Travel

Trails in Tagaytay

Tagaytay City – It never tires me to visit this place over and over just because there’s always something new to find out in this town.

If you’re a foreigner coming to Manila on a short trip, don’t miss driving a little further down south. Just an hour and a half drive from the capital, this town will welcome you to the world’s smallest volcano, cool weather, and the best place to eat a warm bowl of bulalo (a Southern Tagalog dish of beef bone marrow stewed with vegetables).

The main highlight of this trip was actually a visit to the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters’ chapel, more commonly known as the Pink Sisters’ Convent. The pink sisters are cloistered nuns who devote their lives in prayer most specifically to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics visit this place to offer their petitions and to be in silent prayer with the nuns.  The place is located just 5 minutes away from Olivares Circle, the roundabout between Tagaytay and Silang, Cavite.  I came across this blog which gave a more detailed article about them: http://theparadoxicleyline.blogspot.com/2011/09/visit-to-pink-sisters-convent-tagaytay.html#.UgyimRZkOV8

I’ve been to this place once when I was still young and now coming back all grown up and looking deeper into my faith, stepping inside the small church filled me with such calmness and grace. We were quite lucky to catch halfway through their midday prayer and hear them sing hymns before they go back to the monastery.

pinksisters_IMG_0809Picture taking is not allowed inside the chapel so I just grabbed a photo of the facade (above) from my phone’s camera. Just a few meters from the church is an overview of the monastery’s landscape (below). Pardon me for the poor lighting, August is a wet season, so the entire day has been cloudy especially on a highland like Tagaytay.

pinksisters_IMG_0982It was almost 2 in the afternoon when we finished our visit at the convent. And what better way to have a late lunch than with an overlooking view of Taal volcano.

taal volcano_IMG_1034

We had lunch at one of the local town restaurants, Leslie’s Restaurant. The place rests on the side of the hills and gives its customers a panoramic view of Taal Lake. So, it’s really a good spot to have a nice view of the volcano and at the same time to take that tourist shot of the entire landmark.

bulalo_IMG_0816

Here’s the hot and steamy bowl of bulalo perfect for the cold weather. A definite must-try dish when you visit Tagaytay City for its fresh meat and vegetables.

leslies_tagaytay

We ordered some seafoods to match our bulalo –  ginataang alimasag (soft shell crab in coconut milk sauce) and sizzling squid. Leslie’s quite a popular place so if you’re thinking of having lunch, it’s better to make a reservation or arrive there early to queue up with the rest of the tourists and town-goers.

Before going to Tagaytay, I listed a few things I needed to buy so I won’t keep on forgetting them everytime I visit the place. We headed to a few stops after satisfying our palates. Bought some fresh fruits produced by local farms, buko pie pasalubong at Rowena’s, and fresh herb plants which I luckily found being sold on the sidewalk of the popular quaint cafe, Bag of Beans. (I plan to have a pocket garden at home where I can harvest my own herbs.)

Bought some local coffee (kapeng barako) and chocolate (tablea) to take home and brew by myself. Bag of Beans also serves buffet breakfast and brunch so if you’re around town, you might also want to check them out. Maybe, the next time I’m in this place. I’ll have my brunch over at their cafe.

Photo courtesy of http://bit.ly/18DeBEt

It’s always a wonderful feeling going to this town, far from all the noise and hastiness of the city and yet so accessible to the abundant blessings of Mother Earth. There’s always something to look forward to in this place. I will surely be telling a different story the next time I’m here. ‘Til then.

xoxo

Elaine

 

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