Two weeks ago, my mom took a weekend vacation at my cousin’s house in Tagaytay. While there, she and two of my cousins checked out tourist spots we have not visited before. When she came back, she asked Arjay and I to clear our Mother’s Day weekend schedules so she can take us and the kids for a weekend in Tagaytay.
I was hesitant at first because the kids were sick and I was starting to catch a cold as well. But then after a stressful week of helping Arjay prepare his papers and working on a few big projects myself, we both agreed that we needed some down time. Having been to my cousin’s house there a couple of times before, I knew it will be a relaxing weekend. The place is just wonderful and the food their cooks serve are ahhh-mazing.
We lingered a little longer at my cousin’s house since the minis were really enjoying the place. The adults also enjoyed hanging out at The Clubhouse (this is what they call the small shack where they prepare pugon-cooked meals) and catching up with each other. By the time we all agreed to head to our first stop, it was already lunch time so my cousin’s in laws insisted that we have lunch first before we leave. With crabs steaming in The Clubhouse, no one dared to leave! Haha.
After lunch, my mom told us to pack our swimwear so we can head to Splendido Taal Country Club. Guests are welcome to take a dip in their pool with a view for just PhP 150. If you worry about whether there are clean shower rooms (I do!), there is a decent and quite huge shower and dressing area for day guests. They also have other amenities like Bowling Concourse, Basketball Court, Tennis Court, Badminton Court, Table Tennis Area, and Fitness Center. There will be additional fees if you want to use these facilities.
Since the wind became a bit chilly, we agreed to end pool time and headed to our next destination. Beware of Tagaytay traffic! It can be really bad. It took us about an hour from Splendido to Sky Ranch, which is actually near each other. This place can get crowded on weekends so get ready for that, too. The lines are not very long, though, so it did not take long for us to try the rides we want to try.
Because they weren’t feeling well, the minis started throwing tantrums. This was our signal to head home. We arrived right about dinner time. This time, the cooks prepared Bulalo, a specialty dish in Tagaytay, Pork Menudo, and Pinakbet. My, did we eat a lot! I actually felt bad after seeing my bulging tummy (which prompted me to download Nike Training Club!). :D While my mom and my cousin’s in laws exchanged stories in the garden, Arjay and I stayed inside the Kubo with the kids. I am super thankful that the house has wifi (Sun Wireless performs really good in Tagaytay ha!) because my 3G connection failed me yet again. I don’t usually accept work on weekends, but since the one I received was from a new client who wants a sample of my work, I had to do it. (I got the job, by the way. Yey!)
Later that evening, the minis asked to be put to bed already. Yes, they miraculously asked! We called it a day and headed to our rooms.
We woke up earlier the next day because our itinerary that day will require most of the day. After another hearty breakfast, we drove to Olivares where the guys with signage for boat rides to Taal Volcano can be seen. Use your haggling skills when you deal with these guys. They gave us an initial price of PhP 2,500 for one boat, which we eventually got for just PhP 1,200. ;)
Upon arrival, your boatman will take you to the person in charge of ticketing. There is a charge of PhP 50 for every person who will hike up the mouth of Taal Volcano and an additional charge of PhP 450 for every person who will ride a horse. If you think you can take the hike on foot, there is no need to pay 450 bucks.
Just like every tourist spot, prepare for sky-high prices for water, food, and hats. One small bottle of water here costs PhP 50! If you plan to go here, do not forget to bring a huge jug of water, snacks, and something to protect your head from the sun (renting a hat will cost you another PhP 50).
Since it was already too hot, I stayed behind with my mom and The Little Man while Arjay, The Princess, and my sister took a horse ride up. There are huts facing the lake so we just enjoyed fresh buko each while waiting for our companions.
Arjay said the scenery up there is breathtaking. I wish I saw it with my own eyes, too! If we arrived earlier, The Little Man and I would have joined the adventure. [Another tip: Go there early in the morning to avoid the scorching heat!]
Here’s something I learned last weekend about our little adventure to Taal Volcano: When you look out from the Tagaytay Ridge, you’ll see this in front of you…
She’s a beauty, right? This is not the mouth of Taal Volcano. This is actually what they call Binintiang Malaki. Taal Volcano is behind this smaller one. Am I the only one who does not know this?! Oh my gosh. All along, I thought Binintiang Malaki is the mouth of Taal Volcano!
After our Mother’s Day adventure, we drove back to my cousin’s house again to rest before returning to Manila. That adventure was quite tiring so everyone ended up snoring until dinner time! We all came home with tired feet, but happy hearts after this trip. This made me want to go on more adventures with the minis…