Up in the highlands, the temperate wind meets the soothing heat of beef marrow soup and strong brewed coffee. Assiduous florists tend to their blossoming flowers; local middlemen wave small placards to hasty passersby, offering horseback and boat ride packages going to the nearby Taal Volcano.
Filipino vacationists often go to cooler altitudes during summer as a mechanism to avoid the harsh climate of the lowlands. Majority prefer to either choose from Baguio City, which is considered as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, or Tagaytay City, whose chilling ability realistically appears incomparable to Baguio’s. But Tagaytay need not be considered as a substitute for Benguet’s pride.
Tagaytay is the cornerstone that sits between two of Southern Luzon’s popular provinces, Cavite and Batangas. The multifaceted city officially belongs to the former, but Batangueño attributes seem more obvious. Over the past decades, Tagaytay progressed from a static substitute destination to a dynamic household name. The city, positioned on the edge of a hill, has tentacles of highways that extends to outskirts and urban areas, making it easily accessible to excursionists. In a span of two hours from Metro Manila, a jaunt can already become worthwhile. Below are the classic examples that contributed to Tagaytay’s established identity.
A perfect remedy to one’s borborygmus is the bulalo or beef marrow soup, which is the city’s specialty dish. Believed to have originated from the province of Batangas, bulalo has become the favorite filler of food aficionados when in Tagaytay. This dish is the right comfort food to eat while in a restaurant that overlooks the majestic Taal Lake. Should you restrain from ordering a pricey bulalo at overrated restaurants, you can resort to the stalls at Mahogany Market where affordable dishes are found.
The name of the park serves its main purpose: a picnic spot. Many Filipino films had featured Picnic Grove as the venue of romantic dates or family gatherings of the protagonists. Everyone is allowed to bring in food. Depending on your picnic preference, you can either lay a blanket on the grass or stay under the concrete hut. Picnic Grove offers a great view of Taal Lake. Entrance fee is Php50 per head while parking fee is Php35 per vehicle.
People’s Park in the Sky
This out-of-the-way park, formerly known as Palace in the Sky, is situated few meters above the city proper. People’s Park has a deck that gives everybody a panoramic view of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and even Metro Manila. The dilapidated building that holds the viewing deck contrasts the upscale structures in the nearby Tagaytay Highlands. Thick fog sometimes encapsulate the area, disallowing visitors to ascend from the main gate. Entrance fee is Php35 per person.
Bag of Beans
A good way to conclude the day is to sip a cup of house blend coffee at the Bag of Beans, particularly in their flagship shop located at Mendez Crossing West along Aguinaldo Highway. Bag of Beans is best known for brewing one of the world’s most expensive coffee beans – the Coffee Alamid. The homey atmosphere in the café makes the dining experience more special. From simple open tables under the shade of trees to cushioned cabanas, Bag of Beans gets you attached to your seat much longer.