While I’m on a 15-minute break (which I’m not sure I can afford given my day’s to do list) after an official errand and enjoying an expensive coffee for the sake of a planner I don’t even use, I figured now’s as good a time as any to write about the Taal Volcano lakeception! Believed to be the smallest volcano in the world, Taal Volcano is one of the most popular natural wonders in the Philippines, with it’s craters being a lake within a lake within a lake. As a traveler, I’ve always had the image of Taal Volcano as in the picture-perfect crater cone you always see in Tagaytay, a popular highland tourist destination 2 hours or less south of Manila. The thing is, the “crater” we see is apparently nothing but a “dead” big mound of land. The actual crater, shown in this photo, is located in the island at the back (if your viewpoint is from Tagaytay) of the big mound. After a 20-25 minute outrigger boat ride (PhP 1500/5pax, PhP 500 for guide which I think you can skip) from the mainland jump off point and a 1.5 hour easy trek (PhP 50 or 100(?)/pax entry; normally it’s an hour only but we walked leisurely, taking photos now and then), we finally reached the crater. I’ve never been on a volcano before so I didn’t really know what to expect other than that of the photos. And nope, I was not disappointed! The Taal Volcano crater was calm and peaceful, the opposite of the exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping feeling you get when you stand near the edge of the “red lava” area (additional PhP 50)! If you have even just a spare day and especially if you’re with friends, you should totally do the Taal Volcano trek — it was really cool and awesome! 🙂
In one rather sunny August day, me and some friends from couchsurfing decided to push through with a quick weekend escape to Laiya, Batangas — a coastline of white sand about three or four hours from the paved highways of Manila.
We actually talked about the trip a week before but weren’t really sure if we’d push through. Laiya isn’t exactly known to the Manila populace as a cheap place for a quick getaway. When you say Laiya, it’s possible that the first thought are the big and fancy resort hotels that charge you about 4000 per person for the weekend — which, I think, for the services, amenities and package food menu that is included is just fair for a touristy weekend vacay.
When I was still working on a project for agriculture development, we would, every now and then, hold workshops for project implementors, facilitators, trainers, and such. There was a time when we held our workshops almost consecutively at the same place—Day’s Hotel Tagaytay.
Now, it’s not that we are biased towards Day’s Hotel. Just so happened that of the three choices we can have, their offer was deemed more reasonable. And yes, not to mention the chance to have some R&R after the *ehem* tiring and draining *ehem* workshops!
Even if it’s as simple as staring at the Taal Volcano while sipping an ice-cold beer (and it’s cold in Tagaytay!) or messing with the DJ booth after a full glass of strawberry margarita, or enjoying the food that Day’s Hotel has to offer!
See, this post is not really about the workshops we did but the food that we had over several conferences we held at Day’s Hotel. Have you eaten yet? I hope you had coz I’m betting you’re going to be really hungry after scrolling through this post. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Soups and Salads
Breakfast and Merienda
Lunch and Dinner
I purposefully did not enlarge the images as I thought, it would be more merciful. Hahaha And yes, I have tried each and every dish. And, because I hate wasting food, together with Acee, we took on the role of “demolishing” the stuff that other people did not want on their plates. Good thing the Chef at Day’s Hotel cooked really well!
(Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. Meaning, Day’s Hotel Tagaytay did not ask me to write this. Para lang malinaw. Hehehe. But really, Day’s Hotel Tagaytay is a good place to stay for workshops—just haggle for the rates, really hard!)