TAGAYTAY: There and Back Again

5:18 AM


TAGAYTAY CITY, PHILIPPINES — One day in February while waiting for our friends to arrive, Twinny and I shared our insatiable craving for adventure and a bittersweet pang of wanderlust with a fresh lumpia as our witness. Right then and there we planned a trip to Ilocos, Norte in the weekend. But because of some unforeseen schedules and inability to have an overnight trip, we settled to the common place that people love to go to enjoy some fresh air and is much nearer in the metro.

We've been to Tagaytay a few times before but it is Twinny's first time to tour around the city, so off we went. For most people, they do not even need a plan. Just some cash and some sense of adventure. And that's what we did. No plans nor itineraries, a fixed 600 pesos budget and adventurous hearts. 

We brave the EDSA traffic on a Saturday and rode a bus to Nasugbu, Batangas from Coastal Terminal. It was a long ride composed of stories and sleeping. After 2 and a half hours, we reached Olivares — for me, Tagaytay's version of Paris' point zero only a circle like base route to take you to the spots and not a marker.


That was our first time commuting to the place and the bus dropped us off farther from the terminal to Picnic Grove so we opted to check out Sky Ranch first because the jeepneys coming past us were all headed there. As I've said, no itineraries. 

Our grumbling stomachs made us stop to this Korean restaurant in the highway right before Sky Ranch. 


The place was almost empty upon entering — only one family was dining and enjoying their sumptuous meal. The restaurant had a delightful ambiance and is composed of wooden chairs and tables. At the side of the counter is a poster of my Korean hallyu star crush, Kim Soo Hyun as Do Min Joon — my favorite character of him. 


We were greeted by a tan skinned man who pronounced the names of the foods in the menu as if he was a native Korean. Later on, we were celebrating a feast with Samgyeopsal and a bountiful Korean soup in our table and Hesi and Denise, singing me a happy birthday. 


Moments later, our meal was gone and our stomachs satisfied and the resto started to be filled with Koreans and other Filipinos like us wanting to have a treat for lunch. That was also our cue to leave and enjoy the rest of the day touring. 


We headed to Sky Ranch and after some random photo ops, we put ourselves for an adventure that neither of us are expecting. We went back to Olivares to ride a jeepney to Picnic Grove only to not notice ahead of time that we passed by it already. So we let the jeepney take us where it wants to take us... to People's Park in the Sky. 

A lot of vendors buzzed right in front of us upon descending the jeepney. We bought some pasalubongs and roamed around the area. While trying to have some photos taken, that's when Twinny noticed that her camera — Katniss — was missing. We tried to search for the jeepney that we rode going to the park to no avail. This is the part that we decided to ditch the place.



We hailed a tricycle to bring us to Picnic Grove and stayed in one of the cottage to unwind. (As for twinny, to grieve for Katniss) We let ourselves be captured not only by the camera but also by the beauty of the environment. The ever amazing Taal volcano view and the calming Tagaytay breeze. 




By 3:00 in the afternoon, we bid Picnic Grove goodbye to go in my high school friend's place in Mendez. So to Oliveros we went again; the point zero. We still tried winning Katniss back and Twinny even left her phone number but we still haven't heard anything up until now. So we are bound to the last stage of grieving: acceptance.


Introduced Denise and Hesi to some of my high school gang and together we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon  listening to rad musics, sharing stories and of course taking photos.


Our hearts were swooned by the place. It has a huge backyard that can let you do a lot of activities that you can think of. May it be bonfire, camping and star gazing; or perhaps you can settle with some sports like what they are playing when the photo above was taken — rugby. The houses are American country-style that will make you look like you are in some part of the US and the lighting is incredibly great in that side of the world.



I even got the chance to play with the very chubby Bernice, Josh's insert-breed-here dog. 





Because we can't stay the night, we capped of our Tagaytay day tour by admiring the sunset, barbecues, group photos and some bullying here and there.



There are times when you just have to answer to the calling of the road. No matter what the circumstances it is, when your body aches for adventure, go and find some. You do not even need a plan. Just some cash and some sense of adventure. 


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