Tagaytay Solo Day Trip under 1,500 pesos

PART II

6. CALERUEGA

Going there: From Sonya’s Garden, I rode a tricycle back to Buck Estate, fare was Php10. From Buck Estate, I rode a PUJ to Nasugbu and got off at Batulao, fare was Php9. Landmark to Batulao is the gigantic entrance of Hillcrest Residence. From there, I boarded a tricycle and got the driver’s phone number for my service back, one way fare is Php50. Time Check:1454H


Opening hours: 0800H to 1700H

Caleruega, situated at Batulao, Nasugbu in Batangas, is a large nature-filled facility for retreats, recollections, pilgrimage, events, and others. Entrance fee for maintanance is Php30, which I believe is very cheap considering the vast area to discover.

The beautiful Tent Chapel of Transfiguration

I initially thought that Calaruega is a church like Pink Sisters, but to my amazement, I entered the church-like strucutre and saw a hotel lobby. I learned that Caleruega is a retreat center, and a very huge one it is.

I’m so proud of my shots! It was a very long and tiring trail but it was well worth it. Notable spots are the koi pond, hanging bridge, gardens, and the topmost Tent Chapel of Transfiguration, which I was dead exhausted the time I reached it. I honestly do not know how I made my way back to the gate.

7. PUZZLE MANSION

Going there: From Caleruega, I rode the same tricycle and paid Php50 back to Batulao. From there, I boarded a PUJ bound to Olivarez Plaza and got off at Radar Taas, fare was Php18. I then took a tricycle to Puzzle Mansion, fare was Php25. Luckily, I chanced upon the Puzzle Mansion Shuttle because I don’t think the tricycle could reach the venue. The driveway was so steep and narrow, in fact, they could change the venue’s name to Far-Flung Mansion. Time Check: 1630H

Opening hours: 0700H to 1900H

The Puzzle Mansion in Cuadra Street, Barangay Asisan, Tagaytay holds the Guiness Book World of Records for the biggest collection of jigsaw puzzles by Gina Gil Lacuna. It is not only the museum that the mansion offers, it also has rooms for rent, a swimming pool and a restaurant.

The entrance fee to the museum is Php100, though I personally believe this to be overpriced especially that there were no guides. I was told that Ms. Lacuna personally conducts the tour in the museum during weekends. Since I was there on a Monday, I was not given a proper tour to justify the entrance fee. The collection was really quite a few, in all designs, shapes, and sizes.

Puzzle No. 541 Colosseum: 84 pieces, 25 hours completion

Puzzle No. 684 3D Taj Majal: 15 hours completion time

The puzzle collection is not the only famous thing in this mansion, one must also try the Cream Coconut Pie. I am not particularly fond of coconut pies, but this one stood by it’s name: it is indeed creamy. I was surprised that it was served cold! Indeed a very delicious treat. It costs Php60 per slice and Php370 for the whole pie with eight slices. I bought one slice as it will melt if I bring it home.

Overall, I wasn’t very well impressed by this destination because if the location and the guideless tour.

8. MAHOGANY MARKET (again)

Going there: I was lucky that the driver of the Puzzle Mansion shuttle drove me back to the highway for free! I then rode a PUJ to NBI / Mahogany Market for Php8.

I intended to bring home the sinful Bulalo dish to my family for dinner that is why I went back to Mahogany Market. I wanted to try a different restaurant to compare my bulalo lunch and so I settled for the leftmost one among the stalls (the name I forgot). The Bulalo dish good for 3-4 persons and an order of Fried Tawilis cost Php475.

9. HOME

Going there: From the entrance of Mahogany Market, I crossed the road and hopped on a PUB bound for Pasay, which through Aguinaldo Highway will pass Imus, Cavite. My total fare until I got home was Php74. Time Check: 1905H

Upon trying the Bulalo, I without a doubt believed that Len’s Kitchen’s dish was better. My lunch earlier had fresher vegetables, juicier meat and more delicious soup. I promise to never doubt again.

Transportation: Php 330
Food: Php 250
Entrance fees: Php 180
Souvenirs: Php 625

TOTAL EXPENSES: Php 1,385.00

What a great day! I am truly proud of this trip as I did not spend much, but I learned an immense lot! Thank God for the great weather that day and the helpful people of Tagaytay. Truly, a tourist spot becomes famous not only for the sceneries, but most specially for its people.