Showing posts with label Tagaytay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tagaytay. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tagaytay: Summit Ridge Hotel provides great views of Taal Volcano!

If you're looking for a hotel in Tagaytay City with great views of Taal Volcano, Summit Ridge Hotel is one of them. After our sumptuous food binge in the restaurants of Veranda Robinsons Galleria, our group of bloggers proceeded all the way to Tagaytay City for an overnight stay in Summit Ridge.

We got to tour the facilities including its events and convention venues. We were particularly impressed with the Summit Learning Center which is said to have been patterned after a Harvard classroom. Summit Ridge also has several recreational facilities including a wooden basketball court that doubles as badminton courts. The hotel also arranges tours.

For dinner, the group got a preview of the Summer BBQ Nights by Annie's, which will run every Saturday, 6 p.m. until May 28, 2011 (Php599/head). I suggest you rush to Summit Ridge this summer before this sumptuous barbecue buffet ends. The buffet included Spicy Pork BBQ, Chicken Skewers, Sausage Kebab, Fish Fillet with Remoulade, as well as rice, soup, salad, pasta and dessert.

Before we called it a night, we also got a preview of the hotel's newly-opened SeriAsia Spa. In the morning, breakfast was at the restaurant of Annie's and C2 Classic Cuisine.

Summit Ridge Hotel
Km 58, Maharlika West
Tagaytay City
(632) 2406888 / (0922) 8526800

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Batangas: Taal Volcano trek

While most only get to see Taal Volcano from the Tagaytay Ridge, a few adventurous souls venture down to Talisay, Batangas to set foot on Volcano Island and trek to the crater lake. A good number ride a horse going up to the view point, while others trek up. Even more challenging is the trail that leads all the way down to the banks of the crater lake.

Boats to Volcano Island are readily available. In fact, you'll see touts with small signs trying to get you to ride their boats around Tagaytay. But the problem with this is having to haggle with them. So I decided to take a boat from the Taal Lake Yacht Club where fees are fixed and parking is free. The boat and guide to Taal Volcano costs Php1,800 there (maximum of five passengers).

This time, I chose to trek up to the crater lake viewpoint. The trail is 1.7 kilometers and you can finish it in about an hour. It was quite funny that the horses and their caretakers followed us up, hoping that we'd get tired and decide to ride a horse the rest of the way. The horse ride should cost Php500 for the trip up and back. You can arrange this at the resort to avoid haggling when you get to the island.

Note that there is also a Php20 landing fee when you reach the island. Along the way, you get to see vents spewing out sulfuric gases. The view from the top is really stunning as you get to see the entire lake as well as the coast of Batangas.

As I mentioned, you can opt to go down the crater lake. But this would cost a bit more. I've never been down there. And too bad we didn't have time to do it since we planned to visit Taal Town after lunch.

Taal Lake Yacht Club
Talisay, Batangas, Philippines
(043) 7730192

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tagaytay: Loumars, Ilog Maria, Bawai's Vietnamese, Chateau Hestia, Yoki's and Antonio's

Tagaytay is a favorite tourist destination because of its cool climate. It's a food haven, with its many restaurants, cafes and farms, plus a wonderful view of Taal Volcano. But it still keeps many secrets, some tucked deep in the outskirts of the city. Ultimate Philippines organizes regular food tours to Tagaytay.

The first stop in the morning is Loumars, best known for their buko pie tarts and mango crumble. And it's best freshly-baked and served hot from the oven. This is our pick for the best buko pie tarts in Tagaytay.

After Loumars, the group proceeded to Ilog Maria Bee Farm in Silang, Cavite, said to be the best bee farm in Luzon with a cult following. And their honey products such as soaps, shampoo, bath gel and the like are the main reason why people come back for more. Sad to say, they no longer have honey for consumption since global warming has taken its toll on the bees.

For lunch, we proceeded to Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen, also in Silang, Cavite to sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine prepared by Bawai herself, a Vietnamese lady married to a local. We got to try out goi cuon (fresh Vietnamese rolls), and chao tom (pounded shrimps on sugar cane skewers) among others. It's open only on weekends and remember that it's strictly reservations if you want to eat at this place.

From there, we walked to nearby Chateau Hestia for dessert and to sample their limoncello, the best local wine made in Tagaytay.

Another afternoon stop was Yoki's Farm. It's quite a drive from Tagaytay. But this hydroponic farm is more popular for its collection of antiques, cultural items and other oddities, literally anything under the sun. Don't forget to take a lucky picture with what looks like the biggest Buddha in the country!

Of course, the farm produces a lot of vegetables with the use of hydroponics. If fact, you can also purchase some, fresh from the farm!

For dinner, we all trooped to Antonio's Fine Dining, arguably the best restaurant in Tagaytay! In fact, it's so good, it's been named one of the Top 10 restaurants in Asia by the Miele Guide! Chef Tony Boy Escalante is also such a gracious host, moving around the restaurant when he can to greet his guests.

For dinner, we had Steamed & Nori Wrapped Tempura Scallop, Mesclun Salad w/ Coriander Viaigrette; Beef Fillet on Plancha w/ Black Pepper Sauce, Pappardelle, Toss Baby Arugula w/ Honey Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette with soup and guava sorbet in between; and Felchlin Maracaibo Chocolate Terrine w/ Double Cream & Roasted Pistachio for dessert. Such long names and the sound of it makes it difficult to choose from their large menu. But one thing is certain: the food and ambiance is heavenly perfect!

Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cavite: Ultimate Tagaytay Culinary Tour on February 28! Book now!

Up, up to the highlands! Let's us savor a smorgasbord as we explore the best international kitchens in the coolest city south of Manila! From the best buko pie to the tastiest banh da lon, let us cruise along this city by the ridge, taking in her scenic views, mountain weather and best of all, indulging in her undiscovered culinary delights!

More than the food, let us meet the people behind some of Tagaytay's most delicious dining establishments as we share the stories and behind the recipes. This is indeed a tour to nourish your stomach and spirit!

The tour experience includes a visit to the Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm, a Vietnamese lunch at Bawai Vietnamese Kitchen, desserts at Chateau Hestia European Garden Restaurant, Yoki's Treasures and the Hydrophonic Farm, and early dinner at Antonio's Dining. Tour fee is P3,800 per person inclusive of meals, transportation, and surprises. We're accepting a maximum of 20 people only. This is brought to you by Ultimate Philippines Tours. E-mail us at for information and bookings.

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta tour on Valentine's Day! Book now!
Slots on our Valentine's Day tour at the 14th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta are going, going gone! We have five slots left out of thirty! So book now! As part of the tour, you'll have a sumptuous breakfast at C' Italian Dining, a hearty Kapampangan lunch at Abe's Farm and optional spa treatments at Nurture Spa. Click here for more information.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Cavite: Nurture Spa in Tagaytay

After such a stressful week, the prospect of visiting Nurture Spa in Tagaytay today was a welcome alternative to an otherwise busy routine. And Tagaytay seems to feel much closer to Manila than before. I remember one time we decided to go to Tagaytay after some drinks just for coffee, bulalo and the cool weather of course!

We were greeted by an ensemble of native instruments as we entered Nurture Spa. We were served warm salabat (ginger tea) as well as some snacks which included suman, mangoes and hot chocolate before we got our spa treatments.

We got to tour the facilites before our treatments. You can actually stay overnight or even longer at Nurture Spa and it's perfect for dates. Some come from as far as abroad for the healing treatments, a combination of massages and the proper diet. And there have been a lot of testaments from those who got better from this alternative healing.

Just like in Nurture Spa Abe's Farm, I chose the hilot treatment which I rarely get in spas here in Metro Manila. And it was a really relaxing treatment since I fell asleep in the middle of it!

Lunch was healthy as well. I had a salad with Nurture Spa's signature salad dressing, lumpiang ubod and laing pasta. The others ordered tandoori chicken and bulalo. The carrot cake dessert was great.

I'm looking forward to my next treatment, maybe this time in Abe's Farm again.

Nurture Spa Tagaytay
Barangay Maitim II West, Tagaytay City
(046) 4830804; (046) 4830805
(0918) 8888SPA; (0920) 9505724; (0920) 9106522
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Batangas: Around Taal Lake

I visited several towns around Taal Lake yesterday. Our first stop was Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas. It's probably the best residential resort by the lake.

Club Balai Isabel has one of the best views of Taal Volcano. At the moment, many parts are still under construction. But the reception area, club house, and several hotel rooms are already complete and ready to accept visitors. We had lunch there as well and ordered some bulalo, fried tawilis (tawilis is now an endangered species, don't eat it), ginataang kalabasa and fried chicken.

We then headed off to Tagaytay en route to Taal. But we stopped by Bag of Beans to check out their bread shop. I had a chicken and mushroom pie.

As soon as we arrived in the heritage town of Taal, we went straight to the Taal Basilica to check it out. Since we didn't have much time, we made a quick drive around town to check out the wonderful heritage houses.

Although relatively intact, there seems to be a lack of continuity in the town since the new structures stick out like sore thumbs in between the charming heritage homes. The local government should do something about these newer structures.

Our last stop was the Church of Caysasay and the miraculous well of Sta. Lucia also in Taal. We didn't stay too long since we wanted to be back in Tagaytay before dark.

On the way back, we made a stopover at Sonya's Garden. I was tempted to have a meal there since I simply adore their salads and pasta. But we'll have to save that for another day. Dinner was at the garden restaurant of Bag of Beans. Then it was back home for us.

Club Balai Isabel
Brgy. Banga, Talisay, Batangas
Mobile +63 918 8473619
Manila +63 2 7761521
Batangas +63 43 7280307

Sonya's Garden
Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite
Mobile +63 928 5073302
Landline +63 46 4132081

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cavite: Bulalo in Tagaytay is available 24 hours a day

One of those rare times I got to go out. I've been so busy with school, I haven't been able to travel. Poor me! That's why the few hours that I got to go out last Saturday night was a breath of fresh air.

I had dinner with brods at Brittany Bay in Sucat. We had pizza and Czech beer at Grappa's before transferring to Dencio's for more beer, sisig and sari-saring sinugba. We transferred back to Grappa's for even more Czech beer until a weird idea came up. And we ended up having coffee in Tagaytay!

But I guess the highlight of the evening was the bulalo we had at 3 a.m. served at a 24-hour restaurant called GreenATS. Yes folks, bulalo is available in Tagaytay City 24 hours a day!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Batangas: Scaling the summit of Mt. Batulao

Another surge of adrenaline! I climbed Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas together with the UP Med Outdoor Society. There was a 200-meter rock climb, about 60 to 70 degrees, to get to the peak. I felt I was hanging on for my dear life!

Since I wanted to get as much sleep as I could (my lack of sleep during the past climbs proved deadly), I decided to meet up with the group at the jump-off point in Nasugbu giving me an extra two hours in bed and enough to fuel my adrenaline rush. The group took a bus to Nasugbu and got off at the entrance of the Evercrest Golf and Country Club. If you're familiar with Calaruega, that's the same entrance. We caught up with the group just as they got off the bus. And from there, the long hike up Batulao began.

Instead of making a right to Calaruega, take the road on the left. A few meters away, you will see an old basketball court and a dirt road to the right which is the road that leads to Batulao. It's straight-forward trek from there.

Along the way, you'll pass by several inhabited areas before the trail leads you to rolling hills with a sparse incidence of nipa huts and the occasional drink stand ready to sell you ice-cold soft drinks or a refreshing dose of coconut juice. At the first of ten camps, you'll be asked to register and pay a PHP20 fee to hike towards the peak.

Since it was January, the cool mountain wind made the effort even easier. We just had to deal with a lot of mud and slippery paths along the way no thanks to the random drizzle which would transform the wind from cool to cold. The assault to the summit was another story worth telling. That took a considerable amount of effort on my part given the steep incline we had to overcome. As I mentioned earlier, there were times I felt I was hanging on for my life since one wrong step or hanging on to a loose stone could have meant me rolling down and hitting the jagged rocks along the way.

But the summit was indeed a prize worthy of the climb. We were afforded panoramic views of Cavite, Batangas and the nearby mountains. You could even see the Taal Volcano! Going down was another story, and I literally had to get my butt dirty, carefully sliding down the steep trail of rocks and soil. It was better to be safe than sorry.

After ten hours of hiking, we finally made it back to the jump-off point. And to celebrate the feat, we binged on pizza and pasta at Carlo's Pizza in Tagaytay City. But my weekend was not over since I'm on my way to Pinatubo tomorrow for a swim in its crater lake. Sometimes I feel I'm just too crazy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cavite: Salad party in Sonia's Garden

My SSEAYP batch (Me, Dep, Nona and Pam) brought Noby, our Japanese batchmate, to Tagaytay today, part 2 of his birthday celebration. On the way, we passed by Dep's alma mater, the Philippine National Police Academy where we did some rounds at the firing range. It was my first time to shoot and thanks to beginner's luck, I did not miss my targets. Thanks for that Dep!

On the way to Tagaytay, we debated as to where we were going to have lunch. And the salad buffs won so it was Sonia's Garden. It was my first time to have lunch there would you believe. And it was a good decision since I really like the ambiance of the place, eating in a garden atmosphere. Their business model was great since it was a set menu at PHP610 (tax inclusive), a sit down buffet of bread and spreads, salad greens, fruits, pasta, dalandan juice and dessert.

As soon as you sat down, the waiters immediately brought in the bread and salad so there was no waiting time. If you wanted more, you simply asked the waiters to brings in more. It was a really healthy treat and very much worth the visit!

Pia followed us there. And after we were done eating (we were all so full), we drove back to Manila. We had wanted to go around the garden outside but it was raining.

We got some buko (coconut) and other fruit tarts from Amira's which is a small shop along the National Highway; and some burgers at Mushroomburger before proceeding back to Manila. I was asleep the whole time, tired from so many days of traveling. Anyway, more great photos in Multiply.

Sonya's Garden
Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite
Mobile +63 928 5073302
Landline +63 46 4132081

Related post
Around Taal Lake

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Batangas: Protect the Taal Volcano!

I've been forwarding articles about the ludicrous project being constructed in Talisay, Batangas since I first heard about it several days ago. It just shows how much brains (or the lack of it) some of our public officials have. Imagine constructing an elevator from the top of the crater down to the crater lake for the lazy tourists! How absurd can the mayor of Talisay get?! Our natural heritage has no price tag!

Here is the column of Gemma Cruz-Araneta (Manila Bulletin, Thursday, 28 July 2007). I'm posting it in full here for the benefit of all since she hit every point right on the dot:

Landscape: No pride of place
By Gemma Cruz Araneta

The bad news is that a Korean “health spa” and a Korean builder, Jung Ang Interventure Corporation are constructing a resort along the crater of the Taal Volcano. What is worse, according to news reports, is that the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pointed out that although Taal is a protected area, it is not entirely closed to “ecotourism” projects that do not harm the environment. However, a Department of Tourism (DOT) spokesperson was quick to affirm that the Korean project was never endorsed by them simply because the Taal Volcano area is considered a permanent danger zone and the DOT is not in the habit of risking the lives of tourists and investors. Worst of all is the revelation that thirteen mayors of the towns surrounding Taal Lake have no pride of place.

Diffidently, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology could only warn that permanent structures should not be built in permanent danger zones. That is why it was almost exhilarating to see (on television) newly-elected Batangas governor, Vilma Santos Recto denouncing the same Korean project. She said she would not allow it because Taal Lake and volcano are areas protected by law. That was probably her first official declaration after having been sworn in. I do hope she has enough political will to go against the tide of financial enticements, the ineptitude of bureaucratic Pontius Pilates, unscrupulous stationary bandits and assorted piranhas around who a provincial governor has to swim and survive.

I hope that, in these frightful days of killings and disappearances, the PAMALAKAYA and the Samahan ng mga Mamamayan sa Lawa ng Taal (Samataal) do not lose courage nor steam. Already, they are being called “leftist” which, in the Philippine context, is tantamount to destroying the credibility of these advocates. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), associated with the Left since martial law days are resolutely supporting the Taal Lake farmers in their struggle against the Korean health spa.

Doesn’t this give you a nasty feeling that the country is being sold bit by bit to the highest bidder? One might wake up, on a sunny morning, only to find out that while we were asleep, our national territory had been parceled and fragmented by assorted developers. . I am beginning to think a conspiracy has been going on right under our noses. Could it be mere coincidence that more and more Filipinos have forgotten, or have been conditioned to doubt and question that we ever declared ourselves an independent republic? This year, the nation did not stop to celebrate Independence Day with the usual reverence, pomp and grandeur. On Rizal’s birthday, the Chief Executive merely sent a wreath to the hero’s, monument. Next week, the anniversary of the Katipunan will most probably pass unnoticed. Is there a concerted effort to make us forget what and who we are?

The National Anthem is no longer Marcha Nacional Filipina but soul and blues; advertisement is stamped on the national flag; historical landmarks are demolished to give way to shopping malls. Alarmingly, there was a request to include the Philippines in China’s master plan and an unsolicited bid to reserve millions of hectares of our national territory for Chinese farmers to cultivate rice, corn and whatever else the once Sleeping Giant needs to sustain its robust growth. The USA which has coveted Mindanao since Pershing and Kudarat clashed swords, will finally gets its wish-- MINSUPALA-- with a new Mutual Defense Treaty as an added bonus. Is it true that Sec. Condoleeza Rice is scheduled to come for an ocular inspection? Lamentably, for those who have no sense of nation and no pride of place, everything is for sale.

* * *

Save the Rizal Shrine!
While the spa issue in Taal has been raging, PTA GM Dean Barbers has silently but blatantly continued construction in Intramuros! If the sports complex is completed, it will damage the area around the Rizal Shrine, blocking the view from the walls. Calling all lovers of Rizal and concerned citizens of the Philippines, let's continue our fight to protect the Rizal Shrine and the walls of Intramuros!

Here is an older post about it: Save the walls of Intramuros!

Related articles
Ugly side of Tourism Authority revealedFormer PTA heads want Gen. Mgr. Barbers chargedWhat is behind Barbers’ insistence on this project?Ex-PTA chiefs want Barbers sued for Intramuros projectFormer PTA heads demand Barbers’ resignationIntramuros a warehouse?PTA’s illegal designs on Intramuros

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Cavite: Around historic Cavite

Yesterday, I went around the historic province of Cavite. Our first stop was the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit.

The ancestral home of Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippines, it was the site of the proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. On that day, the declaration of independence from Spain was read from a balcony of the house and the Philippine flag formally unfurled by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista (and not Aguinaldo as is erroneously depicted in the old five peso bill). The Philippine National Anthem was also played for the first time by the Banda Malabon (of San Francisco de Malabon, now Gen. Trias, Cavite).

Sadly, the museum was closed. I find this government practice of closing historical sites on Sundays stupid since it robs Philippine citizens the chance to visit these places when they’re off from work. I’ve been in the museum several times before so it wasn’t really a loss. But it would have been nice to see it again. If you want to find out what you could see inside, click here.

From there, it was a forty-minute drive south to Maragondon where we visited the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady which was declared a national cultural treasure, and the Bonifacio Trial House, a national historical landmark, which like the Aguinaldo Shrine, was closed on Sundays.

According to the NCCA, “The church was built in the early 18th century by the Jesuits, with later additions by the seculars and the Augustinian Recollects. Much of the church and belltower, and the lower portion of the convento is made of irregular river stones, indicative of the early level of technology operating at that time. The intricately-carved retablos, pulpit and church doors (with galleons and floral designs) date from Jesuit times, while the hugely carved beams crossing the nave were installed by the seculars-- one of the beams even carries the name of the indio priest who commissioned them. The unusual horseshoe-shaped communion rail, with a flooring of inlaid wood of various colors, recalls that of San Sebastian Church, Manila, another Recollect construction.”

The house of Teodorico Reyes, now known as the Bonifacio Trial House, was where Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were court-martialed. It was a kangaroo court as many historians put it. And their conviction for sedition and conspiracy and subsequent execution in the mountains of Maragondon haunts whatever legacy Aguinaldo was able to leave. In the end, it was Bonifacio whom the nation recognized with a public holiday and grand monuments in Metro Manila.

After this quick detour, we had to rush to Silang since we were in Cavite to help our brods campaign. It was actually fun going house to house giving out flyers of Congressman Boying Remulla whom we met earlier in the morning for coffee at his house. Another group was helping out Congressman Gilbert Remulla in Imus. We also campaigned for Senators Joker Arroyo and Kiko Pangilinan. Silang is the largest municipality in Cavite in terms of land area. And the barangays we visited seemed to be on opposite ends. It was sad I wasn't able to check out their church since we had a lot of work to do.

With our mission completed. We passed by neighboring Tagaytay City to check out Taal Volcano before motoring to Indang to go night swimming at one of the natural spring resorts which are a plenty in the town.

By the time we arrived in Indang, it was getting dark. So we skipped the church and headed to Barangay Tambo Kulit where most of the resorts could be found. We were pointed to the Rio Villa Nuevo Resort which many say is the best one in town. When we saw the small waterfalls in the compound, we said this was it! It was PHP12o per head for night swimming. There are several pools of spring water if you do not fancy walking on rocks and streams. We went straight to the waterfalls and enjoyed the rush of cold water.

After an hour, we rushed back to Tagaytay for a late dinner in Teriyaki Boy. We were supposed to go back to Manila. But the group enjoyed the trip so much that we decided to stay overnight. So we checked-in at the three-room inn under the Mile-Hi Diner which is located in the same restaurant compound. The standard room is PHP2,250. Good thing it was a Sunday and weekend vacationers had already left for Manila; so rooms were available. It was a cold night, a welcome respite from Manila's heat. Check out the photos in Multiply. I'm sure Bikoy Villanueva should have his account of our trip anytime soon.

Jose Abad Santos Day
Today, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos of San Fernando, Pampanga (one of the three people in the 1000-peso bill), is a non-working holiday in the Province of Pampanga. Happy Jose Abad Santos Day to all!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Batangas: Taal Volcano trek & horseback ride

I just came back from Taal Volcano. And when I say Taal Volcano, it's not just Tagaytay City but the volcano island itself. In fact there is a small island within the crater lake within the volcano island within Taal Lake which is within the caldera of an older volcano.

To get there, you have to go to the town of Talisay, Batangas via Tagaytay City. It was totally foggy when we arrived in Tagaytay. Actually, in the rotunda area, you already have people advertising boat rides to Taal. So we inquired and they were offering the boats for PHP3500 saying it was standard tourist rate the LGU allowed them to charge. Anyway, after some haggling (I appealed to pity and said there were only two of us, students at that), I was able to get the price down substantially but he requested we keep it a secret. We also booked horse rides from the shore to the crater lake for PHP500.

Before I forget, I'll be going around a lot in the next few days. Remember the China-ASEAN Youth Camp 2006 which I attended? Jiajin, our liaison officer while we were in Guandong Province, visited us here in the Philippines. And as gracious hosts, we are taking him around.

Anyway, when you close the deal, the guy would board your vehicle and accompany you to their port in Talisay. From there, it's a 20 minute pump boat ride to the island. Be ready to get wet. Once you get to the shore, you pay a PHP50 entrance fee which goes to provincial tourism (but our guide compained that they do not feel the benefits of the fee and they think it just goes to the pockets of politicians).

Since we had pre-booked the horse rides, we didn't have to haggle with the guides for prices. So we just rode on two horses and were off. It's about 20 minutes from the shore to the top of the crater lake on a horse. You can also opt to walk but it would take you about an hour. It started to drizzle in the middle of our trip up but it wasn't that bad. It was a good thing there were huts at the top.

The view of the crater lake was simply awesome! You could actually go down to the lake on foot. I did it once way back in college for a geology class and it was really exhausting. They say you also need a guide so you'll have to haggle for fees. We waited for the rain to stop before we took a hike around the crater rim which was smoking in some parts.

It's just sad that there was a lot of garbage on the slope closest to the huts, mostly mineral water bottles thrown down by tourists among others. I hope they place garbage cans in the viewing area so that all that rubbish does not find its way down. Taal Volcano is a national geological monument and is thus a protected area. Tanods should strictly implement laws, particularly when it comes to cleanliness and fine offenders on the spot.

Anyway, we then decided to rush back down to the shore while the skies were a bit clear. We were planning to visit other towns of Batangas. But after someone pointed us to the wrong road while in Laurel (we wasted so much time), we decided to just go back to Tagaytay to relax the whole afternoon and enjoy the view. Our plan was to sleep over in Tagaytay that night but hotels there are very pricey! It was cheaper to go home in fact. Oh well!

We have another trip scheduled tomorrow, this time to Laguna and Rizal.
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