Hanging Out in Tagaytay

View of Taal Lake from Starbucks in Tagaytay
Map showing route from Manila to Tagaytay, with Taal Volcano

An hour’s drive from Metro Manila will take you to a cool place. In fact, in my beginning Tagalog textbook it shows up often in connection with coolness, as in, “Alin ang mas maginaw, ang Tagaytay o ang Baguio?” (Which is colder, Tagatay or Baguio?) Both are mountainous areas known for providing relief from the summer heat. Both have terrific views. From many parts of Tagaytay, you can see the Taal Lake its volcanic crater, as well as the mountain ridges and forests where revolutionaries hid out during the 1896 the war against Spanish rule. Tagaytay is popular with tourists and recently also with new residents. Real estate prices are rising. Many upscale restaurants are available. It’s also a great place to just hang out.

On one trip we visited the guesthouse originally built by Imelda Marcos, reportedly for Ronald Reagan, who never show up. After the 1986 overthrow of the Marcos regime, it was named the People’s Park in the Sky.

The People’s Park in the Sky


The amphitheater at People’s Park

Another place well worth visiting is the Daughters of Divine Zeal, a community of sisters which maintains well-tended fields, a restaurant with Italian food and a bee farm. We have gotten into the habit of going there to pick up natural productions like cosmetics containing honey, which are available in the showroom. There’s also a shelter for abused women. (Update: The farm appears to have been taken over by Ilog Maria, which was producing the farms honey products. Ilog Maria also has a place in Silang.)

Natural products for sale in the shop
Italian restaurant at the Daughters of Divine Zeal
The bees
A typical Filipino gate

On one visit we stayed in a vacation home surrounded by flowers.

Inside the house
Inside the traditional house
The front porch with locally made wooden furniture

But I fell in love with this traditional Filipino house with its various woods and very relaxing mood, inside and out.

The traditional house from the gate
Woodwork details

Another time we did a retreat at the Angel Hills Retreat Center (below). Always we ate well, including local dishes like bulalot. Fruit from Tagaytay is well known, so we often stopped to take some home.

Fruit vendor near People’s Park



Bulalot, or bone marrow soup, which tastes a lot like Korean beef rib stew







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