Birthday in Tagaytay: Puzzle Mansion

Puzzle Mansion, TagaytayWe’ve passed by the signs pointing to Puzzle Mansion so many times during our many trips to Tagaytay but we never got around to going to the place. All we knew was that the place literally was a Guinness record-holding mansion full of puzzles. During this latest trip, as luck would have it, Puzzle Mansion was on the way to Wilson’s Place where we stayed.

We headed off to the mansion a little before lunch. From the main road, we had to go further in and passed by these pillars that signaled the mansion was near.

We reached a guard post and a man was making a sign for us to make a left. We didn’t anticipate what we saw next. The blue and white structure can be seen from afar, but the concrete road leading to it was very steep. I Puzzle Mansion, Tagaytayknow the husband hesitated going down the incline in his beloved project car, but we already made it that far and so we had no choice. The trip downhill wasn’t so bad, it turned out.

We were led to a dirt parking area which I guess they were still trying to build because there was no way they can get more people to visit what they now consider a local tourist attraction with that kind of garage.

The fee to enter the mansion was Php 100 per person, and we bought our tickets from the makeshift restaurant by the parking area that also sold coconut pie – a famous delicacy we were told. We saw this bit of Filipiniana parked outside the building. It was really eye-catching as it matched the building’s exterior colors of blue and white. Continue reading Birthday in Tagaytay: Puzzle Mansion

Birthday in Tagaytay: Breakfast at Antonio’s

Breakfast at Antonio's, TagaytayWe wanted to try out the different restaurants around the city while we were staying in Tagaytay for my birthday weekend, and Antonio’s was on top of our list. Unfortunately, we found out that the theme is fine dining and reservations are required. We were in our shorts and summer tops, and couldn’t wait for a month to get on their list.

And then there’s Breakfast at Antonio’s. It’s the laid-back option offered by the owner/s of Antonio’s and they serve all-day breakfast. We were there at lunchtime and we tried their very short menu for high noon. We were not disappointed.

My husband enjoyed their very tender pork ribs while I had their roast chicken with a very large side of roast potatoes. The chicken’s sauce was oh-so-yummy made up of mushroom cooked in cream and chardonnay. They marinated the chicken in orange juice, rosemary, thyme and all other good stuff that I can’t remember now, and slow-roasted for 2 hours. It was heavenly. I barely touched the potatoes because I hadn’t realized that I had ordered half a chicken. I had their pineapple-and-blueberry smoothie and it was good too, although a little too sweet for my taste. Continue reading Birthday in Tagaytay: Breakfast at Antonio’s

Birthday in Tagaytay: Wilson’s Place

Another year to be thankful for. To celebrate, the husband suggested that we have my birthday weekend out-of-town. Where else to go but Tagaytay? I asked my BFF Aileen if she knew of any good places to go spend a couple of nights at. She suggested Balai Indang, or the swankier Wilson’s Place by the same owner. They have no website, but the photos in a post by Anton Diaz over at Our Awesome Planet convinced us to try out the latter.

Wilson’s Place is a Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay City. I called their listed mobile number and looked for Christy (as suggested by Aileen) and booked us a room for two nights. She asked us to make a deposit of Php 1,500 to their BDO account and then we made confirmations via SMS. It was a pretty smooth transaction. Just remember to bring the deposit receipt with you because I didn’t. 😀

We left Pasig  at around 5:30 am early on Friday and headed South. We had to be out of Manila before 7am due to the car coding scheme. By 6:30 am, we were already at the NLEX and had breakfast at the Pancake House near the Petron Station. There were several buses carrying teens from Colegio San Agustin. I remember getting annoyed at the teenage girls casually cutting in the queue in the ladies’ room. Kids! Continue reading Birthday in Tagaytay: Wilson’s Place

Hong Kong Happening

I’ve been to Hong Kong so many times in the last 15 years, perhaps every other year, but I’ve never really “felt” it since I was always with my sister and she always just led us around. This year is different because I went with my husband and we had to learn to catch the train or walk everywhere via maps. Thank goodness for GPS, right?

I booked us a roundtrip flight via Philippine Airlines and got us rooms at the Wharney Guang Dong Hotel in Wan Chai. It seemed like a good enough place to stay in according to Trip Advisor – the price was just right and it was close to the MTR/train. Actually, you can stay anywhere in Hong Kong as long as you are near the MTR. Their transportation system there is so effective like Kuala Lumpur’s and Singapore’s. I learned just the day before we left that the hotel is actually in the red light district but it turned out to be not so bad at all. At least it wasn’t dangerous to walk around at nighttime. The particular street is lined with pubs and restaurants and people, mostly tourists, are still partying until 6am. Continue reading Hong Kong Happening

Anawangin Cove, Zambales is Paradise on Earth

I have long wanted to go to Anawangin Cove in Zambales but never had the time until I brought up the idea to my sister just a couple of days before we left. Still disappointed that we never got to go anywhere out of town for the Christmas break, we jumped at the chance to finally leave the city to nature-trip. I showed them photos and dug up some reviews online to show them, although it didn’t take much to convince them to go.

We left Pasig at around 5am last Friday, Jan. 10, in our AUV, filled up our gas tank and proceeded to NLEX. Breakfast was at the ever-reliable Jollibee along the first Petron station at NLEX (Pancake House was our first choice but it was closed). I had their longganisa as usual.

Jollibee

Continue reading Anawangin Cove, Zambales is Paradise on Earth

Summer Cebu Getaway

I found out last January that my Mabuhay (PAL frequent flier) Miles were about to expire and I had not planned any trips yet to use them up. Since the husband had not been to Cebu before, I decided to make a quick booking there and just plan our itinerary later.

After my successful flight booking, searching for a place to stay and what to do were next on my list. I looked back to the past brief stays I had in the city and apart from the usual trips to see the Mactan cross and the MacArthur monument, I was totally out of ideas. Where to spend three whole days to do nothing? 😀

Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island. Photo from http://www.bantayanisland.org/.

I looked up beaches that were not too far from the city. Sure, Bantayan is fantastic but I doubt the husband (or I!) would have the patience for the long trip to go there, plus we’d need at least a week off to enjoy it. So I figured we’d need some place that did not require a boat ride and just 2 hours tops from the airport. I looked at beaches with good reviews online and narrowed down my choices.

 

Continue reading Summer Cebu Getaway