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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrTagaytay is the second summer capital of the Philippines, next to Baguio. This beautiful, cool city is located along the Tagaytay Ridge, 2,500 feet above sea level in the Province of Cavite in the Philippines. Tagaytay is a popular respite from the chaos of Metro Manila, being just 34 miles or an hour and a half away from Makati City.
It is a great place for camping, picnics, family outings, and spiritual retreats because of the tranquil ambiance and cool temperature that averages 72 °F and even lower from December to February. Local and foreign tourists go to Tagaytay to see its most famous attraction, Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world, which can be found in the middle of Taal Lake.
Legend & HistoryAccording to legends, there was once a father and son who went on a hunt for wild boar. Unfortunately, the animal that they were chasing turned back and charged towards the father. The son, seeing the boar attacking his father, cried “Taga Itay” meaning “Cut/Hack Father”. His shouts were echoed in the ridge’s valleys and were heard by the people in the area. The incident was the talk of the town and the place where the boy’s cries were heard was called Tagaytay. In Tagalog dialect, though, Tagaytay means “ridge”.
The forests and ridges became the hiding place for revolutionaries during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. During World War II before the Liberation of Manila, the American 11th Airborne Division airdropped soldiers and military supplies on the Tagaytay Ridge. In honor of this, the city officials and Philippine Historical Institute installed a marker at the junction of Manila-Canlubang-Nasugbu roads in 1951. Tagaytay became a chartered city in 1938.
Taal Volcano & LakeIf it is not enough to simply view of Taal Volcano and Lake, go to Talisay, Agoncillo, San Nicolas, or Laurel and arrange to cross to the volcano. You can choose to ride the horse or trek to the crater together with local guides.
People’s Park in the Sky (formerly Palace in the Sky)This is an unfinished, presidential rest house located at the highest point of the city and province located at Mount Sungay. It was built by former First Lady Imelda Marcos for the visit of Ronald Reagan which did not materialize. It is open to the public for ₱30 ($0.66) per person and though it may look like a haunted house, there is a great view of Taal Volcano from this place.
Picnic GroveGet a breathtaking view of Taal Volcano while having a picnic at Picnic Grove or hiking on the eco-trail boardwalk. Zipline and cable car is ₱200 ($4.40) one-way and ₱300 ($6.60) one-way per person on weekdays, and ₱300 ($6.60) one-way and ₱400 ($8.80) one way per person on weekends and holidays. Horseback riding is ₱150 ($3.30) to ₱200 ($4.40) per hour. Entrance fee is ₱50 ($1.10) per person.
Sky Ranch Theme ParkFor ₱50 ($1.10) entrance fee, one can enter the newest attraction right beside Taal Vista Hotel. Enjoy a ride on the Sky Eye, a 207-feet Ferris Wheel for ₱50 ($1.10) or try the other rides like the Super Viking, Carousel, Express Train, Mini-Viking, Wonder Flight, and more.
Flower FarmIsland Rose of islandrose.net owns the 5-hectare Flower Farm which has 2 hectares of greenhouses, producing 2 million European roses per year and delivering 5,000 roses daily. It has twelve rose varieties and other flowers including Chrysanthemums, Carnations, Anthuriums, and Gerberas.
One DestinationThe newest entertainment and dining strip of Tagayta hosting restaurants like Pancake House, Yellow Cab; Max’s Restaurant, Dencio’s Grill; Antonio’s Grill, Henlin; RSM, Leslie’s, Cliffhouse; Starbucks Coffee, and more.
Tagaytay HighlandsThis well-developed luxurious residential and recreational complex is for members only and is located on the southeast of Mount Sungay .
Other interesting places to visit include the bee farm, Ilog Maria, where bee-based products are for sale and the quaint chapels which are ideal for retreats and reflections like the Pink Sisters Chapel, Don Bosco Chapel on the Hill, Caleruega Church, and Little Souls Chapel.
Golf enthusiasts can choose from the Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club, Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club; Royale Tagaytay Golf Club, Splendido Taal Residential Golf & Country Club; Riviera Golf, and Country Club and Canyon Woods Resort Club nearby.
AccommodationsThe best accommodations in Tagaytay would be those overlooking the lake and volcano. In the busier district, you can choose from the high budget range, such as The Boutique Bed and Breakfast, The Inn at Cliffhouse; Discovery Country Suites, The Theodore Hotel; and Taal Vista Hotel. 8 Suites is a luxury hotel located at the quieter section of Tagaytay but with a fantastic view of the lake and volcano.
Mid-range hotels include The Lake Hotel Tagaytay, One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites; Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast Tagaytay, Summit Ridge Hotel; Windy Ridge Hotel, and Tagaytay Lake View Villa.
Cheaper options include Indian/Middle East-themed Andanita Taj Lakeview Hotel, Green Fortune Hotel; Tagaytay Econo Inn, and Jesca Lakeview Bed & Breakfast.
DiningCredit it to the cool climate and the fresh, unpolluted air but there are too many delicious things to try in Tagaytay. On the Sta Rosa-Tagaytay Road from Metro Manila is a long line of fruit vendors selling mouthwatering fresh fruits. It is impossible not to stop and buy. Tagaytay is very near Batangas with cattle ranches so expect to see beef dishes like bulalo (beef shank soup) and kare-kare (ox tail stew). There is a long list of dining places but these are the must-try in Tagaytay:
- Sonya’s Garden – all-time favorite with eat-all-you-can set meals using produce from the garden. Try Tagaytay Greens Salad
- Bag of Beans – rustic place for comfort food like great coffee, Shepherd’s Pie, Steak and Mushroom Pie, Barbecued Ribs, Apple Pie.
- Josephine’s Restaurant – Feast on Filipino food with unobstructed view of Taal volcano.
- Tower Ground Bulalohan – piping hot tender Bulalo and Filipino cuisine with a view of Taal volcano.
- The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms – popular for bottomless salad bar using fresh farm produce.
- Marcia Adams’ – garden restaurant specializing in Mediterranean food like Grilled Aroma Pork and Al Funghi Pasta are recommended.
- Antonio’s – fine dining old world elegance; was voted best restaurant in the Philippines by Miele guide with international specialties like Antonio’s Trio.
- Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant – European in a vineyard home setting; best known for desserts like Grand Marnier Ice Cream.
- Bawai Vietnamese Kitchen – serves healthy food like fresh Vietnamese roll and Beef Pho.
How to Get ThereThe easiest way to go to Tagaytay would be by car via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Take the Sta. Rosa Exit then turn right driving straight for 30 minutes to Tagaytay. Otherwise, take the Carmona Exit and then drive down to Silang until you arrive at the entrance to Tagaytay.
Taxis from the airport to Tagaytay would be a fixed rate of approximately ₱2,500 ($55) depending on your haggling skills or double the meter rate plus toll fees.
Buses that go to Tagaytay pass by the Uniwide Coastal Mall so this would be a good starting point for the trip to Tagaytay. Take the Liam, Lemery, Nasugbu, Catalagan bus and get off at Tagaytay. Fare is about ₱80 ($1.76). There are also buses at the Jam Transit Terminal in Taft corner Gil Puyat Avenue or at the bus terminals at Taft Avenue corner EDSA. Shuttle services passing by Tagaytay are available at Zamora Street near Metropoint Mall, near Kabayan Hotel at EDSA corner Taft or at the MRT Taft station. Fare is about ₱180 ($3.96).
Day trips can be arranged by local tour operators or hotels.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Jan 12, 2015