
In early 2021, we're seeing an uptick in visitors -- including many who want to get outdoors and destress after a very stressful year! Music is also great for destressing, and a talented local, blind musician, Mr. Jun Balinquit is providing live keyboard and guitar music on most weekends.