Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tagaytay Weekend

City dwellers are always on the lookout for weekend getaways and things to do to relax from a weeklong list of To Do’s and Meetings. Although it was a slow and long ride, our visit was well worth the time to unwind and learn at Paradizoo Theme Park and then have some fun and discovery at the Residence Inn.

From Manila, Tagaytay takes about an hour by car and at least 2 hours by bus. When you reach Tagaytay, drive towards the direction of Alfonso and Calaruega, Batangas. Look for the marker indicating a turn to Anuling. From there, it’s a 5-minute ride to Paradizoo. We missed the turn and going back took us several attempts before finding the right landmark. There may be several ways going to Paradizoo. We used the road also leading to the Flower Farm, which was a long ride from the highway. If commuting, tri-cabs can be hired for a special trip to Paradizoo for Php100-120.

You can get a map at the gate so you can see all the sections and find ideal rest areas to freshen up after a long walk under the sun. It was almost lunch when we arrived so its not very good to get too much sun exposure at that time. But since it was our first time, Tomas and I were all excited we didn’t know we were in for some tanning at the park.

There are rows of different vegetables landscaped aesthetically with paths going around them so you can see the crops closer. The main pavilion, which can accommodate over 100 guests, rests on top of the hill. With Tagaytay’s cool and amenable climate, it’s a good venue for group functions, too. There was also a landscaped rock garden a few meters from the Main Pavilion.

There is a designated area for those who want to camp out and feel the outdoors in a safe and fenced environment. Maybe we can try that with the boys soon.

An enticing rest area is the Bromeliad Pavilion. As the name suggests, it is surrounded with bromeliads…and pineapples – interesting landscape architecture mixing ornamental and fruit crops. Bromeliads love the shade so you are definitely going to be covered there. They’ve grown the Coral Vine on the pavilions to provide form and function: aesthetically pleasing and also the shade deflects the heat of the sun, similar to the shade of full grown trees. It was very refreshing to laze at the bromeliad pavilion with cool lunchtime breeze. For a few minutes Tomas sat and let the wind blow on his rosy cheeks.

We strolled around the farm, almost forgetting it was a park. There is a designated picnic area. Unfortunately, despite easy-to-find trash bins, some guests still leave their garbage on the tables. Because the Tagaytay weather is often windy, garbage can be easily blown into animals’ grazing area. Most animals in the farm are herbivores. Imagine what plastics and Styrofoam can do their body.

I have always wondered if it’s not enough to place signages with “Take nothing but footprints, leave nothing but memories…” Like the blooms in Baguio, picking of vegetable crops without guidance and authorization will leave the farm bald and risk lossing its charm.

While walking (and Tomas was running, er, pulled downhill by gravity) I saw this beautiful fallen flower. It was good to know it was an African Tulip. African Tulips lined the edge of the vegetable garden and provided shade and comfort making us stop by a picnic table to just enjoy its sight.

At Paradizoo Café, organic harvest is sold so tourists can take home eco-souvenirs (cuttings and seedlings) as well as full grown vegetables to make their own Chef’s Salad or vegetarian dish at home. Was the ice cream made with goat’s milk? Would love to try that at home, too!

I just realized that this facility is a great place to unwind and sneak away from urban pressures. For busy moms, it is leisure to just look around without worrying to hurry to your next destination. I am looking forward to return to the park with Hosei and Ditto. Despite being a lover of the ocean, Ditto will appreciate going to Paradizoo.

I am very much thankful to Evy, who was very helpful in giving directions to the park and also for coordinating a seat so Tomas and I can join their ride back to Manila. Also happy to meet new friends and catch up with other Media Bloggers. Tomas was especially attached to Daddy Flow!



I always wanted to tagaytay for vacation how I wish we could be there one day. Btw visiting you here through Bloggers Exchange. I hope you won't mind to visit me here too thanks

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