My family has been so eager to go on road trips and vacations but because of limiting factors we were not able to do that. After waiting on the Lord for many years, we finally drove ourselves to the nearby Southern Tagalog provinces of Cavite and Batangas.
Our son, who recently had a field trip/team building with this school mates, suggested we go hiking as a family. He is not at all into sports so when he showed interest for the great outdoors I immediately sought recommendations from friends and read blog posts on great hiking trails for beginners.
Based on what I’ve read, Mount Batulao in Batangas is a great hiking trail for newbies and is rated as a fairly easy hike by experienced hikers. However, a few days before we head out, I was able to talk to Karla, my husband’s niece who is a travel blogger at KarlaAroundTheWorld . She suggested an easier trail which is also in the area of Batangas. She mentions that since we have a 9-year-old, who has no hiking experience, our daughter might be thrilled to see cows, goats and chickens up close should we go to Mount Gulugod Baboy in Mabini, Batangas. My husband and I decided to heed her advice and schedule a second climb in Batulao.
My husband studied the map and checked our route. Traveling on an early morning weekday to Batangas was a breeze. It took us about an hour to an hour and a half to reach the Star Toll plaza from our home in Las Pinas. We exited at Batangas City and headed straight to Mabini, Batangas.
According to the blog posts, our starting point should be a dive resort at the foot of the mountain. However, my husband downloaded a different map which led us halfway to the mountain. This map led us to a very steep climb on a concrete pavement of sharp curves, hairpins and double hairpins!
My husband wanted me to take a video of our ascent but I was holding on to dear life because I don’t know if our sub-compact car (800 cc car at that) can take the challenge! It was the longest ride ever!!! But our new family member, Huey, did not fail us! He made it! We made it and what was waiting for us at the top was simply breathtaking!
If you’re a first time hiker like us, I suggest you read blogs to prepare yourself for your upcoming climb. You also need to know what to take with you and what to expect. We followed their suggestions:
- Bring water and light snacks. Don’t leave any trash. It was so sad to see piles of plastic water bottles and wrappers in some camping sites. Take your trash with you, please!
- Wear hiking or rubber shoes, shoes that have more traction because you might slip or slide especially if the trail is dry. Since it was cold, we brought jackets with us and it was very helpful.
- Don’t forget to wear sunblock, which we forgot to do!
- And take lots and lots of photos!
You just can’t help but sit and stare at the beauty of God’s creation … and to think that this is just in Batangas! We can’t wait to visit the other equally beautiful places in our beloved Philippines!
After basking in all those gorgeousness, our stomachs signaled us that we need to fill it up soon. So we headed to Tagaytay for some steaming hot Bulalo and boy, were we not disappointed! Unfortunately, we were so famished at 1PM that we were not able to take photos of our lunch table. Tired from hiking and full from all that Bulalo, we proceeded to our next destination at the Shabby 1943 in Tagaytay.
Shabby1943, owned by my cousin, Odie and his wife, Jo, is studio condo unit at the Wind Residences in Tagaytay. The unit is available for rent to those who wish to veer away from the hotel experience and have a “home” in this not so shabby abode. Who said you have to spend a lot when you go on vacation? The Shabby Condo will let you do that 🙂
Wind Residences is right beside The Summit Ridge Promenade and Robinson’s Supermarket along Aguinaldo Highway. I was really set on utilizing the amenities at the Shabby so we got our food supplies at the supermarket nearby. The shabby chic/country theme of the unit will make you will feel right at home. The decor, dinnerware, furniture and the view of Taal Lake gives the unit a cohesive look that I was so excited to cook and “play house”.
There’s a tiny kitchen where you can prepare quick meals and coffee while enjoying the view of Taal Lake. Their kitchen utensils are complete so you don’t have to worry about anything. But if you don’t want to be concerned about food preps, you can find restaurants at the frontage of the condo, the neighbouring Promenade or The Lake District right across.
The unit was able to accommodate our family, 2 adults and 2 kids. We slept in a queen size bunk bed which could accommodate probably 2 more people. The unit also has an air-conditioning unit but I don’t think you’re going to use that because you’re in Tagaytay!
While you’re enjoying the view and sipping your coffee or tea, take as much photos of the condo as you want too. Everything is just IG worthy!
Shabby 1943 is available for rent at 3000 pesos per night. Kindly send your inquiries at [email protected] and contact 09433917170 for more details.