Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tagaytay Picnic Grove

Recently, Simon had the chance to visit the beautiful city of Tagaytay in the province of Cavite. It is also known as "Little Baguio" and "Paradise of Southern Luzon." And based on Simon's pictures, it certainly seems to live up to its nicknames.

Simon said that I would be jealous (maiinggit), and I truly am. The pictures make me miss the lush tropical Philippine countryside, the company of friends, the joy of traveling, and the thrill of stepping foot on and exploring a place unknown.

And with no further ado, Simon's account of the trip to Tagaytay:

If you are looking for a getaway place that is not heavy on the pocket, try the Tagaytay Picnic Grove. The place is located just two hours away from Manila and it is overlooking the Taal Volcano and the coastal towns of Batangas.

From afar, the Taal Lake is magnificent. What's more is that while you get a good view of the lake, there's a place where you can sit and sip some cold, fresh coconut juice and get some snacks too. As an added attraction, the Tagaytay Picnic Grove Eco Trail which takes tourist to a more exciting view of the Taal Volcano, via a more rigid pathway.

I went there to celebrate my birthday alone. I called up my friends and talked to my nieces but they cannot accompany me because they have something to do, busy anyway.
So I decided to get there on my own, along the way going Tagaytay picnic grove I saw house owners who planted pineapples and flowering plants in their garden and backyard, sell it to the tourists serve as one of their source of income. There are also fruit vendors along the highway. While seeing those different and modern houses, suddenly the jeepney stopped and the driver shouted “picnic grove”, excited I ran going down the jeep and pay for my ticket at the entrance. Full of energy I ran going to the viewing site of the Taal volcano.

As I taking pictures and video, I saw tourists, families strolling around taking pictures and graduating students who are having a reunion as they part ways soon to find and face another chapter of their life. While walking in the trail I saw some students and families having fun like a little kid as you can see in one of the picture who is dancing. Some get their own cottage to eat together. And others satisfy themselves sleeping and talking under the trees. As I walked on I feel the heat of the sunny mid day as the cold air flashes into my skin, so refreshing!

After taking pictures and video of the place, I took rest under the tree savoring the cold breeze of the place while eating my baon or bought food. I offer a short prayer, thanking GOD for his wondrous deeds in my life this year and ask HIM to give me more strength for another challenging life in the coming years.

After praying I stayed for minutes and left the place still have the energy to the next adventure.

Thanks to Simon for the article and pictures. And Simon, belated happy birthday!


bertN said...

Simon, none of your friends or relatives had the time to share in your birthday celebration? And you went ahead and celebrate your natal day all by your lonesome? Good for you! I meant it in a good way, no offense to anybody intended. You only have yourself to please for the day and that is an easier task that trying to please a whole bunch of people half of whom will probably complain about one thing or another at the end of the day. Happy belated birthday! Too bad your buddy David is across a vast ocean unable to help celebrate your bday.

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures here. Perfectures!
Have a wonderful years ahead to you. Love yah...


Anonymous said...

When i first saw Taal lake it was a clear sunny day and i thought i was already dead and in heaven. I just couldnt' believe my eyes such magnificent view exists. It's overwhelmingly breathtaking that you wouldnt want to go from there after the picnic. Next time you visit pinas dont miss Tagaytay dude. The visit is worth every penny you'll spend for the trip.

Heidi said...

Great pictures! I love the shot of the fruit stand.
Happy Birthday, Simon. I'm glad you got to do something fun on your birthday. My son and I are planning on traveling to the Philippines in July. I'll probably include Taal in my itinerary.
Hey, you should think of being a tour guide!

Noi Ramirez said...

Just an added note to this great post:

Taal is one of my favorite hang-outs to make an easy escape from Manila heat since it's very accessible from Manila in less than 2 hours and public transportation is abundant.

Taal lake is also famous for being considered as a lake within a lake within a lake.

In prehistoric times, Taal Volcano was said to rise almost 6,000 meters clearly towering over Mt. Apo in Davao which is at present is the highest peak (2,953 meters)in the Philippines and second highest in Southeast Asia. And because of a prehistoric explosion, caused the volcano to collapse upon itself which we see now, the highest point of which in crater island is 311 meters.

Taal Lake itself is known to have originated from the collapse of Taal's prehistoric volcanic cone. Tests and underwater topography suggests the presence of about 35 different submerged volcanic landforms and there are 47 known cones and craters which constitute the entire volcano island.

The Main Crater occupies the central portion of the Volcano Island. Twelve of Taal Volcano's eruptions occurred at this crater from 1749 to 1911. Other than the Main Crater, the major historical eruption centers in the Volcano Island are: Binintiang Malaki, Binintiang Munti, Pira-Piraso, Calauit and Mt Tabaro Eruption site.

Binintiang Malaki, the third picture in this post, and the most famous of all the volcanic centers of Taal is almost always mistaken as "the main" volcano itself. But like I mentioned above, it's only one of the 47 cones and craters. Binintiang Munti is the mini-me version of Binintiang Malaki but is geologically not a duplicate and looks very different.

An islet in the center of main crater lake is called Vulcan Point which is considered the largest island in the world that is located within a lake within an island within a lake. Redundant but it makes sense especially if you've seen it for yourself.

In 2007, the Korean company Jung Ang Interventure Corp. planned to build their spa and put an elevator to get down on the Crater Lake amidst protests of Samahan ng Mamamayan sa Lawa ng Taal (SAMATAAL), which opposed the planned construction of the spa resort. The Korean spa, however, was backed by many town mayors in the area saying the Koreans already puchased the land they plan to build the spa on. The scandal it caused (pre-ZTE)put this plan on hold. And the DENR canceled the firms' Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC). As far as I know, foreigners are still not allowed to own land in the Philippines. Hmmmm, maybe the mayors or their relatives will be the frontline dummy owners, Ha! Loophole! What are these Honorable Mayors and Koreans thinking considering this power in Taal Volcano remains to this day in Alert Level 1 since its last eruption in 1977. These money hungry individuals are teasing and toying with Mother Nature. If she strikes, we already know how much power and devastation she can unleash.

Sayang Simon, had you contacted me instead, I could have dared you to venture a hike to the main crater lake itself. A boat ride to volcano island takes only about 30 minutes. I haven't done that for ages. Sana we could have taken more interesting pictures to show David and his readers. Not to impugn your pictures Simon, they were great.

Last I heard, some locals now charge an entrance fee to Volcano Island. Oh well, it's better than to let those Honorable Mayors and Koreans wreak environmental havoc in the area.

Ah, despite its internal problems, I still love our country. So much beauty to see and behold.

Keep the Peace.... c",)

Anonymous said...

thanks for luvly pics guys. belated happy bday and may all ur wishes come true simon. back then, we used to drive through tagaytay on the way to manila and back, the place was js truly beautiful. ive not seen tagaytay for more than ten yrs now and definitely wont miss it on my return. well david, another uber kool video hey. take care.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures Simon and belated Happy B-day, am sure if time permits will add this to my itenerary next month. Thanks to David also.

Kuya Art

Mandaragat said...

Belated Happy Birthday Simon!

joelmag said...

Someday... I will reach Tagaytay! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Thanks a lot for sharing!

Anonymous said...

kua david !


for being a top travel blog...

wow din po sa mga pic na binigay ni kua simon..

hope na makaipon uli me ng mga pic..



Anonymous said...


You did not return my last e-mail. If you have time meet me @ NAIA - do you drink? want a Black Label?

Kuya Art

rowene said...

Nice new coconuter look...makes me miss my hometown in Davao.
I am now in Manila doing last minute prep before leaving for Mobile, Alabama to work. When I get back I promise to bring you and David to Davao (my treat siempre). Meanwhile, continue posting for coconuter.

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