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I’m the youngest in the family, and many of you may think that youngest kids are the most pampered and spoiled in the family. Well, yes, sometimes that’s true (make it more than sometimes), but it has its drawbacks too.

I was diagnosed to have Mitral Valve Prolapse six or seven years ago. It’s a abnormality in the left valve of the heart that instead of completely closing when the heart pumps blood, the leaflet stands a little ajar making some of my blood flow back.

Daddy’s Girl

Daddy's Girl

Daddy’s Girl

Put my condition and my family rank together, and you’ll get an overprotective father. I love my father very much, in fact, I’m a daddy’s girl, but sometimes he goes just a tiny wee bit overboard in protecting me. He prevents me from being stressed out and I’m thankful to the Heavens because of it. He does the sweetest lil things and most of the time he gives me all I need and want: food, gadgets, clothes and much more. However, there’s this one thing, I’m sad about: he doesn’t permit me to ride a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster or any ride that has an adrenaline rush or heights. He thinks it’s bad for my health, but I haven’t even heard my cardiologist mention it.

Spilling the Beans

This could have gone unnoticed except that I love to try these things! I’d always fantasized about flying, and these rides are the next closest thing to flying (except for a plane ride, of course). Since I’m a little hard headed, I tried these without my beloved father knowing.

Zipline with my Beau

Zipline with my Beau

I know I’m guilty of disobeying my father, but I’ll forever regret it if I let the chance of riding pass  when I still have the strength and vivacity to do so. And so, I did ride. I rode the Ferris wheel, the rollercoaster, and other adrenaline-filled amusement rides. I had also tried the zipline, just like my co-author, Elmer, did. I did the Edge Coaster and the Sky Walk in Crown Regency Cebu, and I thought that was the most daring thing I would do in my entire life.

The Plunge

But that was before I knew of THE PLUNGE. And to give you a pea-size idea of what it’s like, just imagine yourself free-falling with zero-gravity, an adrenaline rush that makes you forget breathing and heart beats all at once, and a fast-as-lightning drop that makes the world blurry all of a sudden. That’s the very thrill you get when you jump on a 200-meter canyon with only a rope to hold your fragile existence.

The Plunge

The Plunge

The Ride of a Lifetime

I had no fear not even a trickle of it. I was determined to do the plunge and submit myself to a tiny precious moment of being in the free air. I felt like an angel free-falling from the sky and that rope was my salvation. For a moment or two, I yo-yoed on the rope while the operator prepared to haul me up. For a moment or two, I enjoyed appreciating the beauty of nature on top of the giant trees and the raging river. For a moment or two, I believed I could fly.

My father might, sooner or later, learn about this (especially if he reads my blog); nevertheless, I have no regrets because the plunge was indeed the ride of a lifetime.

THE PLUNGE: Ride of a Lifetime

THE PLUNGE: Ride of a Lifetime

The Plunge on Video

In my previous post, I’ve talked about escaping the heat in the Philippines during summer by going to the mountain city Baguio. We’ve discovered that the place has a temperature comparable Europe (except winters) and that houses there don’t have any air conditioners or electric fans and has fireplaces instead.

It’s a great city getaway during summer but the problem is–it’s a seven hour ride from the country’s capital Manila. Going there requires a long preparation and is a bit costly.

The good news is–there’s another option.

First, this option is only an hour and a half to two hours drive from Manila.

Second, its temperature is somewhere in-between Manila’s temperature and Baguio’s temperature.

Third, it’s not as high as Baguio which is 5,000 ft above sea level but high enough to give you that cool and relaxing feeling as its 2,000 ft above sea level and there’s no need to endure a dizzying zigzag road climbing up the mountain.

Fourth, if you’re a budget traveler, you can take advantage of bringing your packed lunch because they have a Picnic Grove where you can enjoy home cooked meals with the family.

Fifth, it has a superb view of the Taal Volcano which had its most recent eruption way back in 1977.

Finally, this place is loaded with fun outdoor activities which is worth every second of your stay.

So now we know that aside from Baguio City, we have another great way to escape the summer heat by going to Tagaytay City.

Some of you in North America or in Europe might be wondering why I’m talking about summer heat as early as March. Yes, summer here in the Philippines is from March to May and classes starts in the first week of June.

Where to Stay?

The temperature in this mountainous city is just right that you can even put up your own tent and have a great sleep in their camping site. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one for around $3.00.

If you want a budget hotel room, this place has plenty to offer but one you can try is the Golden Rooms for Rent hotel which would only cost you $19.00 complete with TV and air conditioner. Yes, there’s an AC because unlike Baguio, the climate is not cool enough to penetrate the indoors in the height of summer heat especially in the afternoon but there isn’t a need to use it in most parts of the year.

If you’re on a honeymoon or is celebrating a wedding anniversary and you feel like spending bit more, among the many options in Tagaytay City, I recommend that you try the Taal Vista Hotel because it has a spectacular view of the Taal Volcano, a lush garden with colorful flowers and the interior is grand and well decorated.

This city offers you plenty of options on where you can spend the night from budget to grand.

Where to Eat?

As I mentioned earlier, if you live near the place and can bring your own packed lunch for a short day tour, you can take advantage of using Tagaytay’s Picnic Grove which we’ve done in one occasion because there’s like ten of us who went there. We only had to buy an ice cream for my baby’s dessert.

On one occasion, we had our lunch in Balinsasayaw Cottage Restaurant was a wonderful experience. This restaurant has several open air cottages in a hill where you can enjoy a great view of the city while enjoying fresh air and great food.

What to do?

This place has a lot to offer but here are some popular ones you can try.

Horseback Riding

Tagaytay Ridge Zipline and Cable Car

Sightseeing in Picnic Grove

Enjoy a boat ride in Taal Lake going to Taal Volcano 

Visit the Palace in the Sky which is now known as the People’s Park in the Sky 

City Explorers Tip

When renting a car to go in this city, make sure to take the EDSA, South Super Highway then Sta. Rosa path which is the closest path to this place and has less or no traffic. A lot of people make the mistake of taking the Coastal Road and Imus, Cavite router only to get frustrated by a heavy traffic.

A Day Off the Beaten Path:

Here in the Philippines we have what we call Pasalubong which is a homecoming gift expected from you mostly by friends or relatives after coming back from a trip. One Pasalubong stop shop you can’t afford to miss is Rowena’s–yes just plain Rowena’s. They offer different fruit tart options boxed in a dozen like donuts. My favorite of them all is their blueberry tart which has a heavenly taste.