Our office had a midyear assessment in Tagaytay City. And because both of us are going, I couldn’t really leave the kids alone with just the grannies (paranoid with anticipated emergencies teehee), we decided to bring them and book them a room at a different hotel. The hotel where the rest of the officemates were staying is fully booked. The kids had fun even though they stayed cooped up in their room for the weekend. Great opportunity actually for us to take a breather before school starts this week.
One of the places we visited during our last sojourn to Tagaytay City is Paradizoo. It is actually located in the nearby town of Mendez, just about 5 kms. from the city center. And while there is nothing more that makes me happy than seeing my daughters happy, I have grown tried from always going to Skyranch, which is Mischa’s favorite, and this visit to the zoo is a refreshing change from this (although we would still end up in Skyranch the following day). She was a bit petulant at first, but as kids are wont to be, she would enjoy herself as soon as we reached the animals.
It was drizzling when we came. Parking was a bit of a problem since the one they have can only accommodate, I think, 3 cars. Parking on the street outside was not an option since the zoo was on a town highway, and it was situated on a sloping part. Oh well, good thing there was only a handful who were crazy enough like us to traipse around a zoo on a rainy day.
What I liked about the zoo is that it is not very commercialized and the creatures that are inside are mostly in their natural habitats, and not caged or fenced, as bigger establishments usually do. Maybe it is because the animals are the tamer breeds – camels, ostriches, llamas, goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks, etc. Mischa was able to go inside an enclosure where she fed the animals. Both she and Maxine had fun observing and interacting with the animals.
But aside from the featured animals, there was also a huge flower garden, a butterfly santuary, a pet cemetery, of course, a souvenir shop, and a cafe. If anyone is interested, there are available cabin rooms for overnight stays.
We celebrated Dad’s 73rd birthday a week before the actual day since we had a long weekend then. After an early check in at one of our favorite hotels in Tagaytay City, we headed off to Bag of Beans for a late lunch. I had no photos of the food we had but we availed the buffet lunch anyway. But more than the food, I enjoyed the surroundings so much. It was light, airy and homey. They have indoor sitting for those getting the buffet, and garden setup for those who are having ala carte dishes. For me, it’s a perfect place for good conversation and light banter among family and friends.
Our summer getaway usually happens during the Lenten season break. This is the only time that we are all free from school and work, and our schedules jive. When we were younger, we just stayed at home. But ever since I had kids, we have started making it a tradition to have our family outings. All for making good and happy memories!
Before we got to our final destination, we stopped by Tagaytay for lunch as we know it will be quite a while before we could check in and eat at our resort. I suggested Balay Dako because I had been reading many good reviews about it especially its breakfast buffet. But since we got around 11:00 in the morning, we just had to make do with their lunch fare, which does not disappoint.
Balay Dako is part of the chain of restaurants of Antonio’s so I was so sure that a visit would be terrific. It was a good thing we got there early enough because the restaurant began filling soon enough that it was a a frenzy by noon. Most vacationers and tourists trying to get out of Manila began pouring in Tagaytay by then. We were lucky enough to get a good table right in the middle of the room, which was designed for big groups or families. The whole place was bright and airy, and was not air-conditioned. Only the lovely Tagaytay breeze, passing through large windows, albeit covered by a net against flying insects, cooled the entire place. I have said this about a gazillion times throughout this blog but there is something to be said about old houses turned restaurants. There’s nothing but love for me for these places.
But as expected, what with it being a holiday, the service as a little slow. We patiently waited for everything as we can see that the hands of the staff were full.
We just ordered a package good for 10 persons (although we were 12, excluding the kids). I wished we had their specialty Sizzling Bulalo, but there’s always a next time. Everything was good.
This post is so late as this happened on the first Saturday of February. Anyhow, gosh, I am officially a wedding sponsor material. Gone are my bridesmaids days. Sheesh. This makes me feel old more than anything.
But still, I am honored because these two “kids” were my juniors at work before, and I would like to think that I have imparted something good to them and their relationship. I was even more touched that out of their five ninangs, I was chosen to deliver the inspirational message.
So best wishes, my first inaanaks! I will always be here for you.
During our last trip to Tagaytay City, we had a late lunch at Tootsie’s per the recommendation of my aunt. It is one of the restaurants that have sprouted all over Tagaytay in the last few years that made the city one of the go-to places for people who is into food tripping. It sits right on the main highway but really doesn’t have a good vantage point of Taal Lake. The decor was simple and warm, and they serve comfort Filipino food. Specifically, most of its offerings are Southern Tagalog fare, which for a true blood Tagalog like me, is really comfort food. Everything just brought me home since I realized that I miss so much what we serve at my grandma’s home.
We spent the weekend in Tagaytay City with the whole family in tow. The husband and I were the only ones who were supposed to go owing to my very first stint as principal sponsor in a friend’s wedding (I am getting old!) but Mama decided she wants to go and treat us because Mischa got really good grades during the second term and she performed so well at her school’s 40th anniversary. Because it was a last minute decision, and it was a long weekend, I had a hard time finding a good deal on hotels. Most have also been booked by the time I was searching on the net. So when I saw that the Theodore Hotel still had a family room free, I booked it right away.
Although right on the Tagaytay-Nasugbu (or was that Silang) Highway, the hotel was unobtrusive and you could have missed it entirely if you weren’t looking for it. It looked like somebody’s big family house. Before we checked in, we had lunch at the Ayala Serin Mall right across the street. Then we went straight to its garage instead of doing the front door, and from there, interns helped us with our bags and led us onto the elegant hallways to the reception.
It really seemed like an elegant and well-kept house! It was very tastefully decorated, from the muted tones to the carefully picked decorations. The hotel had a total of six rooms, each with a unique design. We were given the Cherry Blossoms superior room, and as the name implies, had a mixture of modern and Japanese decor. It had two queen-sized beds and a large day bed, which fit us perfectly.
I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom but it was huge and had a very interesting design. Just a little too dark though.
Breakfast, which we pre-ordered the day before, was served on the main dining area, overlooking a well-maintained garden with an awesome view of Taal Lake and Volcano.
The only downside of this hotel though, it had no proper restaurant. One cannot order anything else aside from breakfast. There are many restaurants in the area but as we left the oldies with the babies when we went to the wedding, this posed a slight problem when they couldn’t go out. But everything else was great in my opinion! I loved the homey and clean feel of the place.