Quick weekend getaways south of Manila
What are some of the best weekend getaways south of Manila? Here are a few of my recommendations:
Overlooking Taal lake and the dormant Taal volcano, Tagaytay is a great place to relax and dine. Just try not to drop by during holidays if you want to avoid the crowds. Apart from Balinsasayaw Restaurant and Casetta del Divino Zelo, I also recommend Pamana Restaurant and Bag of Beans.
Pamana Restaurant – Pamana is owned by the Ongpauco clan of the famed Barrio Fiesta restaurant chain. They boast of serving heirloom recipes handed down from generation to generation. The restaurant itself has a genteel, old-world ambiance. My family and I have dined here several times now, and we have no complaints. All of the dishes are good. Try the crispy lapu-lapu and their famous laing.
Budget around Php 500. per person.
Pamana is located very near The Boutique Bed & Breakfast at the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. It’s also right across this new Ayala Mall (don’t know the name, sorry!).
Especially if you’re coming on a weekend, it’s best to make reservations: (046) 413-2461, 0922-8592703, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bag of Beans – This is where we usually go to for coffee. We’ve also tried their brunch buffet at least thrice now and it’s pretty good value for money. The dishes are all good – not super great, but uniformly good – and the desserts have really improved. There’s also enough greens and fruits to satisfy vegetarians and/or those looking to balance their meals with fiber. One caveat: the bottomless barako (a rare and exotic locally grown coffee) coffee we had three Sundays ago was a bit sour. Maybe the batch in the particular pot wasn’t that fresh.
Their brunch buffet is Php 595. per person.
Bag of Beans is located at 115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West. The place is in front of Swiss Chalet Townhomes in Tagaytay.
I also recommend making reservations and going on a weekday because the place is always packed on weekends: +63 922 881 8265.
For pasalubong (gifts Filipinos bring home from their travels to loved ones), I recommend the ube and buko tarts of Amira’s and Rowena’s. Amira’s is at Aguinaldo Highway corner SVD Road. Rowena’s is at the Tagaytay – Sta. Rosa Road.
Batangas has great food tripping spots – including nondescript ones – too. Personally speaking though, whenever I think of Batangas, I think of beaches and mountains, both of which the province is blessed with. Whether diving is your trip or hiking is more of your thing, this nearby destination has you covered.
Mt. Batulao – I wrote about Mt. Batulao last year. It’s a wonderful option for a day hike. If you’re a newbie hiker like me, however, I strongly suggest traversing the new trail. It’s way easier than the old trail. Another tip: you can commission guides at the jump-off point if you’re not familiar with the trails. We didn’t because we were with someone who had already climbed the said mountain at least five times.
Burot Beach – More and more people are discovering Burot Beach, thanks to a past feature by Rappler. If all you’re after are clear, blue waters and an unspoiled shoreline, then Burot is the place for you. If you care about creature comforts, however, then you need to go elsewhere. Trust me on this! The beach has no electricity and very basic lavatories.
Other places that I am curious to visit in Batangas are Club Balai Isabel and Mt. Gulugod-Baboy. Apart from hotel rooms, villas, and function rooms, the former also has parasailing and flyfish facilities. The latter is another popular and relatively easy hiking destination that has three peaks and a large, ancient tree on the third known as the Gulugod-Baboy.
Flow House Manila – Did you know that there’s a flowboarding facility in Cavite? I didn’t know that fact myself until earlier this month. Flow House Manila offers adventure enthusiasts a new thrill: flowboarding, which is described as “combining the look of surfing, the ride of snowboarding, the tricks of skateboarding, and the boards of wakeboarding.” Frankly, it sounds like fun. I’ll definitely give you a heads up about this sport as soon as we try it!
Flow House Manila is located at Seasons Molino in Molino Boulevard corner Masaito Drive, Bacoor, Cavite. Contact them at +632 403 4344 and email@example.com.
Where do you go for a quick respite from the metro?
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Everything in this blog are my personal opinions. I am not affiliated with any of the aforementioned establishments.
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