Tagaytay and Batangas, Philippines

Day 5, Tagaytay then Buan, Batangas

On Saturday (25/11/06), Meg and I got up early and left Manila for Mindoro, the province where my Mum’s side of the family grew up. After the fiasco that was breakfast (we’d mentioned to my Mum’s friend who had put us up that we would leave early – like 5.30am – and she had organised a brekky spread that we were 3 hours late for) the troops – Meg plus my uncle who has been our guide in The Philippines so far and my cousin and his girlfriend (who were along for the ride) and I hit the road at about 10. We headed south for Batangas Pier where we would need to get a slow ferry to take ourselves and our van over to the island of Mindoro…

On the way to Batangas we drove through Tagaytay which is a really pretty town in a mountain area where my cousin and his girlfriend go to college. It was nice and cool due to the altitude, and had clean, fresh air – which is when we knew we were out of Manila. We drove up to a lookout spot known as “The People’s Park in the Sky”, stretched our legs and took a look at the views. Megan, as always, documented the event with her swanky DSLR. I’ll be posting some of those photos here shortly.

From this lookout, on one side we coud see Manila in the distance, with its high-rise buildings, smog and sprawl, and on the other side we had a great view of Taal, a nearby volcano.

Anyway, we hit the road again shortly thereafter and about 2 hours later we arrived in the city of Batangas. We stopped in on one of my younger cousins and met her gorgeous 6 month old baby. I’d met Joy before, 16 years ago on my last trip to The Philippines, but she was too young then to remember me now. It’s quite an awkward situation but one that I was getting used to… re-uniting with relatives that don’t really know you at all. I’ve learnt that this is normal and that not long after, once you break the ice, the very generous hospitality comes through. And of course a little alcohol doesn’t hurt. After getting to know eachother over a lovely home-cooked meal of tinolang manok (boiled chicken pieces in soup with ginger and chilli leaves) and then learning how to play tongits, a game of barraja (cards) similar to gin rummy and mah jong over a few San Mig Lights we decided it was late and we should shower up and bed down rather than continue driving (another communication fiasco – I would later find out my relatives had already organised a welcome feast at Bongabong). We managed to sneak in a quick drive by tour of the city before bedtime. Nice place, worthy of further exploration I think.

In the morning we freshened up and hit the road, minus my cousin and his girlfriend, who would be going back to college shortly.

Continued soon… could be a while due to the approaching typhoon.

Related posts