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Down South and Up High

>> Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tagaytay is one of the famous vacation places in the Philippines, known for its cold weather, pineapples, and flowers. With just a few hours' drive south, you can escape the Manila heat and bask in the cold breeze coming from the city in the mountains. Plus, you get a great view of the Taal Lake from the mountain-side restaurants in Tagaytay.

I took a daytrip with the parents, my godchild and her dad, and our neighbors to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary. Since my parents are together almost 24/7, they decided to share the celebration with some close friends. So after some quick morning errands, we all huddled together in the van, and had a lovely roadtrip to the south.

We arrived right in time for lunch and we went to eat one of the dishes that Tagaytay is known for: the wonderful Bulalo. It's a beef stew that is cooked long and good until the shanks are so soft that it falls off the bone. The best part of it is the bone marrow which you scoop and slurp with the oily soup. We ate lunch in gusto with a view of the Taal Volcano.

The view started off foggy and cloudy because the rainy season has started in the country. However, we were fortunate that the skies cleared a few moments after and we were able to take photos of the volcano and its surroundings.

We were supposed to have coffee at Sonya's Garden, which is just a few kilometers away from Josephine Restaurant. Sonya's Garden -- like its name -- is a garden filled with flowers and organic produce, which they serve in their buffet. It also has a bed and breakfast, where guests can stay while being surrounded by nature. Too bad, they don't serve coffee. They only have the set buffet, but since we already ate lunch, we didn't stay long anymore. We just walked around and bought bread to take home.

So much have changed since the last time I visited Tagaytay. It has evolved from the country look into something more modern. Condominiums, malls, and theme parks have emerged here and there. While the development is good for the city income-wise, I think this kind of development is taking away the aesthetic of Tagaytay. I hope they slow down with the construction of buildings and keep the country side look with the colorful flowers and pine trees that Tagaytay is known for.


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