Tagaytay City, the Meeting Place of the Winds
Tagaytay City, known as Second Summer Capital of the Philippines, is a city in the province of Cavite . According to TravBuddy, a travel website, it is the 6th most traveled city in the Philippines. Tagaytay is famous for its cold climate and also for its splendid location overlooking the smallest volcano in the world, The Taal Volcano. From my experience, after you return from your trip to Tagaytay, you will feel more refresh than a newly packaged chips.
If you want to go to Tagaytay from Metro Manila, I recommend you to take the South Luzon Expressway ,then exiting at Santa Rosa, finally continue down the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road. (You will pay an amount of P175 for the toll fee if you started from Metro Manila.) If you follow this, you would be in Tagaytay in 1 hour and 30 minutes or less depending on the traffic.
You wouldn't feel the length of the travel because as you travel down the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, you will be seeing a lot of "pasalubong stores" and a lot of woodwork shops wherein you can drop-by and buy some yummy native delicacies like the splendid Sylvanas ( a pastry made from cashew-meringue wafers sandwiched together with a sweet butter cream) and the city's famous Buko Tart.(A popular Filipino dessert made from sweet preserves and a rich baked tart)
Geographically speaking, Tagaytay has a cold climate because it is a plateau, which is a land that is located on a higher plain which results to a colder climate. That's why the temperature here ranges from 13 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius depending on what month you plan to travel to Tagaytay. If you enjoy a colder climate of Tagaytay, I recommend you to travel to Tagaytay during November to January wherein the temperature could range from 12 degrees to 19 degrees Celsius. However, if you want a hot climate just like what tourists want, I recommend you to go to Tagaytay during March to May wherein the temperature here averages from 24 degrees to 27 degrees Celsius. For me, I like going to Tagaytay during November to January because the cold climate plus the cool breeze of the Northeasterly winds will leave you breathless.
Tagaytay City ,known for its cold climate, was also known to have an odd history regarding the etymology of the word "Tagaytay." Legend has it that the word "Tagaytay" came from the word "taga" which means to stab or to cut, while the word" itay" which means "father.' It started in the forest wherein the father and his son was hunting for a wild boar. As they approached cautiously, a wild boar appeared and immediately charged to the child's father. His son screamed "taga itay!!" The scream of the child was very loud that it was heard by the villagers outside the forest. That scream of the child became the subject of the conversation of the villagers until it became the name of place. Another possible etymology of the word which can be traced during the Philippine revolution of 1896, the ridges and forests of Tagaytay became the home of revolutionaries and made it their hiedeout against the Spaniards. They added the term "mananagaytay" to the native's vocabulary. It means "to traverse ridges." And their arouse the word "Tagaytay."
Not only is Tagaytay rich in cultural heritage, but it is also rich in historical landmarks. My most favorite ,out of all the landmarks in Tagaytay City, is the People's Park in the Sky or simply known as, People's Park. People's Park in the Sky was build by the Marcos during the Marcos Era. The Marcos family planned to accommodate US President Ronald Reagan in this mansion. It's construction began on 1981. However, the construction of the "mansion" was incomplete because US President Ronald Reagan wasn't able to visit us. This led to the unfinished mansion. Even though it is an unfinished mansion, the sight on top of the deck is truly magnificent. You only need to pay P30 and climb 5 minutes before you can reach the top. However, it will ALL be worth it because words cannot describe how beautiful the view is from up there. On the top deck, you will feel the breeze of the winds blowing in different directions. I can still remember the time wherein my cap was blown away with the wind. However, it didn't matter because after seeing the magnificent view, i wasn't able to realize that my cap was gone until we left the park.
To help you reminisce the moments from up there, there is a lot of souvenir shops under the deck. Another highlight of the place is the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love. The shrine was built in December 15, 1974 with the installation of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the child Jesus by Hernan D. Reyes. During the construction of the People's park, workers were unable to destroy a huge rock containing the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary even with several dynamite blasts. So they decided to just leave it and made it a chapel. HOW TO GO HERE: From Tagaytay, ride jeepneys with signboards "People's Palace in the Sky."
Another magnificent place in Tagaytay is the newly build Sky Ranch. It was build by the SM Development Corporation. It houses the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Philippines called the Sky Eye. The Sky Eye is the TALLEST Ferris Wheel in the country with a whopping 63 meters or 207 feet. It beats the MOA's Eye and the Enchanted Kingdom's Wheel of Fate. The highest point of the Ferris wheel is at 2,207 ft or 672.694 meters. There are other rides such as Red Baron, Carousel, Super Viking, and a lot more. In addition to this, the entrance fee of the theme park is only 50 pesos. THE FUN NEVER STOPS AT TAGAYTAY CITY. HOW TO GO HERE: From Tagaytay Rotonda, ride a jeep that's going to Nasagbu,Batangas. It's impossible to miss this because it is just beside the famous and elegant Taal Vista Hotel.
If you are exhausted from the trip, you can check-in the most elegant hotel of Tagaytay City, The Taal Vista Hotel. The Taal Vista Hotel is located at Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway ,Tagaytay City. The hotel has a very elegant history. In 1939, the Zamoras of Manila Hotel built Taal Vista Lodge along “Ilong Kastila”—a stretch of flatland perched atop an incline which people said resembled a nose. During the Second World War from 1942 to 1944, Taal Vista Lodge was converted to an officers’ quarters for the Japanese. Then in 2002, the hotel was reconstructed by Henry Sy of SM Investments Corporation—the company that would later acquire Taal Vista Hotel. Aside from its magnificent location, it is in the center of magnificent buildings and landmarks. It is a 5-minute walk from the PAGCOR Casino , McDonalds and BDO. The price of a room in the hotel is a bit expensive(ranging from P5000-P9000 depending on the room) but it is worth every penny. HOW TO GO HERE: Just drive straight to Tagaytay via Aguinaldo Highway.
After all this traveling, it's impossible that you are not hungry . Well, you're just in luck. Tagaytay is the home of a number of unique dishes. One unique dish of Tagaytay is the Bulalo. Bulalo is a soup wherein its broth is made by boiling cooking beef shanks and bone marrow. Based on my experience, the best restaurant that serves the BEST BULALO in Tagaytay is The LZM Restaurant located in Magallanes Square,Tagaytay City. People eating here are getting nuts because of the their delicious Boneless Bangus and Bulalo Soup. The Boneless Bangus is priced at P350. Don't be fooled by the price because its bigger than you expected. It lands on the table with a loud "thud!" Their style of Filipino Cuisine is exceptional. From my experience here, you entered the restaurant with an empty stomach and you'll leave the restaurant with your stomach twice its original size. That's what they will promise you and after eating here for more than one year, their promise never faltered. HOW TO GET THERE: Its located on the Second Floor, Magallanes Square, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. Just drive via Aguinaldo Highway and its located a few blocks away from the Lourdes Church.
So after eating a lot, you plan to burn off the calories. Where would you go? I recommend that you visit Picnic Grove. Picnic Grove is just 6 minutes away from the People's Park in the Sky. If you're going to the People's Park in the Sky, it's impossible to miss it because you will pass it as you're going to People's Park in the Sky. Anyways, Picnic Grove presents a splendid panoramic view of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. The entrance fee is just P25. In addition, there is a parking fee of P25. So, all in all, the entrance fee plus parking fee is worth P50. As you explore the Picnic Grove, you will find cottages wherein you can rent them for P100-P250. Also, you can find a lot of food stands and restaurants throughout the Picnic Grove. However, the real highlight of the place is the activities that can be found in Picnic Grove. Some activities that are worth while are horseback riding, zip-line and the Eco Trail. The Eco Trail will give you a panoramic view of the vicinity. It's impossible that you will not marvel at the majestic view of the vicinity. HOW TO GET THERE: Ride a jeepney going to People's Park in the Sky then get off at Picnic Grove.
After your adventurous day in the Picnic Grove, you plan to relax yourself the next day. On the next day, I recommend that you go on a boat ride to the famous Taal Volcano. I recommend you waking up early in the morning like 4am-6am so that you won't be hiking with the heat of the sun. I advise you to wear your most comfortable outfits because hiking the mountain isn't a walk in the park. Before you are able to go to Taal Volcano, you need to find an affordable boat ride. First, ask around for rates of the boat rides to Taal Volcano. Usually this ranges from P2000-P3000 depending on the boat and the agent. After you have found an affordable boat ride and rode to the Taal Volcano, you will have a choice of hiking the mountain by foot or by riding a horse. Of course, riding a horse will cut the trip to the crater of the volcano by half but it will you cost you around P500. So, if you have a budget and still want to burn the calories from the Boneless Bangus in LZM, you can hike the mountain by foot. Usually, it will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes or less depending on the person. It may be tiring but the scenery on the crater will make you forget the pain.
Finally, before we all return to our daily routines in Metro Manila, can't we take some time to thank God for guiding you through Tagaytay?? Again, you're in luck because Tagaytay is full of churches which you will find appealing. As a Catholic, whenever my family is in Tagaytay, It's a must to thank God for guiding us throughout our trip in Tagaytay.Therefore, I've been to a lot of churches in Tagaytay but there were only 3 churches who made me fall in love with Tagaytay. Those 3 churches are Tierra de Maria, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and the Pink . Firstly, I'm gonna talk about the Tierra de Maria. Who isn't gonna be amazed with a 50ft Mama Mary standing tall in the midst of Tagaytay? Also known as a Haven of Mediation, this is not just an ordinary church but this is a place of prayer. Inside the church, you will find a rosary garden wherein people can meditate with their daily lives. Another church is the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. It's my favorite out of all the churches I've been in Tagaytay City. Not only because of another huge Mama Mary watching over us, but because their is a special presence when you enter the church. You will feel an odd aura inside the church. I cannot explain the aura but there's an unexplainable holy aura inside the church wherein you feel like Mother Mary is by your side. That's why I like to visit Tagaytay City and the reason is this church.
Tagaytay City awaits tourists who wants to be destressed from the harsh environment of Metro Manila. It welcomes anyone whether you are a nature lover or just someone who likes to travel, the winds in Tagaytay City are ready to welcome you and are also ready take you to an adventure that will leave you breathless.