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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Chasing the cooler clime: The allure of Tagaytay’s year-round respite

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As the searing summer sun beats down mercilessly on Metro Manila, city-dwellers seek refuge through a relatively quick trip to nearby Tagaytay. This quaint (not so anymore) highland city, perched atop the Laguna de Bay region, offers a welcome relief from the sweltering heat and humidity that envelops the lowlands.

For many, the decision to escape to Tagaytay is a no-brainer.

“All you have to do is make sure your vehicle is in top shape and full of gas, and you’re off,” says regular visitor Jaime Hernandez. Whether it’s a quick day trip or a longer weekend getaway, the lure of Tagaytay’s cool breezes and verdant landscapes is irresistible.

Hernandez notes that the convenience of access is a major draw. “Compared to other nearby destinations, Tagaytay is the most accessible for me.”

The recent opening of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) has made the journey even smoother, allowing travellers to bypass the notorious traffic snarls that can plague the main highways.

For Hernandez, the ideal Tagaytay excursion involves a carefully curated itinerary. “My first stop is always the Lourdes Church at the Ayala Mall strip. It’s such a serene and peaceful place to find solace.”

From there, he indulges in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, with favorites like the hearty bulalo (beef bone marrow stew) and crisp fried bangus (milkfish) at the hidden gem LSM Restaurant.

No Tagaytay trip is complete without a visit to the iconic Bag of Beans café, where the wife-approved Charito blend of kapeng barako (native Arabica coffee) provides the perfect pick-me-up, even on the hottest of days.

When the family decides to stay for a longer 2-3 night getaway, the options for accommodation abound. From cozy Airbnb rentals to the luxurious enclaves of Tagaytay Highlands and Crosswinds, there are lodging options to suit every budget and preference.

“The Highlands and Crosswinds are our favorites,” Hernandez shares. “The cooler temperatures and constant breeze make for such a rejuvenating experience, especially after the stifling heat of Manila.”

Indeed, Tagaytay’s elevated position, nestled between volcanic peaks, grants it a distinct microclimate that sets it apart from the rest of the region. While the lowlands swelter, the city enjoys temperatures several degrees cooler, often accompanied by a refreshing flow of mountain air.

This climatic advantage has long made Tagaytay a favored destination for those seeking respite from the punishing summers. Even as the metropolis below succumbs to the relentless heat, the highland city remains a cool oasis, drawing in throngs of visitors eager to escape the urban oven.

Whether it’s a quick day trip or a lengthier sojourn, the allure of Tagaytay’s temperate charms is undeniable. For Hernandez and many others, the city has become a treasured sanctuary – a place to recharge, reconnect with nature, and find solace from the stresses (and heat) of city life.

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