Places to visit in Tagaytay and nearby areas – New Normal Travel Escapes – The Transport Queen

March 15, 2020 – Lockdown began in the Philippines particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) and related provinces including our province Cavite. Since May, we started to enhance our new livelihood – online selling and deliveries of Fresh-Freeze beef and seafoods, and all other items from Cavite, like Cafe Amadeo, Dried Fish, Fruits and Vegetables. Thus, Happy Antz Online Store and Delivery was born. We went in and out of Tagaytay but just for the purpose of buying essential needs, and we went as far as Batangas to buy plants and tilapia. Going in and out for essential needs, those activities I do not consider as “leisure travel” or “pamamasyal.” Oftentimes, we just drive past thru closed restaurants, we cannot even stop at an overlooking spot for fear of getting exposed to Covid-19 and/or getting caught for “leisurely” going out.But since MGCQ began, around September, restaurants were open once more and tourist spots in Tagaytay were now open to public (following IATF age guidelines).So here is my 2020 list of Tagaytay Places to visit in this new normal. (I’ll be updating the list as I get to visit other places).

Feeling burn out? Looking for some place to breathe? Here’s my list:

1. CROSSWINDS

Location: Brgy. Iruhin, Central Calamba Road, Crosswinds Resorts, Tagaytay City

What  I love here?

  • Over 20,000 pine trees surround the property, thus you’ll take a momentary relief and breathe of fresh air. We love going here because of these lush greens and natural scopes where one can freely run around.
  • The rustic vibe of Cafe Voila
  • The windmill landmark of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
  • I would love to try to book an overnight stay 😁
  • Check out more photos here

2. PRAYING HANDS

Location: Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City

What  I love here?

  • Free
  • Open space
  • A chance to be reminded to Pray

3. TWINLAKES

Location: Nasugbu Hi-Way, Laurel, Batangas

What  I love here?

  • Overlooking Tagaytay Volcano
  • Starbucks
  • Bag and Beans Coffee
  • Sight-seeing
  • More photos here
Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes Condominiums/Hotel

4. MAHOGANY MARKET

Location: Mahogany Market, Mahogany Ave., Tagaytay City

What I love here?  Mahogany Market is my source of extra income since 2017,  it sustained our livelihood during the lockdown. We get our supplies here from our suki! Who could have known that during the Covid-19 lockdown, our once “sideline,” would become our main source of income. You may order online from us at Happy Antz Online Store.

What I love here?

  • Agricultural products for my Happy Antz Online Store (Beef, Fruits, Vegetables and Dried Fish)
  • The people whom I’ve met and known for a long time
  • Fresh Fruits and vegetables at a cheaper price
  • Of course the weather!

5. Talisay-Tagaytay Road

Location: Talisay-Tagaytay Road

What I love here? Just look at the photos 🙂 

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talisay

and our favorite the long and winding road

https://fb.watch/2dZ-FSN7Di/

6. Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm

Location: Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm, Km. 47, Aguinaldo Hi-way, Lalaan, Silang, Cavite

What I love here? Another source of health and beauty products for my online store – Happy Antz Online Store

  • Beauty of nature
  • No crowd, a hidden gem in Silang
  • Of course, their soaps!

Ilog Maria Honey Bee

https://fb.watch/2d_fcHPV_p/

7. Taal Maranan Farmville

Location: Brgy. Iba East, Taal, Batangas

What I love here?

  • Food! Yes, I love their fresh food, the ingredients were picked from their own farm!
  • The pool is relaxing, its size was just enough if you have a small kid with you
  • Mulberries 🙂
  • the view

8. Yoki’s Farm

Location: 003 Tabluan Road, Palocpoc 1, Mendez, Cavite

What I love here?

  • Everything! The animals, the vegetables, the orchids, and their yummy, fresh food!
  • Read this before going to Yoki’s Farm!

9. Kaybiang Tunnel, Ternate, Cavite 

Location:  Kaybiang Tunnel, Ternate-Nasugbu Road, Ternate Cavite

What I love here?  Kaybiang Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the Philippines. It bores through Mt. Palay-Palay and connects Ternate to Nasugbu, Batangas. I love here the road which is now home to monkeys, they seem to grow in number as human activities was limited due to lockdown. We saw a group of monkeys when we passed by just after the GCQ was lifted. This is my go to place, when I just want to see the quiet ocean but don’t actually want to swim. There are now 2 view decks here (but I  prefer the old viewing site here, the one with no structure it feels so close to nature), the view of sunset as it resides on the quiet ocean plus you can buy fresh seafood along the way!

10. Patungan Island Cove

Location: Patungan Island Cove, Maragodon,  Cavite (you have to ride a small boat from Ternate to get there)

What I love here?  I love the island hopping + the historical background + and the fish that looks like a milkfish that is uniquely harvested there. If you go for an island hopping tour, you can get to see the Carabao Island and the Fort Drum (which is actually already Bataan.

patungan-cove

Have you visited these places recently? Share your stories below in the comment section.

If you know of a place that must be on my list, comment it here too!

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Agri Field Trip with Einstar Education!

In today’s digital and millennial world, there are proven to be a lot of challenges when it comes to educating our kids. Internet and gadgets, plus the availability of numerous influential factors that are hard to contain. Our kids get a lot of information & influence from the outside world which is mostly uncontrollable. Plus, the diversity of each parent’s work environment and schedule leads to the growing number of families turning to homeschooling.

According to Wikipedia: Homeschooling, also known as home education is the education of children at home or a variety of places other than school. Home education is usually conducted by a parent or tutor or online teacher. Many families use less formal ways of educating.”

This is where Einstar Education plays its role as the “Air BnB” of modern homeschooling. Einstar Education helps share a home and other spaces to be used as a classroom to facilitate beyond-the-school learning. More than that they are willing to assist teachers and/or parents on how to do homeschooling and to share their spaces too! This is via their program at Einstar Education.

EINSTAR EDUCATION

We joined Einstar’s Agri Field Trip last July 20, and read on as I share with you our experience.

AGRI FIELD TRIP THE EINSTAR WAY!

Agri or agriculture and farm tourism are one of the growing eco businesses today. With lots of vacant lots turning into a farm and Resort too, our children have many activities to do in these farm tours. But we were surprised and met the unexpected during our Agri Field Trip, and these surprises are amazing!

We were a bit late for the tour since we haven’t got the chance to ride on the van service Einstar have (because of our location), so we waited for Daddy to fetch us at Evia Daang Hari. Nevertheless, we still got the chance to see the demo equipment for the bean to bar demo and got in time for the real adventure — the visit to the Cacao plantation.

1st Drop – AUSPERE NATURE FARM

Auspere Nature Farm resort is located at Castillo St. Purok IV, Lumil, Silang, Cavite

AUSPERE NATURE FARM

1. BEAN TO BAR DEMO – The bean to bar demo was demonstrated but none other than the owner Mr. Ricardo Perez. The kids learned to process basic hand-crafting chocolate making from cacao beans to pure chocolates or otherwise known as “Couverture Chocolates” or Healthy Chocolates. And got to taste them after we came back from the visit to the cacao and Mahogany plantation. And I tell you, they are YUMMY Chocolates, Conan really loved it!

BEAN TO BAR DEMO
Bean to Bar demo *Photo credits to Einstar*
CHOCOLATES
Chocolate making demo *photo credits to Einstar

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2. CACAO FARM EXPLORATION – This is what we loved the most and was truly unexpected – TREKKING! Don’t be fooled like us thinking that Cacao Farm was just like an ordinary farm, Cacao Farm is different! We enjoyed walking along a hilly-terrain, went up and down and being careful along the way (it was high and mountainous). It was at the heart of a natural low mountain rainforest (feels like your in Baguio).  I was amazed to see something so natural as this existed at Silang. It is a 1-kilometer trek so better get prepared if you decide to visit Auspere. Wear your rubber or hiking shoes, with proper clothes, and bring extra ones too! I never expected that we will be sweating hard haha! It was a fun, adventurous experience. You may also check the natural spring for a more added adventure.

CACAO PLANTATION

NATURE FARM

3. FARM ANIMAL EXPERIENCE – There are few farm animals along the way to the cacao plantation but we didn’t get the chance to take a close encounter since we were focused on conquering the trek haha! I’ve seen a rabbit on the cage and a few chickens on the way.

4. MAHOGANY PLANTATION – There are 1,500 mahogany trees planted just beside the cacao plantation. As per Mr. Ricardo Mahogany trees consume so much water and contribute to the imbalance of the ecosystem at the farm, so they are planning to harvest the mahogany soon and replace it with other trees or crops. Be sure to apply insect-repellant lotion, apply sunblock once you go on for a trek. Be careful with the ants too!

Mahogany

conan
He was so proud having picked all these veggie leaves!

We had lunch at Ricardo’s Kitchen, also located at Auspere Nature Farm. We had cornsilog and tapasilog for us. And afterward, we convene at the lobby and tasted the cacao chocolates!

cornbeefsilog
Our lunch – corned beef with rice and egg, with cucumber, lettuce and “atsara” on the side

 2nd Drop – GRATCHI’S GETAWAY FARM RESORT

Gratchi’s Farm is located at Kabangaan Road, Brgy. Cabangaan, Silang Cavite

GRATCHI'S GET AWAY

1. BAHAY KABUTE

– The kids and especially the parents too, get to enjoy and learn about mushroom “kabute” culture, how to grow and harvest properly. They also did had a feel of the mushrooms as its sprouts on its sack.

mushroom
Bahay Kabute
Oyster mushroom
Oyster mushroom

2. VERMICULTUREThe kids learned how to do vermiculture and get a feel and touch the African Night Crawler. It is a type of worm, where its waste is used as a natural fertilizer and pesticide. You may do your own vermiculture at home:

  • Dig a place where you can put wastes such as potato peel, carrot peel or any biodegradable wastes.
  • Cover it with enough soil
  • Place African Night Crawlers (this can be brought at garden shops)
  • Wait for 2 – 3 months for the waste to decompose
  • You already have your own fertilizer
vermiculture
Teaching the kids on vermiculture
AFRICAN NIGHT CRAWLER
African Night Crawler worm

3. Close encounter with the OSTRICH-Experience to get up close and personal to these two lovely ostriches. Colene (my eldest) and I tried feeding them, and they bite every bit off your hands in a snap! Conan wanted to try too! but the guide didn’t allow since his hand is still soft and might easily be bruised. Conan holds the ostrich’s egg instead and curiously studied its shell.

Ostrich

ostrich
Ostrich’s egg

4. CROP PLANTING – Our next stop was planting crops. For this time instead of trees, Gratchi’s have corn crops for our little kids to plant. Conan willingly tried to plant one, and let the tour guide assist him. Bet he was so happy about his accomplishment. The crop will bear fruit in 3 months’ time, and we are excited to see harvest time.

PLANTING CORN
Conan was very curious eager to hold this shovel and finish planting this corn

5. FISHING – Finally, after all the walking we had, it was our time to sit and relax while fishing! Yes, the kids enjoyed fishing! Some got very small fishes and they returned it to the fish pond. Others had big fish ready for cooking! Too bad, my Colene and Conan didn’t get any, but still, they were happy to experience how to fish!

FISHING
Let’s do some fishing!

In between these tours, the children also enjoyed socializing and playing with the other kids. Auspere’s got a slide where the kids took turns, and Gratchi’s got a mini playground the kids enjoyed the see-saw and swing. Truly a wonderful experience for all of us 6 families who joined the tour.

homeschooling
Homeschoolers and Einstar Education

GET TO KNOW

Einstar Mission is to provide affordable personalized basic education to Filipinos.

You may reach Einstar Education at the following:

  • Facebook page Einstar Education
  • Mobile Number: 0977-8042404
  • Email: einstar.education@gmail.com

See more photos at Diaries of a Transport Queen and videos (soon to be posted) at The Happy Tandem Channel

FOLLOW OUR ADVENTURE, JUST CLICK THE FOLLOW BUTTON 🙂 

farm tour
The Transport Queen and Travel Detective Conan
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Patio Rizal Hotel & Restaurant in Lucban, Quezon

Patio Rizal Hotel is a lovely Spanish styled hotel located at 77 Quezon Avenue Lucban, Quezon. The Hotel is strategically located across the Municipality and beside the Town Plaza. It was a place where you can feel at home — even away from home. Not far from the Hotel is the town’s church, the best Pancit Lucban and longganisa restaurants, souvenir stalls and other places of interest. 

Patio Rizal Hotel *photo grabbed from their fb page

We were greeted by courteous staff who initiated to carry our heavy luggage. I loved the way this hotel was kept clean and highly well maintained. They already have a feel of the Christmas Season, their hotel lobby is highly Instagrammable. Fill up your IG feed as you checked-in to Patio Rizal Hotel.

Patio Rizal Hotel’s Dining Area

Food tastes great except for the coffee which was for me was too strong and has a bitter taste. I wish they could try Amadeo brewed coffee. 

Spacious Dining Area of Patio Rizal Hotel

Their front desk officer is also warm and accommodating, I asked him to shoot me some photos at the lobby, and he agreed with a smile. So I took a photo of him too 🙂 

ROOM TYPE ROOM RATES 

  • Standard Room P2,300.00 for 2 persons only
  • Superior Room P3,000.00 ( 2 to 4 persons)
  • Deluxe Room P3,500.00 ( 2 to 4 persons)
  • Premier Suite Room P3,700.00
    ( 2 to 4 persons)
  • VIP Suite P6,800.00 
    ( 2 to 4 persons)
  • Extra Bed P500.00
  • All rates are subjects to change without prior notice

 So we stayed in a Superior Type Room I guess coz it have 2 beds, we checked-in at Room 205, the room just after the 2nd floor stairs. Hmm, if your staying here, do not choose this room hahaha! because this is directly in front of the stairs of the 2nd floor lounge, where you can hear all the squabbles of the other guests going up or the chit-chat of those staying at the lounge area. 

Generally, I enjoyed my stay here especially that they have free WIFI! Hooray for that!

I recommend staying here at Patio Rizal Hotel, your next home at Lucban, Quezon!

For more information on Patio Rizal, you may contact them directly at

The Transport Queen