My friends and I had been planning a Tagaytay road trip for the longest time. Thank God we finally found the time to push through with the plan this weekend.
If you and your friends are looking to go on a similar trip, why don’t you take after our itinerary? We were able to cover quite a lot of Tagaytay must-sees and at the end of the day were able to take home lots of goodies for our families and happy memories of our time together.
We started the day with breakfast at Jollibee Petron SLEX. Suffice to say that this particular branch was terribly toxic. Service, for the most part, was crap — most of the servers were easily rattled, and only one was attentive and accommodating. Do not visit this branch if you want to start your day in peace. Haha! There are other restaurants in the area for your consideration such as KFC, Starbucks, Hen Lin, and Cafe France.
We enjoyed our food though, despite the unnecessary interruptions along the way. Tin had coffee and pancakes, Mica had the Beef Tapa Meal, and I had the Hotdog Meal. We all had Peach Mango Pies for dessert.
After filling up, we were on our way.
Stop #1: Convent of the Divine Mercy
The Convent of the Divine Mercy is home to the Adoration Chapel of the Pink Sisters. The Pink Sisters, also known as the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, are a group of nuns who dedicate their life in adoration of the Lord. They do so by taking turns to worship the Blessed Sacrament 24/7. Thus, respect for the tranquility of the place is highly demanded from visitors at all times.
You must also come in the appropriate church attire. They are very strict about this. If in case you really didn’t know about the dress code, you may enter only either wing of the chapel (the outdoor area) where there are no cameras.
The adoration chapel is so much like Sta. Clara’s Monastery along Katipunan Avenue. You may opt to either say a prayer inside the chapel, or put to writing your petitions (the Pink Sisters will pray on your behalf).
Picture taking is not allowed inside as well, so here we are right outside. Other things to see here are a small gift shop and a park for the Stations of the Cross and statues of Jesus and Mama Mary.
Here are a few snaps of the park. Of course, though, the chapel is the “main attraction”. If you are a first timer, you are entitled to make three wishes! =)
I left the Convent of the Pink Sisters with a prayer book that I gave to my mom. Other memorabilia available in the gift shop are religious books, rosaries, scapulars, holy water, etc.
Here’s how to get to the Convent of the Pink Sisters:
From South Superhighway, take the Sta. Rosa exit, and turn right toward Tagaytay. Upon reaching Aguinaldo Highway, take a right toward Batangas. When you get to the rotunda, take a right towards Jollibee, then keep going until you see an “Angels’ Hills” signage. In that same corner is a pasalubong store, too, for your reference. Turn right and keep driving until you see the convent; it should be on the left side of the road. Parking is available in the compound, though of course, since it is highly populated by tourists and locals, expect a little traffic.
Stop #2: Sonya’s Garden
Now here’s a Tagaytay favorite. A lot of couples celebrate their marriage here (on the day of our visit it was Joe and Claire’s special day, hahaha), perhaps because of the ambience and the food. They also have a Quiet Zone where guests can indulge in a wide range of pampering services.
But since we wanted to do more in Tagaytay and staying at Sonya’s would take some time, we just dropped by to shop and take photos!
Their Country Shop sells everything from food to cosmetics to accessories to home decor. It’s a one-stop kind of shop.
Here’s a peek at the interior. I liked that it smelled great from the fusion of greens, soap, room sprays, and other homemade products.
Hi there! I chanced upon this mirror and took the opportunity to pose for the camera. After getting our fix of Sonya’s Super Secret Dressing (a bestseller that can be used in salads, chicken, or fish) — our only purchase from the Country Store — we headed to Sonya’s Panaderia.
Bread and other pastries were lumped together in baskets and shelves. They also have an open kitchen so you can see how the bread products are made. Some were even fresh off the oven!
Here’s their product list with the corresponding prices. You must stop by for some bread when in Sonya’s!
And since the place was just breathtaking, we went around to take some photos. Lounge areas are spread out across the compound for when you want to stop and take in the beauty of the surroundings.
Here’s a mandatory shot in one of the said lounge areas. (L-R) Tin, Mica, and myself looking prim and proper. HAHA hindi bagay!
And here’s me by a random bench at the entrance of the compound. Aside from the spa, the lounge areas, the souvenir shop, and the bakery, Sonya’s also has a main dining area, several function rooms, and a bed and breakfast.
Too much prettiness in Sonya’s! It’s the perfect place to relax and get away from busy city life. It’s like an isolated enchanted forest altogether. Learn more about Sonya’s Garden here.
Here’s how to get to Sonya’s Garden:
From South Superhighway, take the Sta. Rosa exit, and turn right toward Tagaytay. Upon reaching Aguinaldo Highway, take a right toward Batangas. Go past Tagaytay Rotonda and proceed for 10km. Turn right on the Buck Estate, which you will see after the Splendido golf course and Sunrise Hill. Sonya’s Garden should be on the left side of the road.
Stop #3: Noceda Bakery
After Sonya’s, we made a quick stop to Noceda Bakery, located on Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City. Noceda is where you can get Jacobina biscuits, which Mica is highly recommending!
Aside from the biscuits, they also have freshly baked breads, and other packed varieties like pan de coco, ube bread, hopia, monay, etcetera. I got a chocolate crinkle, too, while waiting for Tin and Mica to pay. Php5 only!
Stop #4: Cliff House
For lunch, we headed to the Cliff House located at 58 Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. There are a lot of restaurants in this area, plus they have a viewing deck with a spectacular view of the Taal Volcano.
I also noticed that they now have viewing benches for guests. You see, a lot of tourists stop by this area for a few photos. But us, we came primarily for the food.
We had lunch at Buon Giorno Cafe and Bistro. We dined al fresco para feel na feel yung Tagaytay weather. And also, since their kitchen is semi-open, the place can get a bit noisy and smokey from all the cooking and baking.
Our lineup (clockwise from top left photo): complimentary bread, New York Pizza, Spaghetti with Pesto Sauce, and Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti. Everything was delicious! Buon Giorno did not disappoint!
Just a word of caution: this restaurant, in particular, easily gets full, so be prepared to wait a while.
We had coffee and dessert at Cafe Breton afterwards, also located in the Cliff House. We each got a cup of brewed coffee and shared a plate of La Pinay, one of my Breton favorites.
I mean, just look at it! Mangoes, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream. Yum! (Read about another Cafe Breton food trip here.)
Stop #5: Rowena’s
No photos from Rowena’s because it really just is a pasalubong stop and we were all busy picking out treats to take home. I highly recommend this particular shop because they have EVERYTHING (even stuff that you don’t really have to go travel all the way for). Their ube, which I bought for the first time, is a new favorite!
Stop #6: Nuvali
After our hearty lunch, we went to Nuvali, hoping to feed fish. But they ran out of fish food that afternoon (you can’t bring your own), so we stayed a minute to just watch the others feed the fish. Not too big on the fish feeding? Click on this link for more information on things to do in Nuvali.
So that’s just about it for our Tagaytay getaway. I went home with these if you are interested. Hehe.
- Super Secret Dressing | Sonya’s Garden
- Special Sylvannas | Rowena’s
- Ube Halaya | Rowena’s
- Buddha de Oro | Sonya’s Garden Panideria
- Cheese Hopia | Sonya’s Garden Panideria
- Jacobina Biscuits | Noceda Bakery
Check out my other local travels!