Saturday, April 13, 2013

Quick Getaway from Manila: Tagaytay

Where: Tagaytay City, Cavite
What: know your way around the city, without a private vehicle!

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Easy out-of-town escape from the pollution and crowd in Manila.
Tagaytay is always a favorite destination.
After all, who can’t resist the allure of cool breeze and breathtaking view and endless rows of top class restaurants (and even cheap treats!)?
So, folks. I present to you a basic itinerary for A DAY in Tagaytay (especially fitted for first-timers!)
But first, COMMUTING TO TAGAYTAY 101: We rode a VAN (Tagaytay-Lemery) in Buendia (180php). This is overpriced though :( good thing the ride was comfortable since the van was huge.
Opt for bus if on a budget. Here are updated info about the transpo:
http://www.backpackingphilippines.com/2009/03/how-to-get-to-tagaytay-bus-commute.html
1. People’s Park/Palace in the Sky
How to go there: from Olivarez Plaza,we rode a tricycle to bring us to the jeep terminal. The tricycle driver was actually offering to take us to PP but for 160 pesos! We’re 4 so that’s 40 each. I said NO.
Look: tricycle, 10 pesos each. Jeep to PP, 17 pesos each. Only 27 pesos!
Entrance fee
is 30 pesos.
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Panoramic view from Tagaytay heights.

2. Picnic Grove It was so hot that day you could not much feel the supposedly cold climate, even though we were at a very high peak. It was nearing lunch time, but we went first straight to Picnic Grove. We just rode a tricycle parked outside PP, for 20 pesos each.
Entrance fee is 50 pesos.

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Activities: Zipline, walking on the Eco-Trail, having a picnic, horseback riding, and simply just enjoying the view. In our case, we weren’t able to do much walking since IT WAS THE PEAK OF THE NOON SUN so yeah, we just laid on the grass on a slope under the shade of a tree. The sun was really PAINFULLY hot so when we decided to have lunch already, we made a mad dash out of here.
* lunch – KFC *

3. Pink Sisters Church
Not far from where we at lunch—Olivares Plaza---is the Pink Sisters Church.
To go there, we rode a jeep (8 pesos) and then just walked on an inner street from the highway.

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Unlike the two parks earlier, this one was the more solemn and relaxing place (well, of course it’s a church). Aside from the occasional visitors, we had the place to ourselves, plus the air was cooler here and the sun less harsher so we stayed here the longest---just chatting, laughing (but not that loud). We had lengthy conversations about the metal gravity-defying cross inside the chapel, wondering how it is levitating over the altar, and about the sisters clad in hot pink and creamish white clothes, and about how peaceful it was there and how we’re certainly breaking the silence. 
It’s a really pleasant place, and the best thing? No entrance fee. Just of course remember to respect the place. Serenity.

4. Bag of Beans This one is quite far, since it’s located near Mendez Crossing. We opted for the main branch and not the smaller one near Olivares Plaza. We rode a jeep with the sign Mendez (10 pesos). Jeeps with Alfonso signs can be ridden too. BoB is just beside the highway.

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Now this is a very, very charming restaurant. We actually felt like being in a reception garden of someone’s wedding, because it would be perfect for that. It was fun exploring the place---it’s huge and so varied! At first, you’ll think it’s small when you enter the front bakery and with all its cramped space I was confused and had actually checked with a staff if it’s the main branch. We were led to the back garden and lo and behold. the fantasy place unfolded. You can opt to sit in a table under the trees with the lanterns, or in a cabana, or in the veranda, or in the open-air hall, etc. There’s so many to choose from---each with a different style but overall same ambience.
We tried the
blueberry cheesecake (of course!)
caramel macchiato
shepherds pie
panna cotta
All very scrumptious and creamy and soft. *drool*
We stayed until dusk fell, as we waited for the garden lights to be lit up. At this time temperature sure had gone low. Finally, the famed Tagaytay climate had let its presence be felt.

So that concludes our day.
We were able to ride a jeep back to Olivares Plaza, and then a short ride to the terminal where the jeeps going to Balibago are.

These are just the more popular destinations in this city. For my next post, we’ll explore the other jewels, hopefully those that are lesser known but worth our while. Tagaytay is blessed with spectacular views and farms and food havens and churches and parks and so many others.
You’ll sure be planning your next different itinerary---just here again in Tagaytay!
TIME OF MY LIFE. <3 <3 <3

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