Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cheapskate's guide to Tagaytay

 Since we were trying to be more economical this year, we went to Tagaytay using a lot of budet-savvy tricks.
We went to Tagaytay early in morning to avoid the traffic. But since our rooms wouldn't be ready till noon, we spent the morning at the St. Scholastica's retreat house where my mom and sister knew the nuns.
 For a nice view of Taal Volcano without paying for entrance fees, we went to Tierra de Maria chapel. It's right beside the Tagaytay Picnic Grove.
 For lunch, we went to an old favorite, Leslie's. Unfortunately, while it's always fully-packed, my family found the food overpriced and underwhelming. But I did like that we could have a family photo there without paying an entrance fee.

 For our accommodations, we decided we didn't really need one with a view of Taal Lake. We just needed a place to sleep in with airconditioning and free wifi.
Luckily, my sister knows the owner of D-Zone Backpackers' Inn. It's a few meters away from the center of Tagaytay but since we had a car, it was no problem. Parking might be a problem since it was a place for backpackers, they didn't really have a parking space except for the space in front of their building.
 The rooms are simple but clean and very affordable! This is the superior room for 2 (P2,400) which has a TV, aircon, toiletries and free breakfast. The quirky thin about this room was the abundance of cabinets near the window.
 This is the econo room for 4 people (P2,400) which has bunk beds, aircon, toiletries, free breakfast, but no TV.
Also note that the 3 bathroom and toilets are shared. But since there were hardly any other guests, we had them all to ourselves.
The breakfast is rather small and coffee and hot water is not free so you might want to bring extra food and a coffee maker.

 For a unique yet affordable meal, head on to Mushroom burger, where the burgers are partly made of various mushrooms, though you wouldn't know the difference. They also serve delicious lomi soup for when the weather gets chilly.

Of course, we also made some gaffes in our cheapskate ways. We tried to kill some time after merienda and before dinner by chilling out at Cliffhouse. 
We didn't know that they charged a parking fee of P200 but it was consumable so we shared a couple of cups of coffee and explored Cafe Breton which had a nice little gallery upstairs.

 My mom didn't want to go to an expensive restaurant for dinner so we tried out a place near Leslie's called Don Juan and while the food was good and affordable, I don't want to go back there. It kinda feels like a bar for adults and not many families go there. So when they directed us upstairs to their private room, it felt kinda dusty and dark. Plus, the stairs didn't feel safe.I fear for people who get drunk there and try to get down without assitance.

 The next day, I didn't feel like going cheap again, so we tried out another restaurant, Tootsie's.
 The salad was great!
 But their much-vaunted molo soup disappointed. My mom's version is better!
 We also enjoyed the lengua, and the pork binagoongan but the servings were not meant for sharing.
 So we had to order some fried tilapia.
 The verdict: Satisfactory but nothing I want to come back to again. Maybe next time we'll try the bulalo at Mahogany Market
 Our next stop was Little Souls' chapel. We were supposed to buy their coconut cream pie the day before but they were closed by the time we got there. I love their pie! It's got a layer of cream and toasted coconut sprinkled on top! The only problem with it is that you'll need a cooler if you want to bring some home. Otherwise, the cream will melt into milk and make your pie soggy.

 We then went to Mahogany Market to buy some fresh beef and veggies.
 We then went to Ilog Maria to buy some of their organic products. They have candles and soaps and the most affective anti-dandruff shampoo! It's also a great place for photos!

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