It was in May 2006 when I took my first memorable airplane ride bound for Albay, my humble hometown. There was a tinge of fear when the plane took off but then excitement ruled the day. When the captain announced the landing I was mesmerized glimpsing the majestic Mayon Volcano and when I stooped down, I saw the mass of mounds that resembled Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. An overwhelming curiosity had taken hold of me. This is a unique natural wonder but why it hasn’t been discovered yet so it will be added to Albay’s roster of famous tourist attractions.
Instead of a usual dinner date in a restaurant with romantic ambiance and music for our 18th wedding anniversary, I coerced my hubby to climb Taal Volcano and see the famous Crater Lake. He was hesitant at first but later I smiled in delight when he nodded his approval. Meaning it was yes! And because our kids were grown up and physically fit, we enjoined them to embark on this exciting adventure.
As of 2016, boat rental to Taal Crater Lake is now P2,000.00.
I’ve heard DJC Halo Halo and Snack Inn in Tiwi, Albay from my mother and friends who had tasted their creamy halo halo with their comment, superb! For our 2014 summer vacation in my hometown, I vowed myself dropping by here with my family. Aside from pili, pinangat, and chilly ice cream, Bicol has this cheesy halo halo that will complete your Albay getaway.
Mayon Skyline (former Mayon Rest House) was our last stop today coming from an overnight stay in Gubat, Sorsogon down to Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay. I was so delighted to see my family especially first-timers Noel and Pol enjoying every minute of our vacation in our hometown in Albay and in our neighboring region.
We enjoined my brother-in-law Noel to go to Tagaytay for a Saturday escape from the stiff atmosphere in Manila. He’s been working abroad for so many years and before he leaves for another wonderful opportunity in California, we wanted him to see and explore some of our country’s exciting places to visit.
We chose Picnic Grove, the most visited park in Tagaytay City. We’ve been to this park so many times, but it’s nice to go back again and again because, in every visit, there is an exciting activity to indulge in. We had an exciting ride in zipline the last time we went here. The other new activity is the Cable Car which is ideal for a family ride.
Entrance fee was P50/head. Rion was free of charge since she is one year old.
Noel is from Baguio. The cool climate in Tagaytay was an ordinary thing to him. What awed him much was the breathtaking view of Taal Volcano and the lake. He got so busy capturing photos of every scenic spot that amazed him much.
Horseback riding is the oldest common activity in Tagaytay with the rate of P150 to P200 depending on the size of the horse. Since we already tried this activity in Baguio, no one wanted to do it again. So we headed down and occupied a picnic shed (P150) near the zipline station. We toured the eco-trail and just like our last visit, we enjoyed walking again to the concrete walkway with metal handrails. We savored the moment looking at the panoramic view of Taal Volcano. It took us twenty minutes before we went back to our area.
We let Noel roamed around at the lower part of the park where lots of people flocked to capture a better view of Taal Volcano. While sitting, we enjoyed watching those kites hovering in the blue sky. Later, what was left were those two big bat kites soaring freely and so mighty.
Since it was summer and weekend, the rate of zipline with photo and a mug with a photo too was Php500. Whew! What a price. It was only Pao and Miko who dared the ride again. We waited for their thrilling fly and cheered them up as soon as they were released into the air. Noel was scared to try it and so with my sister Gie. I guess it has something to do with age. Haha!
Everyone was starving when the two teens went back from their activity. We all sat together and eat our yummy snack. Bringing back the traditional picnic activity was really delightful. I was thankful that there’s a park like this that keeps family bonding so alive. An afternoon stay in Picnic Grove is indeed a relaxing family getaway.
There are lots of souvenir stores that sell t-shirts (Ph100 to Ph250), key-chains (Php35), table display (Php75), bags and coin purses (prices depend on sizes and designs). Of course for every visit, it’s a must to buy cute collections. There are also fruit stands where we bought pineapple and banana at affordable prices.
It was almost 7:00 pm when we finally bade goodbye to the park. Noel was very grateful to visit Tagaytay as he shared his valuable experiences on our way home. He appreciated the scenic view as well as the warmth of our family bonding.
I will never get tired of being the organizer in our provincial getaway because my heart is always filled with joy when we are all together in a beautiful place like this. Indeed, It is a rewarding threat to see their happy faces having fun. For the remaining days of my sister and her family here in the Philippines, we will bring them next to Boracay, Albay, and Sorsogon for a more meaningful adventure.
Summer heat hits the entire region so off we went for a sojourn in my beloved hometown Albay. We’ve been told by our relatives that it was raining the past few weeks. But I was so thankful because the weather was very cooperative the moment we arrived at our vacation house in Malinao.