Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tagaytay Trip Two

It’s Marrietta Perez Bassig and Marissa Perez Bassig’s birthday today and the family had planned this trip some two weeks ago. It’s quite a long trip but not as long as our last trip to Manaoag, Pangasinan. My wife, my son, and me usually wake up late so our preparation turned out to be a rush. We didn’t even managed to have a decent breakfast.

kengkeng the boy

The boy doesn’t want to get up yet.

There will be a three-vehicle convoy on this trip. Our white Hyundai Eon, Cobilla family’s red Hyundai Eon, and Ayiee Abella’s orange Toyota Vios.

two cars wait outside

Two cars wait outside for the journey to be.

Route to Remember

The following lines are a slightly detailed account of our road to Tagaytay. I chronicled them for reference if ever we go back.

We left Pines Village at 6:30 am. Traversing Sumulong Highway, we made a left at Katipunan Extension near a solemn Kia Metroeast Showroom, then made a right at Mount Vernon St., and made a left at the major road Mayor Gil Fernando Ave.

Straight from Mayor Gil Fernando, we made a right to Marcos Highway a.k.a. Marilaque Highway (Marilaque stands for Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon; I wonder how Laguna got in there).

From Marcos Highway we made our route to Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Bridge merging FVR Road. We then made a right to Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave. merging C5 Road.

From hereon we traveled C5 Road straight to AH26 (Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave. to Carlos P. Garcia Ave.) South Luzon Expressway Toll Road (a.k.a. Osmeña Sr. Highway). We kept going straight along SLEX then turned right to Mamplasan exit toll gate in Biñan, Calabarzon.

Mamplasan exit

Photo of Mamplasan exit from rapidstreetview.com; Map of Mamplasan exit from Google map. Photo is not the exact appearance as of this writing.

Upon leaving Mamplasan exit tollgate we made a right on Greenfield Parkway. After cruising straight Greenfield Parkway, we made a right turn to Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay Road, again just traveling a straight path.

We made a short stop over at a Petron, Dunkin Donuts station for some snacks and toilet.

Petron, Dunkin Donut

Photo of Petron station from rapidstreetview.com; Map of Petron station from Google map (please note error on location of pin on the map). Photo is not the exact appearance as of this writing.

We continued our route straight along Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay Road till we reached Tagaytay, Calamba Road by making a right.

Right turn from tagaytay road

Photo of our right turn to Tagaytay Road from rapidstreetview.com; Map of right turn from Google map. Photo is not the exact appearance (and not the right lane) as of this writing.

Straight up Tagaytay-Calamba Road, we came upon a roundabout and entered Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway from there.

Tagaytay roundabout

Photo of roundabout from rapidstreetview.com; Map of roundabout from Google map. Photo is not the exact appearance as of this writing.

Crowded Church

We made our very first major stop at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. There are a lot of people today because tomorrow Monday is holiday (Eid al-Adha, Proclamation No. 56) and the parking lot was jam-packed to say the least. We couldn’t find a parking spot so a security guard just instructed us to position behind one nicely parked sedan. In this spot our car was actually blocking the sedan so it won’t be able get out of parking as long as we were behind it. I volunteered to be left behind while the rest of the family went inside the church, just in case the owner of the sedan comes and decides to leave the premises.

Snow White tough park

Snow White is having a bad parking time.

I had a short chitchat with a security that handled the parking. The number of people that came this Sunday awed him. A fellow colleague of his, a janitor was also overwhelmed. The janitor is from Cogeo, Antipolo. For work reasons, he stays with his brother here in Tagaytay and goes home to Cogeo on good days. He sometimes assists during church parades of Mother Mary.

The previous church mass ended after a few minutes, and I soon found myself parking our car in a suitable corner.

The front of the church, though crowded with people, is indeed stunning. Seemed like it was prepared for this day.

Front of Our Lady of Parish church

Front of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

They even prepared a standee of Pope Francis.

Standee of Pope Francis

Standee of Pope Francis.

The parish also has quite an astounding interior.

Inside Our Lady of Parish church

Inside the church.

Skyranch Lunch and Bunch

After our church mass, we headed for Skyranch. There was no available parking inside the Skyranch common area so we were directed outside to a large parking area extension that was empty.

Skyranch parking lot

Photo of parking lot from rapidstreetview.com; Photo is not the exact appearance as of this writing.

We decided to have lunch first before entering Skyranch. I took the liberty of taking a few shots while we were searching for a restaurant.

Skyranch directory map

Skyranch directory map.

Skyranch discount rates

Discount rates. Talk about hard sell.

At last the family decided to test Leslie’s Restaurant.

Leslie's entrance

Entrance of Leslie’s Restaurant.

Leslie’s, quite regrettably, had nothing much to offer with regards to menu. While the food was typical, it’s not really that bad, but it’s not that good either. It’s just enough to satisfy my stomach and say I “might” come here again. The price? Well, it’s almost near the sky.

Leslie's balcony

A view of Skyranch rides from the balcony of Leslie’s Restaurant.

Our reserved table

Our reserved table.

Bulalo

Bulalo.

Sisig

Sisig.

The high blood bilao

I call it the “highblood bilao” with those stuffed squid, shrimps, and mussels.

Soup

Soup.

After our foodcapade, entering Skyranch was our next quest and it was a tough one as you can see from the long line of people in the admission area.

Admission area

Admission area. Look at all those cash. ☺

As soon as we got inside, we were in for some disappointment. It’s Marietta and Marissa’s birthday and there was supposed to be a promo where birthday celebrants can have a free ride-all-you-can pass for a minimum purchase. What we didn’t know was that, the minimum purchase was actually ₱1,000. Senior citizens didn’t even have ride discounts. Everything became uneventful after that, but not all was lost. The kids had fun riding the ₱80/person Kiddie Train ride.

Riding the Kiddie Train

Riding the Kiddie Train.

Mother and son

Mother and son.

Cousin's Raymarc and Botchok

Cousin’s Raymarc and Botchok.

Wish I was riding that train.

As I wrote this blog, I realized we should have tried looking for discounted ride-all-you-can passes from Metrodeal. Maybe we’ll do that the next time we have this idea again.

We then spent the next few hours eating and viewing people enjoying the rides. It was fun watching them shout their hearts out in some of the intense rides, like the Pirate Ship ride.

Cottage break

Having a break in one of the cottages.

Pirate Ship

Pirate Ship ride.

As the day wore off, we concluded it by doing a few site seeing and souvenir and goods hunting.

Near the zipline

A view near the zipline.

Taal volcano

Dormant Taal volcano.

Human statue

Human statue. Endurance level = expert.

Souvenir items

Souvenir items. Look at all those Chinese lucky charms. No wonder Henry Sy is so rich. ☺

Pasalubong items

Pasalubong items. It’s really mostly foody goody items.

The Long And Hard Return

We got back in the parking lot at 5:00 pm. It was empty during the mid noon when we first got there but now it’s chockfull. Made me think what time these travelers were planning to go home. Fortunately tomorrow’s a holiday.

Unfortunately, the traffic along the way was intense. What took us a few hours travel early morning seemed like forever that afternoon. Actually, one gas bar would turn out two gas bars in the afternoon. That’s four liters in the morning and eight liters on the way back.

On our way to an exit tollgate to SLEX, we made a peculiar turn shown in the picture below. From what I observed, our turns from leaving and entering to SLEX would look like a number eight.

Exit to SLEX

Our exit to SLEX from Google map.

From Alabang, I made a mistake of exiting through Sucat tollgate so we routed Service Road to C5 in order to get to McDonald’s Sports Complex, which was our destination for dinner. We got to McDonald’s past 10:00 pm. I heartily ate a chicken ala king meal which subtly reminded me of the AlDub phenomenon.

It was a peaceful trip home after McDonald’s and we stepped back in the house at 11pm. The gas bar indeed registered two bar decrease as compared to a single bar from the early morning trip. But enough of gas consumption worries for now. It sure is good to be back home, kiss the day goodbye, and lay down our heads on a pillow.