The best time to visit the City of TAGAYTAY is not during the summer but after the Christmas holidays and most specially in the months of January and February when it’s the coldest.
While other people think of TAGAYTAY as a way to escape the hot and humid Metro Manila during the summer, I fancy walking its winding roads when the weather is dry and coldest. Why deny yourself the rare pleasure of icy cool breeze blowing on your face at sundown and the early morn as you marvel at some of the most fantastic natural views that south Luzon has to offer.
TAGAYTAY is located at the far southern tip of the Province of Cavite and it is home to a lot of tourist spots, hotels, restaurants, parks, fruits, ornamental plants, pine trees and of course the majestic Taal Volcano.
Travel time from Manila to TAGAYTAY may take you an hour to an hour and a half depending on the traffic. There are bus stations at the Lawton, Manila area and another one at Pasay Taft Rotonda. Bus fares ranges from 75 Pesos to 85 Pesos per head. The gateway to Tagaytay or its front door if you’re taking the Aguinaldo route is a place called the Rotonda otherwise known as Olivarez. Another way to Tagaytay is taking the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road when you’re coming from Laguna or the South Expressway. I was in Laguna that time, so naturally I took the Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay road to get to my destination.
TAGAYTAY is also known for being one of the most serene places here in the Philippines conducive for meditation and relaxation and probably the main reason why this place is loaded with retreat houses and places of worship and prayer. And speaking of places of worship, there’s this one place that’s within walking distance from Olivarez that you could put on top of your itinerary when visiting the City – the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay.
The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay
The place is located at Silang Crossing West along the streets of Aguinaldo HiWay which is just 3-5 minutes by foot from the Rotonda area. The church is busiest during the weekends as Mass services are held the whole day plus it’s one of the top choices for Tagaytay weddings second only to Caleruega.
If you want to go and visit the place for some quiet meditation, I suggest that you go there on a weekday and at dusk (between 4 and 6pm) – PERFECT!
The parish is closed on weekdays but the place is open the whole day for tourists (local and foreign) who just want to marvel at its peaceful beauty and for pilgrims. Here’s a visual tour of the place:
The parish also has two life-sized statues of the saints, Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio.
And of course, a wonderful grotto dedicated to the Our Lady of Lourdes.
Right beside the grotto is a candle chapel where images of different saints are located. There are different kinds of candles available inside the chapel. Color-coded for different petitions like for example if you’re praying for spiritual guidance and healing, you’re supposed to get the Lavander colored candle and if you’re praying for relationship-related matters, you should get the blue colored candle. The candles are not for sale but pilgrims are encouraged to make a donation of 5 pesos for each candle that they used.
The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay is an ideal place to start off any Tagaytay adventure, aside from its close proximity to the the Rotonda area (which is loaded with fast food restaurants, convenience stores and other shops) it is also just 3 to 5 minutes away from Magallanes Drive and Mahogany-Nasugbu Junction – where all the fancy restaurants that offers a wonderful view of Taal are located.
The parish is also surrounded by hotels and retreat houses while the whole stretch of Aguinaldo Hiway from Rotonda is lined with plants and flower shops that awesomely complimented the naturally growing trees in the area.
The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay is also just across the POVEDA House of Prayer – I used to facilitate annual retreats and seminars for Poveda students way back in the mid-2000 and this is where the seminars are usually held. My most vivid experience of the place was when during a session that I was facilitating, a gush of freezing fog entered the seminar room, that was a crazy experience, I couldn’t see a thing, we had to struggle to get to the windows and close everything – but it was fun.
If you liked the place so much and you want to live near The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay, then you might also want to check out Avida Land’s first residential retreat and vacation home called SERIN WEST TAGAYTAY. I always dreamed of owning a house in Tagaytay – who wouldn’t?
Capping off the trip, I went to this small coffee shop called COFFEE COUNTY located near the Rotonda area across the Overlook Inn and in between caltex and 711.
They serve delicious brewed coffee for only 50 Pesos a cup. Add a couple of pastry bars with your coffee for only 95 Pesos and watch the colorful sky as the sun slowly set – PRICELESS.
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