Friday, March 23, 2012

A Walk Through Tagaytay City

To get a better grasp of a place, I walk. It’s not for everyone—many of my friends would rather ride a pedicab or jeepney, even for short distances, than hit the pavement. Add the lack of sidewalks, heat and pollution, and the mad onslaught of vehicles make adventure on foot quite challenging. But I was determined to know Tagaytay City in my own terms, and thus, armed with two hours of alone time I started my trek from Tagaytay Rotunda facing south. I then turned right and walked along Nasugbu-Tagaytay Highway. I had one thing in mind: eat fried tawilis (freshwater sardines) at Josephine’s Restaurant. Anything I’d encounter along the way would be a bonus.

On the highway’s left is prime real estate: it affords a breathtaking view of Taal Lake, the third largest lake in the Philippines, and the similarly named volcano in the middle of the lake. Many hotels and restaurants line this area. Tagaytay City, two hours by car from Manila, is also known for its cool climate, making it an accessible escape from the heat of the capital.

It’s supposed to be summer in the Philippines, but because of intermittent rain for the past few days, Tagaytay was chillier than usual. Flowers were abloom, not only in the makeshift stalls along the way, but in empty lots and along the road, making the walk quite pleasant. There were several stalls selling various fruits, among which were the diminutive and aromatic señorita bananas (musa acuminate). I passed by Lourdes Church, trendy restaurants in white, and two places I made a mental note to visit: the Greek tavern Manos and the Inn at the Cliff-house complex. I lost track of time, and was getting quite winded, when I espied Josephine’s, just in front of Summit Ridge Hotel. Mission accomplished. For more on the fried tawalis, visit my food blog.

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