Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tripping Tagaytay Highlands

Tagaytay Rotonda
Tagaytay is one of the memorable places to me. Taken during the one-week seminar i attended in November 2007, this is so far the farthest seminar I have attended, and outside Mindanao.

From the Centennial Airport, I took a taxi down to Pasay, near the Heritage Hotel, where buses going to Cavite and Batangas make a stop to pick up passengers. From there, I took the bus with the plate indicating the route to Mendez, as what the taxi driver instructed me, because it will pass by Aguinaldo highway where the hotel booked for the participants is located.

We were billeted at the Days Hotel - Tagaytay.
Days Hotel Tagaytay
Days Hotel is a modernly furnished accommodation located on the ridge overlooking Taal Lake. Its distinct style of architecture looks amazing. It is strategically located a few meters away from the rotonda.
An interesting piece of art placed by the hotel to adorn its hallway at the entrance is this life-sized wooden replica of an ethnic man. There was no label attached to it so there was for me to determine the relevance of it in their hotel. Let's just say a pure decoration.

We got a break on Sunday and the organizers toured us to the popular destinations in Tagaytay. Some of them the following:
The (controversial) People's Park in the Sky (which they say was supposed to be a palace to be built for former President Marcos)
Tagaytay Highlands (where access is exclusive)
Wide array of souvenir items, from small pieces to t-shirts and house ornaments.

Although some parts of the incomplete scaffolding of the supposedly palace in the sky looks unmaintained and rusting, the park continued to attract tourists because of its elevated location where one feels much colder. In a tropical place like the Philippines, somewhere cold is a magnet for locals. Some went to the beaches or nearest waterfalls and springs to cool down. But in the country's capital, Tagaytay is a sure choice because of its proximity.

One interesting attraction up in the park, though, is not only the suspended palace but the view of the grandiose and exclusive village of Tagaytay Highlands. This is one of the places where people of mid- and below income literally looked down on the rich people. Seemingly interesting from the top, people always wonder how the actual houses looks like in close view. Adding to that curiosity-tingling factor is the fact that the village can be accessed through a cable car. But access are only granted to people who knew or is known to one of its residents. Tough restrictions to view what's inside, eh?

From the People's Park, we then headed to Tagaytay Picnic Grove where we had our lunch together ala 'we are family' picnic. As its name implies and evident to the cottages around, the place is for picnics and hangouts. Some of the goers like our group brought packed lunch but some, especially the families, brought fishes and meats for grilling.
The Picnic Grove is not only for eating and bonding, it also have a long stretch of causeways all over the ridge like a rollercoaster where one can have long stroll to digest the food.
Taal Volcano (with a lake inside a lake)
Picnic Grove has a much closer view to Taal Volcano compared to the People's Park. From its viewdeck, one can have a perfect capture of the volcano.
On the entrance to the Picnic Grove, you can find this horse-ride adventure. But i reckoned twice to try when i learned i will be paying 200 pesosesoses just for a one-round ride.

Instead, we hurried to the Lourdes Church to offer gratitude that i have reached Tagaytay.

During our free time, me and my friend from Bukidnon roamed around the downtown taking photos of the amazing plants displayed and had fun searching for quality but affordable ukay-ukay in Olivarez Square. The place got a huge stalls and shops of cheap ukay-ukays. It may sound ridiculous but if there was one thing i missed most about Tagaytay, it is definitely the cheap ukay-ukays.


salingPUSA said...

Malapit ako Tagaytay here in Manila pero di ako masyado punta. But whenever we go there it is really worth the stay. It's next to Baguio when it comes to making me feel like I'm in a different place/country because of the cold weather....
It's also a romantic place.

Allen Yu said...

Hay.. Tagaytay.. my dream destination. One day ill set foot on that place.

The Islander said...

@salingpusa.. ganun talaga pag within the reach ang isang lugar. ako nga recently ko lang napasyalan mga lugar dito samin.

sobrang sarap sa tagaytay. actually papunta pa lang while riding the bus, especially sa parteng cavite, malamig na simoy ng hangin.

The Islander said...

@allen.. planuhin mo na para you will experience tagaytay. aside from peoples park and picnic grove, marami pang pwedeng pasyalan sa tagaytay. just look for their promo collaterals.

Lawstude said...

when i was working in manila and need a quick scenic fix. i ofted go to picnic grove in tagaytay just to unwind.

ngayon bihira na ko mapunta jan, siguro once lang the last five years. i really do miss the place 'coz there are lots of good memories associated with the place.

The Islander said...

hmmm.. like what kind of memories? hehe. unforgettable memories. made in tagaytay.

the donG said...

favorite ko talaga ang tagaytay highlands. lalo na ang makasakay sa cable car na mataas na mataas.

naglaro din kami dun ng tennis.

pag nasa loob parang wala ka sa pinas. kasi walang mga poste sa daan.

The Islander said...

ako hanggang gate lang. haha!

wala kasi kaming kakilala sa loob. gusto ko pa man din sumakay ng cable car.

Keith Allen said...

Do you have any idea where to find the most affordable tagaytay hotel?