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Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Tagaytay Highlands


 
TAGAYTAY  HIGHLANDS
edad50 at Tagaytay Highlands

            Edad50-LolaFashionista turned55, celebrating it with high school classmates, batch mates and friends in a high-end community called Tagaytay Highlands.

Tagaytay Country Club
Tagayay Highlands is in Tagaytay City, Cavite. It is one of the best destinations for sightseeing, vacation or simply to unwind from the rigors of city life both for locals and foreign tourists alike. The city is located in the province of Cavite, 56km south of Manila and lies within 120° 56' longitude and 14° 6' latitude overlooking Manila Bay on the North, Taal Volcano and Taal Lake on the south and Laguna Bay on the East. The city is linked by the national highway to the Metropolitan Manila and to the Province of Batangas, Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the closest major airport and landmark for foreign tourists. It is connected by the roads to adjoining municipalities worth visiting as well; Amadeo, Mendez, Indang, Silang and Alfonso in Cavite towards the northwest, Calamba and Sta.Rosa in Laguna in the northeast and the towns of Talisay in Batangas in the south.

The place is very scenic, cool and sometimes foggy. The weather is mild and average temperature is from 22°C (71°F) to 25°C (77°F). There are only two ‘seasons’, wet and dry. This cool climate and clean air make it more attractive to foreign tourists, locals and what we call ‘balikbayans’ (returning Filipinos from abroad) for leisure activities like picnics, horseback riding, camping, golfing, boating on the Taal’s crater lake and more breath taking sceneries and sightseeing.

The Cable Car we missed
            I’ve been to Tagaytay many times and every visit is always different and memorable. The last time I went was with my call center ACE team mates from NCO. We stayed overnight at a co-team mates’ vacation house. Their place is overlooking Taal volcano and Taal Lake. We went to Pink Sisters (The nuns are dressed in pink) the following day. Wrote a request prayer and bought their delicious angel cookies. We savor the different dishes offered by the local and foreign restaurants. Each has its own distinction and class.


The Funicular that we also missed
            This time I was with my high school classmates and their families headed to Tagaytay Highlands. We were in a private car taking the Alabang route via SLEX Sta.Rosa Exit. It is the most popular and easiest straight drive all the way to Tagaytay. We passed Palace in the Sky but never stopped by. This was originally designed to be the presidential guesthouse of former president Ferdinand Marcos. It was never completed and after the Edsa revolution more damage was done by sad to say my irresponsible and immature fellow men. It used to be a beautiful place. It is open now to the public but not anymore in its grandeur. Along the way, you can see small shops lined the roadway;  flower shops and gardens, ‘pasalubong’ shops where you  can buy cheap fresh Cavite pineapples (the sweetest pineapple I’ve tasted), senorita bananas(fat baby finger size bananas), fresh vegetables and other fruits,  buko pies and other delicacies Cavite is very known for. 

            We went to pick up our ‘balikbayan’ batch mate in Alfonso, Cavite. It is another developing community. Resorts and big high-end communities are also being developed in Alfonso attracting more foreigners and well off Filipinos to invest and purchase house and lots because of its cool climate, safety and first class amenities. 

Birthday Lunch at Tagaytay Highlands World class restaurant
            We went straight to Tagaytay Highlands and sated our hungry tummys. The restaurants are world class. It is a posh country club surrounded by luscious greeneries in a sloppy area of Tagaytay City. Tagaytay Highlands is a membership only access country club with many amenities. We wanted so much to ride the cable car but due to strong winds, the ride was suspended. It is supposed to bring us to the highest peak of the Highlands Peaks and see breathtaking views of the surrounding area and Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. Another ride we were anticipating to experience that day was the Funicular similar to Hong Kong’s Peak tram. Again because of strong winds the ride was suspended. Aside from the cable car and the funicular, we went around and saw their beautifully landscaped swimming pool…. Brrrrrr…who would dare to swim in a very windy and cool climate…. But yes, there were happy swimmers in the pool! Hmmmm maybe it’s just me, my age, complaining of the wind and cool climate! Our ‘Balikbayan’ friend showed us the other amenities that Tagaytay Highlands offer to their members. There was a three-level sport center where you can play billiards, bowling, badminton, squash, go to gym or spa, basketball courts and other fun acitivities, a fairly new and small animal farm, kart racing track and golf course. Walking to the sport center, we passed by some residents fishing in the fishing pier. 

edad50 singing to her friends
            We all enjoyed our short stay at Tagaytay Highlands, although not everybody can afford the membership fee to the country club, I suggest that the best strategy is to find friends who are members and ask them to lend their membership right to you so you could experience the pleasant and relaxing ambiance of Tagaytay Highlands. I was very lucky to have a ‘balikbayan’ batch mate who not only let us experience life in Tagaytay Highlands, but gave their time, effort and full financial support to make my birthday successful and memorable. It did not end there but was even continued to their sister’s palatial house in Alfonso where we consumed our day singing in their recreation room singing and dancing to our hearts delight. We went home back to Manila bringing with us the beauty and sophistication of Tagaytay Highlands. Edad50's birthday was trully memorable, thanks to all my dearest classmates, batch mates and their families most specially to my dearest balikabayan batchmate and his wife.. Ernesto Padaon and Edna Napalan Padaon.