Five months ago, I lamented that I haven’t been to Tagaytay yet, though it’s only an hour an a half from Manila. Now as we start on the sixth month of 2008, I’m quite proud to say that I’ve already been to Tagaytay three times. First time was the trip with my sister-in-law and nephews (which I’ve yet to blog about), second was the Southern Sojourn with Verdana Homes and Our Awesome Planet, and the third was just last Saturday with friend from the Rice Bowl Journals forum.
We started early. Rather, we tried. We were set to meet up at 8am at Greenbelt 3, but seeing as I was still chatting to Anna D and Mela at 2 am, I had a feeling we’d be starting a bit late. Nevertheless, I left early. I was running on leftover energy from work, and I figured I better get to Makati before I doze off. The plan was to take the MRT then walk from the Ayala Station to Greenbelt. But as I was contemplating the walk, an empty taxi came and I hopped in. It was 7:03 am then. EDSA was pleasantly devoid of traffic. There’s a number of private cars and public busses on the highway, but traffic was light and when I stepped out of the cab, it was only 7:19 am.
Most of the group prefered to meet at Starbucks. However, since I was freakishly early and prefer Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s food, I decided to have breakfast there and just head on to Starbucks afterwards. After scarfing down my order of Eggs Ben and finishing one edition of Bounce Magazine, Ming and Mela arrived and we headed to Starbucks where Peter was waiting. While waiting for Anna D to arrive, we tried figuring out how to fit a 35mm film on Mela’s pinhole Holga. Thanks to Starbuck’s tissue and Tazo brochure, I think we were able to do a decent job at it. Here’s to hoping it actually worked lol.
By 9:30, we were off. As Peter predicted, traffic was starting to build up on the southbound lane. Though it was moving, traffic slowed down in a number of areas, owing to the extensive construction in the South Luzon Expressway. After exiting at Sta. Rosa though, traffic became considerably light and soon enough, we were at Paseo de Sta. Rosa. It was still early for lunch, so we checked out the outlet stores. Speedo, Nike, Adidas, Levi’s and other store have considerable markdowns. I’m just happy that I only have enough money for the day, else I’d have gone on a major shopping spree.
After scouring all the stores, we settled for an early lunch at Kanin Club. It was lucky we did, because halfway through our meal, people started streaming in and the restaurant filled up. The group let me order, and I ordered my favorites from our previous feast: Crispy Liempo, Crispy Dinuguan, Chicken Curry, Loaded Fried Rice, Tinapa Fried Rice and KC Turon. I was glad to hear their murmurs of delight while eating each dish. Even Ming, who wasn’t Filipino tried and liked the dinuguan. He says he eats something similar to betamax back in Thailand, so eating pig’s blood isn’t anything new. We were so stuffed by the meal that we opted to just have the turon packed and eaten in Tagaytay.
We were all for lounging, and Peter knew just the place. The Cliffhouse is a bit further from the area where Starbucks and Leslie’s is. Though the view isn’t better, the ambiance definitely is. There weren’t that many people at Cliffhouse and there are chairs under huge umbrellas that protects you from the sun and the rain, which makes the place pefect to sit back and relax.
All that lounging around made us all sleepy, so we headed to Bag of Beans to get a shot of caffeine. We were welcomed by six or so kids and teens all vying for our attention and trying to sell us something. After wading through the bodies, we found the stairs that lead down to the garden. It was great being inside Bag of Bean’s garden. It was as if you’re in a different place altogether. Though Bag of Beans was along the national highway, you can just faintly hear the traffic as it whiz by. There are plenty of tables under the shade of trees, and lots of flowers and plants that give the place a vibrant hue. Those who prefer to get out of nature, can opt to sit inside the covered, screened area. Bag of Bean’s specialty was their English pies and local kapeng Barako. I would have loved to try the Barako coffee, but I prefered to cool down with an iced mocha and a beef and vegestable pie.
We were quite content to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere and the company of good friends, but Peter had to go home early, so we headed to our last stop. Mela shared that “you haven’t been to Tagaytay if you haven’t eaten a mushroom burger.” I’ve been hearing about this mushroom burger since highschool; a couple of high school friends would always eat at their branch in West Avenue or at their stall inside SM North EDSA’s food court. I’ve never been able to try it, so I was looking forward to trying one though I was already quite full. After all that hype, I was quite disappointed. The burger smelled really great, but it didn’t really deliver. The patty was too small, so when you bite into one, the dominant taste is the store-bought nothing-special burger bun. Curiosity satisfied, we piled back into the car and headed down to Manila.
This is definitely one of the best weekend daytrips I’ve had. Daytrips, though cheap and highly enticing, are often tiring. It involved traveling to and fro in the same day, then having a long list of activities. This Tagaytay daytrip, though short, was enough to de-stress everybody. Can’t wait to go back, guys! Amanda, Anna L., Argee, Angeli and Ain: you better be join us next time!
Directory of places we went to:
Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Phone: (049) 544-0332
West Gate, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa
General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City, Cavite
Bag of Beans
115 Aguinaldo Highway
Mendez Crossing West
Phone: +63 46 413 4356, +63 46 413 2724
Mobile: +63920 954 6369, +63920 954 6370
Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City
Tel. No.(046) 413-13-30
Great hotel deals in Tagaytay via Agoda