Travel Philippines – Tagaytay – Lake Taal Volcano

Lake Taal Volcano

Tagaytay and Lake Taal – Philippines

Tagaytay City is situated in Cavite Province approximately thirty miles south of Manila. To the north one sees, Manila Bay, Taal Lake and Taal Volcano are on the south, Laguna Bay is to the east and the China Sea is on the west.  It is a wonderful locale and the temps were a tad cooler than the Philippine’s in general as a soft breeze wafting through the air seemed ever present and because of that, the area has attracted many tourists tired of the unending heat and humidity.

Dots of light from fishing boats illuminate the lake during nightfall.

Picnic Grove

The Picnic Grove, is a nice reprieve and rest area from the many activities that are Taal Lake.   One of those activities, renting a horse, was an eye-opener for me!  Only because the

Pilipino horse

Philippine horse was so much smaller than the horses I was accustomed to seeing in the U.S.  I was afraid of hurting the animal by riding on its back.

Pineapple Plantation, Tagaytay
Soon enough though, that fear was lain to rest as my girlfriend and I clipped-clopped our way on the Pineapple Plantation Road.   Off in the distance in the other direction was, Ferdinand Marcos, “Mansion in the Sky.”   That place is now called, “People’s Park.  People’s Park in the Sky is like stepping into a ghost mansion. The incomplete building perched on the top of the hill was under construction by the Marcos’ when they were exiled from Philippines.  It has been left untouched ever since. Despite apparently being a tourist attraction, there has been zero maintenance and the place is stunningly dilapidated.

Away from the heavily populated and polluted air of the city and suburbs of Manila one notices immediately the improved, fresh air quality.  And of course, the huge difference between the concrete and glass jungle, to that of lush greens and brightly colored wildflowers, the natural paradise that God created the Philippines to be.                                                                             

The Philippine Islands have been blessed with an abundance of delectable fruits.

Allow me to impart a little bit of history concerning the area… Tagaytay played a distinctive part during the country’s 1896 Revolution.  It offered shelter from bad weather as well as places to hide.  The forests, ridges and rolling terrain provided these revolutionaries, many from the neighboring towns of Southern Luzon with an immediate sanctuary.

President Manuel Quezon in 1938 made Tagaytay a chartered city, and today; it is considered the center of tourism for the Calabarzon Region.  I lived in nearby Santa Rosa, Laguna when I visited and so just rode the inexpensive Jeepney, however; buses, SUV’s and other transportation can be attained through any of the helpful travel agencies or hotels, so come and check on this area .

The closing years of World War II saw military personnel and supplies dropped on the ridges of Tagaytay before the Liberation of “Manila” from the Japanese.

Philippines map

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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