We are back in the Philippines – Manila, to be precise, and I am quite happy to be wandering about again solo. No, not wandering too far as in trekking on my own and all the brave things single female travellers do. I simply mall hop and window shop whilst the hubby is having meetings. I can’t understand why when I hear advice about being bored walking about alone. I find it liberating.
We came in early so we could spend the weekend at Tagaytay before SJ had to go to his meetings. The journey took about an hour half from Manila via the highway by car. Interesting sights along the way – banana, papaya, and pineapple farms; pomelos from Davao; wood craft shops; fresh flower markets and manufacturing plants. There is a suburb somewhere in the middle of the trip called Santa Rosa – it looked so much like a US suburb with malls, fast food joints and supermarkets spread across the area. Fun stopover if you have time to spare on your return trip. We heard the upper class have houses here, and what pretty houses they are.
There is an active volcano in Tagaytay – the Taal volcano. It has a pretty large crater 25-30km or so and its mouth is strategically located in a lake that makes for a picturesque landscape and keeps a somewhat safe distance away from lava-trouble. This thing sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is a decade volcano, one that is analyzed and studied because of devastating destruction it brought to the inhabitants there. But they have really fertile soil and a booming tourist industry. Quits?
We had lunch at this place (image below) and had just the biggest serving of stewed beef (aka Bulalao) for 2 outside the US. It was glorious! The Beef Extraordinaire fell apart on my plate and sort of melted in my mouth. Who the devil cooked this and made me eat more than my usual share of meat? Thank you!
On our way back, we got caught in a jam that took us two and a half hours. The first part was caused by a religious provincial dance in the middle of a single-lane motorway and the later half was because there were just too many cars.
Another place often visited for souvenirs is People’s Palace in the Sky, a half completed Presidential Manor supposedly built for Ronald Regan’s visit way back when. But he never did visit so the place became one for tourists.
Cost for car rental with a driver for an 8 hour trip, gas and tolls was a little over S$80 per person. Good deal for a personalized daytrip.