MANILA, PHILIPPINES — I had no idea that my travel adventures would start so soon this 2010.Â My past year was overflowing with a lot of trips that truly blew me away when I thought that my budget would keep me from setting foot on foreign land.Â I promised myself that I must make it a point to outdo my travel list for 2009.Â I have to keep my fingers crossed as I know that it would be a challenging promise to keep for myself.
But surpriseâ€¦surpriseâ€¦ I found myself traveling out-of-town so early in the year!Â My family decided to do a road trip to make the most of what was left of the holidays.Â So, we agreed to just ride our car and donâ€™t plan on a specific destination and just go where the wind would lead us, so to speak.Â After driving for a few minutes, we figured that maybe we can visit a famous theme park south of the Manila.Â We changed our minds at the last minute when we noticed the long line of cars making a beeline to the parkâ€™s parking lot.Â We turned the car around and decided to go the other way and head to TAGAYTAY CITY.
The splendid City of Tagaytay is included in the top list of tourist destinations in the Philippines.Â As for locals, it is a favorite pit stop for both planned and unplanned road trips.Â It is located within the province of Cavite.Â Given that it is less than sixty kilometers away from Manila, one can easily reach Tagaytay by merely driving for a little over an hour or even less depending on your road choice.Â The fastest perhaps is to take the South-Luzon Expressway or SLEX then proceed to the Sta Rosa exit.Â From the toll gate, you will reach Tagaytay City in thirty minutes.
You will hardly notice the time because you will be amused with a lot of interesting things along the way such as vast pineapple plantations, rows and rows of giant sunflowers lining the road, stalls that offer an endless list of fares like rice cakes and fruits, etc.Â The temptation to stop midway was just too hard for us to resist so we decided to check out the vendors who were selling boiled corn.Â The smell was heavenly so we bought bags full of sweet corn.Â One bag of four corns was sold to us for only $1.Â Aside from sweet corn, we also stuffed our carâ€™s back compartment with pineapples.Â The ones that we bought were packaged at 4 pineapples for only $2.Â That was definitely a steal!Â These pineapples are known to be very sweet.
When we felt a sudden chill in the air, we knew that we have arrived.Â We could already see the famous Taal Volcano from the road.Â It was perfectly surrounded by Taal Lake which was then glistening under the morning sun.Â This active volcano continues to steal the hearts of the cityâ€™s visitors that it is but normal to see throngs of people posing for souvenir shots.
Tagaytay is known also for the huge assortment of restaurants that serve different kinds of cuisines.Â Kids can enjoy the usual fast food chains that serve burgers and fries while adults can choose from among more sophisticated options.Â For a change, I would highly suggest a picnic at the popular Tagaytay Picnic Grove.Â Families usually head to this place armed with really yummy packed lunches.Â It is important to secure a good spot as early as possible as this place can get really crowded during weekends and holidays.Â Kids are always fascinated with the horses and seldom leave the Picnic Grove without riding one.
Aside from being a great venue for a memorable picnic, the Tagaytay Picnic Grove is now being associated with their Zipline and Cable Car attraction.Â These attractions are located at the edge of the Picnic Grove and it covers vast lands within a lush forest.Â The exhilarating ziplines, which are about 250 meters long, allows people to have a taste of how it is to fly at a speed of 60km/hr lasting for about half a minute.Â It would surely be nice to soar about three hundred feet off the ground matched with a magnificent view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake.
After spending time at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, we decided to head to the Maryridge Good Shepherd Convent to buy some goodies that we can bring back with us.Â The Maryridge Good Shepherd is known for their really creamy and melt-in-your-mouth Ube Jam.Â We bought several containers of the Jam as well as Peanut Brittle, Ube Macapuno Cups, Spanish Sardines, and a lot of Angel Cookies.
With our every visit to Tagaytay, we always make it a point to have our coffee and snacks at the Lobby Lounge of the Taal Vista Hotel.Â For one, Taal Volcano and Taal Lake can be viewed best from the hotel grounds.Â This hotel has a newly renovated wing which was constructed to accommodate the huge number of guests who books rooms during peak season like Christmas and other holidays.Â Those who are brave enough to battle the cold weather can enjoy a dip in the freezing pool.Â Taal Vista Hotel is also known for its superb food line up and exquisite food packages that they offer during special events and occasions.
After a long day in Tagaytay, we decided to head home.Â But before proceeding to the South-Luzon Expressway, we made one last stop at the nearest Colettes store to buy ourselves several cartons of their famous Buko Pie.Â These Buko Pies can come in handy just in case you get stuck in traffic