Monday, January 28

Tagaytay & Manila, The Philippines {Part 1}

Hello everyone, 

I am glad to be back home after a three-week break and a wonderful holiday in the birth country of my Mr., The Philippines. It was a first for the kids & I and we had a lot to discover not mentioning many members of the family to meet up with.

We came back two weeks ago and it took me that long to get everyone back in the routine in freezing cold Tokyo. We even got a "warm" welcome by the way of a snow storm the day of our arrival at Narita. Talk about a shock!

I will share my most interesting photos in three successive posts with Part 1 being dedicated to our day trip to Tagaytay, snap shots of the country side and suburban Manila.

My Mr. took me on a surprise day trip to Lake Tagaytay followed by a two-night stay in a gorgeous hotel in Makati Manila - no kids in sight and loads of shopping involved, bliss!

The city of Tagaytay is located in the Cavite province at only 55km of Manila, but it took us a good two hours to reach it on a Friday morning due to the heavy traffic... It's a popular tourist destination as well as it overlooks Lake Taal and iconic Taal Volcano in Batangas province. Truly breathtaking views! 

We didn't get a chance to go down and close to the lake, but I would recommend you to spend at least two days in Tagaytay to explore the area. We had lunch in the lush surrounding of world acclaimed Antonio's restaurant - I will post a review in {Part 2} of this series on The Philippines. It was delicious!

 Stunning view of Taal volcano and lake from a road side food joint...

I loved the abundance of green in the country side. The houses are also colorful with great schemes and color association I wouldn't even dream of. But it all works out so nicely!
Obviously pineapple was in season as they were plenty to buy from simple stalls by the side of the road and in town in the "fruit shops"... they were literally piling up!

Beautiful Tagaytay...

The same day we went to Tagaytay, we were back in the business district of Manila, called Makati. One of my favorite area in this bustling and congested city,  traffic was fluid and everything looked much cleaner than the rest of Manila. Also a probably much safer place for tourists as well...

We attempted a visit of Intramuros, the oldest and historical district of the capital which had been built by the Spaniard back in the16th century then destroyed in 1945 during the battle of Manila. Although efforts to build it back to its former state are being made, I felt it was of very little interest (I was super disappointed). To my surprise, it's also probably the only part of the city with very few places where to eat. To top it all we got caught in a tropical rain shower while wandering in the streets... it totally ruined our excursion!

top left: Barangay Community Hall in Intramuros; 
top right and bottom: Jeepneys, the most popular mode of public transportation 

On New Year we visited an area of Manila where my husband has many memories and where many members of the family are still living in up to now. It was fantastic to finally meet them and our kids - especially our daughter, was in heaven to discover that she had so many cousins! 

I want to wrap up this first post and emphasize about the fantastic faith I have witnessed in The Philippines. Catholicism is the predominant religion and is pretty much part of the everyday life - as it used to be for my grand-mother's generation. You can see a lot of  images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary by the door/ gate of houses, and there are a lot of churches all over the country (even in the middle of shopping mall such as Greenbelt!). 

from left to right: 
a church in Mandaluyong, life in a street of Intramuros, 
a painting of the Virgin Mary in a religious shop.

I had been looking for a Nativity set (old style) for a few years now, and bingo! I found my dream set in a religious shop in Makati. Photos to be featured... next Christmas!

Stay tuned as I will continue posting about our trip to The Philippines this week, I will have two more posts coming up. Have a great week, friends!


Anonymous said...

it looks gorg, aaaah travels nothings betta !

Marie Maglaque said...

Thank you!! I have to agree with you!

Katrina Alana said...

I love the fresh air in Tagaytay. I remember the shift in air quality when we went to that place plus the stunning view of the Taal Volcano was awesome. I'm excited to see your nativity set. Hopefully we get more stuff if we can move in to a bigger place.

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