We only have a little over twenty-four hours before we fly out from Manila. We wanted to get out of the city we have been cooped up for the past days; far from the malls and traffic. Considering the duration of the travel, a two-hour drive from Manila is the best place for that quick trip. Hence, Taal-Tagaytay it is.
We got a travel and tour for PhP 699 per person which includes pick-up and drop-off, gas and toll fees and a tour coordinator. These do not include the entrance fees of the attractions. At around 4:00 AM the van picked us up from City of Dreams then we stopped for a quick breakfast before heading to Taal Basilica at 8:00 AM.
First off the list is the Taal Basilica in Batangas. It was so early and yet a wedding was ongoing. We just offered prayers and headed out to discover Taal. We walked around the heritage town. There were many old-fashioned houses scattered around Taal. We visited the Bahay ni Apacible. As we entered the house, we were ushered in a TV room where a video was played about the lives of the Apacible brothers and their contribution in the independence of the Filipinos.
Taal Heritage Town
Just a walking distance from the Apacible is the house of the Marcela Agoncillo. Amazingly! I still recall her as one of the three who sew the Philippine flag. We were toured around the heritage house and were fascinated that it was built with wooden nails.
Due to our early call time, we slept inside the van as we treveled to our next destination. We woke up to find this majestic castle. The castle seems like it was straight out of a fairy tale. We paid PhP 100 for the entrance fee. Food and drinks were not allowed in the park though there were goods available inside. There were a lot of attractions; castle, fountain, hanging bridge and a maze.
A variety of plants and herbs are for sale in Sonya’s Garden. There are available organic products like soaps, perfumes and a number of vegetable chips. The place is instagrammable especially with all the foliage and cute benches. Hey! I did not pass up on such opportunity.
An entrance fee of Php 50 for Gingerbread House. The place is still for renovation. We just stayed for around 10 minutes. I guess we were so hungry and the place was too “for kids” that’s why we did not stay too long.
Jaytee’s Filipino Cuisine
We wanted to have lunch, specifically Bulalo; with a view, the Taal lake. Hence, our tour coordinator lead us to Nasugbu highway where in a lot of restaurants are lined up. Somehow all the restaurants we wanted to try are full and it is already around two o’clock in the afternoon. Good thing, we found Jaytee’s Filipino Cuisine. We waited for five minutes before we were seated. We ordered a set menu of PhP 2,490 which is good for four to seven persons. It includes Bulalo, Grilled Liempo, Buttered Garlic Shrimps, Pakbet, Sizzling Sisig, Rice and Iced tea. The Pakbet was really delicious coming from someone who is not a fan of the dish. The shrimp paste was not too overpowering and it was creamy.
As we dined, a group of acoustic singers were hopping from table to table to serenade the customers while eating. We requested for Kung Di Rin Lang Ikaw which they gladly sing. Good food, good music and the Taal Lake. Two thumbs up!
We decided to take the Sky Eye instead of the Super Vikings because we were still full from our late lunch. Honestly, I was scared of jumping on the Super Vikings, it was swinging the boat quite fast. Entrance fee is Php 80 and Sky Eye costs PhP 150.
The number of persons allowed in one cart is two to four persons. It turns really slow that you got to enjoy the view of the Taal volcano and the surrounding area. The combination of the view and the height we were at- made it more breathtaking.
Before heading back to Manila, we had a quick stop at Rowena’s pasalubong. They had pies, tarts, nuts, pastilles and more. My favorite was Pinipig Ampao which were really cheap and tastes really good.
That Taal-Tagaytay trip was something I need to reset. The past two months were going too fast and slow at the same time. Looking forward for a much longer time next time, probably for that Taal Volcano trek I was hearing about.