Friday, January 7, 2011

First Roadtrip for the Year — Tagaytay!

{Feb-March 2009} My first trip for the year was spent in Tagaytay. It wasn’t my first-time there, as I’ve been in this part of Cavite a couple of times while growing-up. My frequent trips then were mostly spent with my family. Although on some occasions, I would get to spend a few days in Tagaytay when I would go out with friends from school. 

Anyhow, this trip, which I went on with my boyfriend was made out of impulse. We both wanted to just get away for the weekend, and thought of Tagaytay as the nearest place to visit. After his Saturday duty, we left Manila for some fresh air and for some sumptuous bulalo! It took us about 2 hours to get there since we left at a rush hour. Traffic was horrendous, particularly in the Cavite boundary.


Our Tagaytay road trip cost us about PHP150 each, for a one-way travel. We took the 5 PM Jam Transit bus at Taft Avenue, which left 15 minutes later. We arrived at Tagaytay past 8 in the evening. Eventhough traffic was dreadful, we still managed to get to our destination just in time for dinner. As soon as we got off of the bus, we immediately asked around for an affordable and available accommodation nearby. Since this trip was ‘a spur of the moment’ thing, reservations weren’t arranged. So after a good 45 minutes of inquiries and long walks (and three tricycle rides!), we finally found a place that allowed transient lodging.

Yes, we did find a place. But we had no time to complain anymore, as there were no other open places that we could stay in given our tight budget (at a walk-in rate of PHP1500/night). Anyway, as soon as we settled in this big room that lacked furniture, we left and hailed another tricycle (usually costs PHP30/way) bound for Maharlika.

NOTE: If you plan to drop-by the famous food strip, ask the Bus Driver/Conductor that you be dropped off at the Maharlika Road.


Our night in Tagaytay officially started at LESLIE'S with a late order of Special Bulalo, Inihaw na Liempo, Garlic Rice and Ensaladang Mangga. And as our stomachs got stuffed with these tasty Filipino dishes, our wallets got robbed off of its essentials too (by paying out our tab of PHP1000!). Nonetheless, Leslie’s was a great and worthy experience.

As soon as we finished clearing our plates, we took off and walked around the area. We took a few snapshots of us around the vicinity even though the resolutions from our phones didn’t quite capture the pictures that we wanted (since some areas weren't that well-lit). So, we ended the night by going back to our lodging.

Our ranting of this creepy looking place began as soon as we thought of bathing arrangements. Since we assumed that we were going to sleep in a nice place that provided fresh towels, soap and all that, we opted not to bring any of our own stuff. Unfortunate for us, this transient place offered none of the essentials! 

There were no towels nor toiletries for us to use. We were provided with just a toilet, a sink with big mirrors, and a big ceramic tub that serves as a shower area. It surely had the usual TV, air-con and dresser. Then again, we were expecting to be provided with at least a set each of fresh towels! Plus, the bed area was another issue for us, as the bed was really squeaky creepy! *sigh* It was hard sleeping on this bed. And yes there were pillows but no blanket! 

Also, water was a bit scarce, so you could just imagine how our night turned out. It was a good thing that we only stayed there for one night. Although the nice view of the hills the next morning made up for our lousy overnight stay. But we still weren’t satisfied with what we’ve paid for. We felt ripped off actually. Then again, walk-ins are really risk. 

NOTE: Learn from our mistake. Make it a point to book your future trips, if you don’t want these crazy things happening to you!


Day 2 turned out to be okay. We checked-out from our transient accommodation and immediately went around Tagaytay. For jeepney rides around the area, we would usually pay PHP10-15 each for longer trips, and PHP7 for shorter destinations. 


We first visited the Picnic Grove. The entrance fee here was about PHP50/person. The place was packed by the time we got into the premises. The visitors already had their own picnics and grilling activities happening at the time, while other guests enjoyed the Adventure Trail, as well as the scary looking Zip-line and Cable-car rides.


Our second Stop (take any jeep that passes-by Picnic Grove) was the famous People’s Park in the Sky. We did a long walk up this scenic spot of Tagaytay; and then went around to take photos from different angles – in spite of the few raindrops from above! Entrance fee was about PHP20/person. And since the weather was getting all nasty with us, we decided to ride our last jeep down to the city proper. We went down by jeep to where the Rotonda was (where you’ll see a nearby Jollibee and Colette’s stall), to catch a bus bound for Manila.

But before finally heading home, we had lunch at Jollibee and took home with us some Buko Pie’s from Colette’s. After our purchases, we rode the Erjohn and Almark bus and went off at the Lawton area (where we rode the jeep bound for Quezon Avenue).

All in all, I had fun with Rubel, despite the mishaps in our overnight trip. LESSON LEARNED: plan your trip well and book ahead of time! It minimizes those 'bumps on the road' that might happen along the way.

And as always, another Travel Expense Sheet for sharing. =) Hope it helps in one of your future vacations in the area! Until then…

Explore & Be Free!

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