Easy breezy

I have always liked the idea of the countryside. And Tagaytay on a weekday seemed to have fit in the picture perfectly. The greens and tall trees, the fresh breeze, all sorts of cabins here and there, and with barely any car or familiar face in sight... There's nothing quite like it, a quick escape from the busyness of the city and the stress at the thought of it brings.

More importantly, spontaneity and Tagaytay seem to be one and the same. And despite my best interests, I learned that the hard way. Unaware that go signals from the city tourism office to photograph public spaces were not that big of a deal (I had been waiting for them all week, to no avail...which made me believe our overnight visit will be postponed indefinitely), I had to borrow the smallest tees of my guy cousin who lived right across the street from our office...

On my first little work trip we checked-in at the Taal Vista Hotel, which boasts a stunning view of the Taal Volcano. Not only that, I especially liked the hotel interiors with its superb attention to detail: modern but still keeping its quirks. Gotta love me those adorable patterns on the sofas and carpets.

And then there was Antonio's, which, at first sight, literally just takes the cake for me. Architecture and interiors-wise, the place is rich in history and culture: a cobblestone walkway that leads to the main entrance, servers donning black dresses with white aprons akin to the Spanish era wear of maids, all sorts of chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, religious paintings and figurines on this wall and desk then black and white family photographs on the other... It's as if I went back in time, visiting the lavish residence of a distant relative in the province. It had with it the right amount of antique but with still keeping so much character. Or maybe it was just that pop of red that did the trick.

Bag of Beans, on the other hand, was a playground of experiences, what with its abundance and variety in sitting spaces. Hang out by the balcony or chill at your own hut or cabana, whichever works for you. It's like lounging in a neighborhood's communal terrace, which extends as far as the eyes could see. At a glance, I felt an overwhelming comfort and with our less than an hour stop to sample some barako coffee, I knew I had to come back one of these days.

Later, we returned to the hotel, had dinner, and finally got some down time. While others opted to catch up on some emails and editing or spent an hour or two in the gym, I was busy falling deeply in love with the little city. In between the obligatory viewing (and documenting) of the lake within a lake during sunset and sunrise, the soulful music and the sight of the city from the ridge made for good company on a late night hot chocolate and apple pie ala mode run at the lobby cafe.

After our filling breakfast buffet at the hotel and some picture-taking of the peaceful scenery, we made it to our final stop before heading home: Taalena with its Spanish-Filipino charm. Stained glass, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lamp posts attached on the brick wall, wooden shutters and furniture, the works! Lucky for us, we had the place all to ourselves and asked to be seated at the terrace to get our last good view of Taal Volcano. With all items on our to-do list ticked off, we celebrated our successful field trip by chomping down Tagaytay's specialties—bulalo, maliputo, and tawilis—while being serenaded with songs of our choice. Tagaytay is the closest thing I could get to a countryside nowadays and I'm all-smiles remembering how it had been so good to me every time I'm there.


  1. I'd never seen Tagaytay which such coziness! Thanks to your photos and stories! :)

    1. Aww thank you for stopping by and your thoughtful comment, Cherryl. :) I try.