How To Commute to Tagaytay City

Tagaytay City is one of the nearest short vacation destination in Luzon. This is where people usually go during the weekends to relax and escape from the hot summer days without having to go all the way to Baguio.

It was my high school friend Cris who suggested that we have an out-of-town trip. She just came home from Canada for a short vacation. So we decided to go to Tagaytay. It's near and it's cold there. Not as cold as Canada, of course. :)

Six of us, including Bianca's daughter went to Tagaytay. So for those who wish to go to Tagaytay by riding public transportation, here's how:

We rode the MRT to Taft Ave., the last station of the MRT-3 line to catch the bus that will bring us to Tagaytay. The bus station is located near the MRT-Taft Ave. station. If you're coming from the North, you'll have to cross to the north bound section of EDSA (using the MRT bridge/overpass, of course!). You'll see a narrow entrance between Mercury Drug and McDonald's. Walk inside and you'll see the many buses and jeepneys that will take you to different destinations. We rode the bus to Nasugbu, Batangas. The bus fare to Olivares Junction is only 70 pesos. Nice and cheap!

Note that you'll have to alot around 3 hours before you can reach Tagaytay because of the heavy traffic. So plan ahead in case you have a scheduled commitment.

You'll know you're near Tagaytay when the road becomes steeper than the usual. You can choose to alight at the jeepney terminal before the junction (like us because we had to go to the market) or at the junction itself, near Jollibee. There are tricycles there that will bring you to your hotel or resort.

Pina Colina Resort, Tagaytay City

For several months, I've been in a complete blogging hiatus due to my hectic work schedule. Hectic daw oh! Anyway, I just found time to post one of my recent overnight trips to Tagaytay with my high school friends, the very same people I was with when I did my Bohol adventure.

For our one night vacation to Tagaytay last January 2013, we stayed at Pina Colina Resort. It was quite far from downtown Tagaytay since you have to ride a tricycle to Pineapple Hill where the resort is located. Pina Colina is great for those who want to stay away from the busy downtown. We only commuted to Tagaytay so we had to take a tricycle from the market which costs roughly 100-150 pesos a trip.

A few days before the trip, my friend, Bianca reserved the 2 bedroom cabin which according to the website is good for 6 - 10 guests. Note that in order to reserve the room, my friend had to log in to the resort's online reservation site and enter her credit card details. Reservation is required to be able to secure the room you wanted. I would recommend that you do this especially during peak seasons. At check-out, we found out that the credit card details serves as a guarantee in case we did not show up. The credit card was not charged during reservation. It was only during check-out that the credit card was charged. 

Here are some pictures of the resort. Lots of pine trees! Feels like we're not in the Philippines.

That's the cabin where our guest room is located. :)

Now for our cabin!

Room 1
Room 2
Toilet and Bath
Now for the Pros and Cons!


  • I'd recommend Pina Colina Resort if you want a vacation that is far from the busy Tagaytay scene. This is a nice place to reflect and do soul-searching. 
  • It's affordable. I think we only paid more or less 4,000 pesos a night, without aircon. Not a big deal. Who needs air condition in Tagaytay?!
  • You can cook inside. They provide cooking utensils including gas. You just have to bring uncooked food from the market and of course, eating utensils and you're good!
  • Location! I don't recommend Pina Colina Resort to those who have no sense of direction. We went to Starbucks during the night to hang out and the tricycle driver who took us back to the resort almost got us lost. It was raining and there are no lights along the way. The experience was like a scene in the film Wrong Turn! Scary! Better not go out at night. :)
  • Not so friendly staffs. We asked for some of the cooking utensils they promised to provide in their text message and one of the staffs told us, "Ma'am, kung ano lang ang meron, yun lang!" It wasn't rudely said, but I don't think it's the right words to say to an expecting guest. The utensils we asked were in the text message they sent us during reservation. As soon as we told them that, they immediately provided the utensils we were requesting. It was not a big deal, though! :)

Overall, the experience in Pina Colina Resort was good. The trip was a great breather from work and the city. We had a great time so we're looking forward to our next Tagaytay trip.

Pictures were taken by my friend Cris. Thanks Cris!

Pina Colina Resort

Tolentino-Ulat Road, Brgy. Francisco, 
Tagaytay City
0927.576.5455 / 0917.577.0277 / 788.9500 
0922.882.4713 / 0932.888.2757

The Great Bohol Adventure | Lost Horizon Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol

 Photo courtesy of Bianca Tawagon. :)

For our 3days/2nights trip to Bohol, we opted to stay at Lost Horizon Beach Resort in Panglao, Bohol. It was a really long search before I was able to find this resort. At first, I was leaning towards Dumaluan Beach Resort since I want a quieter Bohol experience. But having my high school friends around, I don't think it's possible. They chose the active Alona Beach so I was left searching for another beach resort.

I asked Ms. Kathy, the wife of Kuya Tatsky, whose been assisting us with the resort hunting activities. She has contacts with hotels and resorts in Bohol so I asked for her help to make it easier for me to find a decent and cheap beach resort along Alona Beach. It was a long series of text messages but overall, she was able to get us a nice place to stay at. I was really amazed that she helped us all the way, free of charge! We just booked Kuya Tatsky and that's it! Thanks Ms. Kathy!

We booked one room good for 5 persons for only Php 2995 per night through their email address. That's really cheap! I also would like to commend their prompt response to my emails. By the way, when I chose Lost Horizon, my only criteria is the price and location. We wanted a beachfront resort as much as possible and it is. I have no idea how the room looks like upon booking. I tried searching for it's picture on Lost Horizon's website but it wasn't there. I paid half the accommodation's cost through their BPI account and after it was credited on their account, I was immediately informed of the booking confirmation.

It was just days before our trip that I emailed Lost Horizon for the pictures. They emailed me the pictures of their Eco Budget Rooms. That's when I realized that we were booked on a budget room which explains the price. I didn't mind as long as it can fit the 5 of us. Here are some of the pictures of the Eco Budget rooms provided by Lost Horizon.

All photos of the room are from Lost Horizon Beach Resort

Our room was equipped with the following:
  • 2 single beds + 1 double deck (we're 5 so there's an additional mattress)
  • spacious cabinets with safety deposit box
  • air-condition
  • refrigerator with canned soda and water (not free!)
  • tables
  • spacious bathroom with hot and cold shower plus complimentary toiletries
The only thing that lacks in the room is the intercom. Our room is located on the third floor and the reception is not even located downstairs. So we had to go out whenever we need something. The reception told us that Eco-Budget rooms lack intercom but other rooms have.

Wifi connection cannot reach our rooms but there's a computer on the reception which one can use for 15 minutes, free of charge.

There's also a small pool and a bar and restaurant for everyone to enjoy.

As for the customer service, I was really amazed. They are very polite and accommodating. They even charged my phone for free because I forgot mine. One of the staff even taught us how to count in Bisaya. I don't have any bad things to say about them. And if you might be asking, they do housekeeping.Fresh towels were also served. Whatever's left on our personal things remained untouched after we got back.

Overall, our stay in Lost Horizon Beach Resort was an unexpected delight. At an affordable price, we were offered superb services and fine accommodation. If you were to ask me, I will surely book Lost Horizon Beach Resort again on my future trips to Panglao, Bohol.

Alona Beach, Tawala, Panglao, Bohol
Telephone: 63-38-502-9099 or 4090
Fax: (63-38) 502-9088

The Great Bohol Adventure | Trip Report

 Photo courtesy of my GORGEOUS friend, Bianca. I know you're reading this. :)

I just came back from our trip in Bohol this recent weekend and I'm so ecstatic recalling every single detail of the trip that was. Me and four of my high school friends went to Bohol last February 10 for a 3days-2nights trip and like how it was in Boracay, this Bohol trip is packed with loads of fun and adventure. So let me give a quick summary or as I call it, trip report of what we did in the City of Friendship, Bohol.

The Flight
We booked on one of Airphil Express' promo months before the trip. We paid around 1,200Php each for our roundtrip tickets. Some of us who weren't able to catch the promo had to pay 1,900Php each roundtrip.

The flight was delayed for a few minutes. It was quite a bumpy ride because of the weather in Bohol. Since Tagbilaran Airport is small and can only accommodate 2 airplanes, we had to circle around the airport and wait for our turn to land. We arrived 25 minutes late because of this.

The Transfer
Outside the airport, there are lots of vehicles offering transfer services to hotels. There are tricycles as well as vans. After getting out of the airport, drivers began to approach us and asked us where our hotel is. They quoted 600Php for the transfer through van. Then another driver came offering 500Php. Tricycle drivers offered 400Php for 2 tricycles. Then one van driver offered 400Php. We got him! But the biggest 'fail' was, we weren't able to get his number for our transfer to the airport.

The Hotel
We stayed at Lost Horizon Beach Resort located along Alona Beach in Panglao Island, Bohol. A month before the trip, I was not sure where to stay. For personal reasons, I really wanted to stay somewhere along Bolod beach for a quieter stay. But my friends, particularly Gelo and Bianca, prefer nightlife over anything else.

I asked Ms. Kathy, the wife our tour operator (Kuya Tatskie) to help us find a place along Alona Beach. She suggested Lost Horizon Beach Resort. We availed their Eco Budget Room for 5 people for only 2,995Php. Cheap, really! We only have to shell out ~1200Php each for our 2 nights accommodation. Watch out for our the review and photos in a separate blog entry about Lost Horizon Beach Resort.

Bohol Countryside Tour
We availed Kuya Tatskie's countryside tour package. He's a highly recommended tour operator offering affordable countryside tour in Bohol. He quoted 2,200Php for 5 people for the following tourist spots in Bohol.
  • Bohol Bee Farm
  • Hinagdanan Cave
  • Tarsier
  • Chocolate Hills
  • Blood Compact Monument
  • Actual Blood Compact Site
  • Baclayon Church
  • Loboc River Cruise
  • Python
  • Hanging Bridge
  • Loboc Zipline and Cable Car
  • Man-made Forest
  • Butterfly Farm
Island Hopping Tour
We asked around Alona Beach for affordable island hopping tour packages. This tour wasn't initially planned since we don't have a lot of time in Bohol. But we didn't want to pass up on this opportunity for some water adventure. We were able to rent a boat for 1,200Php. But since we started around lunch time, we had to forego dolphin watching which is only doable in the morning, particularly 6am. We did snorkeling in Balicasag and visited the Virgin Island.

This was an epic tour because it rained hard and we had to stop at the middle of the sea on our way to the Virgin Island because our boatman cannot see the way due to the fog. It was like lost in the middle of nowhere. We had to wait until the rain stops before we can continue. Watch out for my separate entry about this amazing island hopping adventure.

Nail Corner, SM Marilao | Pampered All The Way

Whenever I go home to Bulacan, I always see this nail salon located at St. Francis Subdivision in Meycauyan, Bulacan. The salon is called "Nail Corner". I heard the owner of Nail Corner is the same as the owner of Solace Asia Spa along McArthur Highway which I haven't tried yet. I was really meaning to try the salon. But since the location of the salon is quite far from the jeepney routes, I never had a chance. So I was really happy when Nail Corner transferred to a bigger and better location which is at SM Marilao. Early this afternoon, I went to SM Marilao to try their nail services. I think it's time for me to give my hands and feet what they deserve. After all, they're the most overworked part of my body.

I availed the "Pamper Me All The Way" package which includes manicure, pedicure, hand and foot massage as well as hand and foot paraffin. The package costs 900 pesos. Foot Spa and pedicure package costs 400 pesos as of this writing. The salon has a really nice and cool theme: red and white. I must say, I was impressed. The salon is really chic.

I sat on one of the couches, the one nearest to the exit. There are few people inside, maybe because I came early at 2:30 pm. The attendants were at their 20s and are really friendly but not too chatty. I prefer that because I just want to relax and rest even just for a day. The attendant started with the hand massage. It was really relaxing. Then came my not-so-favorite part, the hand paraffin. I guess a lot of you knew how this goes. I dipped my hand in a hot melted wax. I was not expecting the wax to be that hot. But once it dries, it really feels good. Then the manicure. I chose a powder blue matte finish. It was really cute!

Then same procedure with my feet. There's the relaxing massage then the foot paraffin. The attendant told me that foot paraffin is more painful. And yes, it was! I was supposedly dipping my feet 3 times but I surrendered during the second dip. So my feet were only covered twice. Maybe next time, I can stand it. My pain tolerance now is quite low because of my monthly period. But as I said, after the wax dried out, the pain went away. With the pedicure, I chose the gray/silver matte color which looks even better. It was my first time to try light colors because I usually use dark red or tan color whenever I get my toe nails done. Maybe because the salons I used to go to don't have as much nail polish colors as Nail Corner. By the way, you have to add 50 pesos if you want a matte look. Not sure how much for the nail art or the cracked nails, though.

Overall, I was really impressed with the services of Nail Corner. The attendants are friendly but not too chatty. The place has a great ambiance and really relaxing. If you're cold, they'll offer you extra towel. If you're not comfortable, they will offer you a pillow. If you're bored, they'll offer you a magazine. The price for me is reasonable. I must say, I was really pampered all the way! I surely will go back to Nail Corner, SM Marilao branch!

Bohol Travel Series | Planning a Trip to Bohol

 To jumpstart my travel fancies for the year 2012, I decided to go to Bohol. It was supposedly a relaxing vacation for me but it became a field trip with my high school friends.

Last December 2011, we were able to book round trip tickets to Bohol for only 1,2++ pesos for our 3days/2nights trip on February 10-12, 2012. But since I booked ahead of them, I was able to get the later flight home while they all got the morning flight. So I'll fly out of Bohol alone.

We availed the countryside tour offered by Kuya Tatsky and his drivers. A lot of Girltalkers recommend them so I decided to get their services. We were 5 so we won't be able to fit in a car. I think we'll be using the Innova. He quoted 2,200 pesos. It was really affordable. Talking with Kuya Tatsky was a breeze. I don't expect him to drive us since he's quite in demand. Anyone who's funny and kind is fine!

Originally, I wanted to stay in a resort located along Bolod beach, particularly Dumaluan Beach Resort 2. But since my friends want to hang-out in bars, I was advised to book a resort in Alona beach because that's where night life is. So friends, if you want peace and quiet, book a resort in Bolod. If you want crowd and booze, go to Alona beach.

Since there are a lot of resorts in Alona beach, I asked the help of Ms. Kathy, the wife of Kuya Tatsky in finding a nice resort for us. It was quite difficult finding a resort that's both nice and cheap. Yeah, "nice" and "cheap" don't usually go well together. But I was lucky she was able to find us one. She booked us at Lost Horizon Resort. It was a beachfront resort with a small pool. We were able to avail the rate of 2,995 pesos, good for 5 pax. I was actually surprised because the price is different from their published rate in their website.

Anyway, I'll update you guys about out trip. Happy reading!

My First Post for 2012 | Kudos to Airphil Express' 24/7 Facebook Customer Support!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I guess most of us were still up and celebrating New Year's Day. As for me, it has to be pushed tomorrow as we'll be visiting my brother on his training as a policeman. Yeah, my brother is a registered nurse-turned-policeman (soon to be). Anyway, this post isn't about him so let's proceed.

To start the year right, Airphil Express launched an airfare promo which started today, January 1, 2012. It was a 12pesos base fare promo to all domestic flights from June to November 2012. I was kinda expecting it since it has become a trend that every New Year, there's always a seat sale. Good thing, Airphil Express did not fail us.

So I was booking a flight for my family to Boracay this coming October 2012. I was still unsure about the trip but booked anyway. My credit card was nearly or has already reached its credit limit - by the way, my credit limit is only small to control my finances. Actually, a big part of of my credit card bill is mostly airfare.

So I booked for 5 people which amounted to around 2,000+ pesos - one way. I was about to finish booking when the page said that there was a problem with my credit card transaction. Knowing that my credit card has nearly maxed out, I know that booking failure is bound to happen. But I still tried anyways.

I called the attention of Airphil Express' customer support on Facebook. It was January 1, an hour after midnight so I wasn't even expecting a response right away as I know that the customer support representatives of Airphil Express are human beings too who celebrate the New Year. I was actually wrong. A few minutes, I was asked to send a message to the Apx Attendant that includes the names of the passengers as well as the itinerary details. And yeah, a couple of minutes again, I was told that I had to coordinate with the bank because my transaction didn't push through because of insufficient funds. Problem solved in minutes. Well, actually, the only problem I had is that I didn't know if I was charged part of the fare or not. But boy, I was impressed that they were able to respond even at this time. I believe that they actually anticipated the flooding of messages by people who were trying to book a promo flight.

Though I wasn't able to book a flight for my family, I was still happy and impressed with the online customer support team of Airphil Express. I hope to receive the same quality of customer service from the Airphil Express ground staff in February on my trip to Tagbilaran with my friends.

The seat sale is still on! Check out Airphil Express' website for the available flights.