Tagaytay

Almost everyone who knows me knows well that I haven’t set foot on Tagaytay. Ever.

My partners tease me all the time, saying stuff like “Let’s go to Tagaytay!” or “Wanna go to Tagaytay later?“. The thing is, it never happens. It never has… until today.

Thursdays and Fridays are my kind of rest days. For my first rest day of the week, I had an out of the blue roadtrip slash adventure to Tagaytay – one of the places I’ve been longing to visit since time immemorial. Funny thing was, I was accompanied by people that I never thought I’d be with. These people being Agnes, Migs, and Benjo.

The lot of us rendezvoused at Festival Supermall. I still have no idea why it’s a supermall. If I’m not mistaken, we went via SLEX. There were way too many truck, easily outnumbering the cars. No truck ban, I guess.

Sleeping is my trademark when it comes to roadtrips. I was tempted to sleep earlier but was way too excited and slightly hyper to do so. Plus, I had my not-so-trusty pocket WiFi in my shoestring bag. No sleep for me this time.

We passed by Splash Island, The Coca-Cola Company with their signature humongous soda cans, the very familiar South Supermarket, a few dozen delicacy stores, and nearly thousands of pineapple gardens. [Insert corny FarmVille joke here] We had a few.

Before I even realized it, I was already in Tagaytay. I screamed in excitement like a little kid. Finally. Fi-na-lly! One day before my return-to-PH anniversary. I barely made it in time. See, I dared myself to visit Tagaytay before November 21 (the day I came home to the Philippines) and I was able to do it.

Mushroomburger

First on the list was this little burger joint called Mushroomburger (one word only). I hear people say that you won’t fully experience Tagaytay until you try one of their mushroom burgers. Well, I tried their Mushroomburger Royal, and I must say, I was satisfied. Truly a burger fit for Royalty at a fraction of a cost.

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The addition of egg sealed the deal for me. I paired it up with… drum roll… mushroom fries and soda. A mushroom-filled snack for the power eater. For some reason, I kept calling their fries Truffle Fries. No, the taste had nothing to do with it. Probably some short-term memory that stayed longer than expected.

Mushroomburger has this cute little park slash playground just beside it. Swings, slides, a mini clubhouse, rock clumbing walls, and a few tables were present. It was one of those moments that you feel like a little kid playing in the playground with other kids. Back when tablets and smartphones didn’t exist yet.

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Sky Ranch

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Second on the list was a theme park that doubled as a getaway of students called Sky Ranch. For some reason, we kept pronouncing it Raunch. Again and again.

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Anyone visiting the place would notice the Sky Eye first – a huge white ferris wheel overlooking the Great Taal Lake. Wait, not sure if it has the word Great in it’s title.

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After minutes of persuading me that seemed like hours, the three of them got me to agree to ride the Sky Eye. I brushed away my fear of heights momentarily. As we got on board, as if practiced, they started shaking the gondola. I held on to the white pole inside. Not funny guys. Kidding! It was hilarious. Migs, Agnes, and Benjo were having scaring me. We got up so high! I was rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. The ride wasn’t really that scary. We were going really slow. I’m glad I gave it a try. In all honesty, the Sky Eye was probably the only decent ride in the whole theme park. Other rides were mostly for little kiddos.

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As we roamed around, the air started getting chilly. The cold crisp breeze blowing from the lake felt like a freezing blanket wanting a little hug. Good thing I brought my jacket.

My visit to Sky Ranch would hardly be complete without souvenirs. This holds true to any place I haven’t visited before. Benjo and I did most of the shopping. Payday always equals spending. Aren’t we lucky that our rest day fell on our payday? I bought clothes for mom and Trixia. I also got cute little wine bottle ref magnets bearing the place Tagaytay City at the bottom for my aunt.

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Leslie’s

Our last stop was a Filipino Restaurant named Leslie’s Restaurant.

Leslie’s has an outdoor setting with huge wooden pillars and a wooden roof. A sea of tables can be observed from the entrance. The place is huge! The number of guests was really small. A bar for alcoholic drinks is located at the right part near the restrooms. The kitchen is situated in the left. The servers were clad in green polo shirts for their uniform.

Our order consisted of the signature Tagaytay dish Bulalo Special, Sisig, and steamed rice. The bulalo’s meat was really soft that it almost felt like it melted in my mouth. A joy in every bite. The sisig with egg was crispy and was cooked really well with a few additional ingredients setting it apart from typical sisigs. The meal was really delicious! Excuse the plainness of my way of sharing my food escapades. While eating, by the way, we were serenaded by a group of people in yellow. The front man, or should I say woman, had a really angelic voice. She first sang I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Benjo actually joined the group and banged on the beatbox with mad skills. We enjoyed the group so much that we asked for two more songs. I forgot the second song. The last song was requested by Migs. The group sang Rude by Magic.

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The four of us chilled while enjoying the cold breeze and dark view of Taal Lake. My pocket WiFi ran out of juice by this time. Migs and Benj smoked while Agnes kept checking her Instagram. We bought souvenirs for ourselves and the store before heading home.

The rest of the day is a recollection of everything that happened. I feel so tired but at the same time happy for today. I am grateful to these three. Without them, I would never have set foot on Tagaytay. I can finally scratch it off from my Places to Go list.

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