Luigi and Patty Muhlach have always dreamed of ditching the city life and moving to the countryside.
After ten years of living in the city and moving from one rented space to another, Luigi is happy to finally transition to "farm life in Tagaytay in a place we could really call our own."
Luigi, Patty, and their four kids Alejandro, Adriana, Anya, and Ariella moved into their future home in Tagaytay in June 2020.
The main house is still under renovation, so the family is presently residing in the adjacent pool house.
"Swapping city life for a country idyll has become a fruition for the Muhlach bunch. Who hasn't dreamed of ditching city life and moving to the countryside?" Luigi tells PEP.ph in an Instagram direct message exchange on June 29.
The chef-restaurateur thanks his wife Patty for convincing him to make this change.
"Living in the countryside is a natural for my wife, Patty, since she grew up in the province.
"Patty played a big role in convincing me to give up my cosmopolitan life in favor of fresh air, vegetable garden, animal farm, and a less-toxic life."
Luigi reveals that how they want to raise their kids was also a big factor in the decision.
"Actually, Patty and I wanted to give our kids a childhood immersed in nature.
"We always had a desire to move our kids in a wide open space where they could have more freedom to explore and be in communion with nature."
Luigi personally feels a connection to this quote by writer William Penn: "The country life is to be preferred, for there we see the works of God, but in cities little else but the works of men."
life IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Luigi already has a clear vision of how their daily life in Tagaytay will look.
"Entering our home is like walking into narrative paintings.
"On a typical day, our son Alejandro might greet you up on a tree house while quietly observing a bird flip inside its nest, while our daughter Anya is busy picking edible flowers to be made into garden salad.
"Adriana, the artist in the family, would either prep her Barbies' clothes for dress-ups or tea parties or simply entertain everyone with imaginative play.
"The kids have much more freedom to explore now."
This is the "happily ever after" Luigi and Patty envision for their family.
The father of four continues: "Life in the countryside has given us space and time to just enjoy life with our four kids.
"More importantly, it has finally given us a quiet and peaceful place we can call our own.
"Ecologically speaking, the advantages we see living in the country include eating locally grown food since we can plant vegetables and root crops, make our own bread in the 'pugon,' and raise our own animals.
"Health wise it is also beneficial to our own mental health.
"Studies reveal that country dwellers feel happier, healthier, and less stressed."
The Muhlach Bunch's life in Tagaytay began a few weeks ago, but Luigi already feels the vast difference in buhay probinsiya.
"Life in Tagaytay is great. Life outside our front door is breathtakingly beautiful.
"We enjoy going for walks as a family or quietly gather around our meditation garden for yoga or just simply enjoy bird watching or listening to the crickets chirping.
"Maybe even have a really cold beer while making fresh pizza.
"Our day-to-day life in the countryside is panning out the way we have imagined and prayed for it to be.
"Even the kids seem so much happier now. Life has become calmer and more fulfilled. We just love the natural setting of new life."
For their future, Luigi intends to open his home to nature lovers and allow his family to meet like-minded families.
"Our plan, once we get fully settled in our farm land, is to open it up for booking to nature lovers who would want to spend a day or two with our family and experience cooking with chef Luigi while being served farm to table (or 'farm to fork') cuisine in our secret garden or covered outdoor space.
"The kids can engage in nature study with Patty and our children, or just enjoy being a kid climbing the tree house, play basketball, jump up and down the trampoline, dip in the jacuzzi's cool water or challenge oneself in the ninja warrior obstacle course."
And yes, this move is for good.
The chef says, "The Muhlach bunch has never been prouder for making the big leap for a fresh start in the country.
"We are definitely closing the chapter of our 10-year cosmopolitan living as a married couple and are never looking back.
"We are ditching the city and are going country."