Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Sidetrip: Mt. Sungay (Tagaytay's People's Park in the Sky)

Mt. Sungay (Highest Point in Tagaytay)
by lakwatserong tatay

This is one of my co-sidetrip when i visited Tagaytay last May, together with my co-tripper, Ichan, Roger, Aleli, Jheng, and Ritz. This place is known to be the highest hill in Tagaytay where you will have a good view of Manila Bay, Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. We all knew that Tagaytay is one of the famous getaway near Manila area. One of the closest option to Baguio City because of its awesome ambiance and cold temperature like.
People's Park in TH Sky signage....tsk..tsk..
This park was previously known as Palace in the Sky, built by the former President Marcos to house President Ronald Regan and his first lady for their visit in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the palace was unfinished because the Marcos regime ended and this palace is still under construction that time. Today the formless structure of the palace remained, and does story tell a part of Philippine history making it a landmark and one of the best tourist spots in Tagaytay City.
the entrance....^_^
Part of the Tagaytay Ridge, starting from west is Mt. Batulao and in the east is Mount Sungay, currently known now as People's Park in the Sky, the highest point in the province of Cavite at 709MASL. This area serves the best spot to see Taal Lake and Taal Volcano and some other picturesque spots like Manila Bay & Laguna Lake. If you and your group were lucky to get a good weather in your visit, the view here will surely give you a breathtaking experience. But most of the time, do expect thick fogs that blocking the spectacular scenery.
the walkway up to the palace....
The park entrance fee is Php15 per person. Here's a guideline post for the tourists/visitors but sad to say this was not really happening if you will happened to be here....tsk..tsk...
Guidelines in the park
The building to the front of main park area is the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love. The shrine was inaugurated in February 2003 in honor of Mama Mary. the top of the shrine is accesible to visitors and is good vantage point for taking photos of Taal lake and the whole Tagaytay city as the background.
The shrine of our lady mother of fair love

The Lady Mother of Fair Love
the inauguration marker
the big sculpture at top..
This one big sculpture of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the perfect spot to view the whole town of Tagaytay, but sad to adjacent to this spot this sculpture was not been treated good enough and maintained by the government, as you can see below i could not really recognized the name of the sculpture due to vandalism/graffiti around it, even the base of statue has different vandals/graffiti around it, list of names, date and time that they visited this park and this is one of the saddest part when i used to travel seeing this kind of distraction in of one historical landmark for our country make me sometimes shamed of, aside from seeing some tourist also reacting negative why the visitors have to do this kind of activities....
Sculptured by Marcial G. Bimalo
As you arrive, do expect a palace that looks like an abandoned building. I can imagine it appearing amazing if this was only finished. You can see a mini amphi theather, a huge pond that has a bridge up on it but now currently looks like a garden. There's a shrine and a constructed satellite communication tower right beside the shrine. A dilapilated 3 storey building that only the ground area was used by souvenir shops, where at least tourist and visitors could get some souvenir items like shirts, native delicacies, house decors and furniture and wood crafts. But at least this building could be used as a roof deck viewing where the tourist could enjoy the 360 scenery of Tagaytay.
one of the umbrella shed....
this was supposed to be pond...tsk..tsk...
unfinished mini amphi theater (?)
the ground floor: souvenir stores....^_^
But even though this park really need some major maintainance, i'm still happy to see this majestic and awesome view when your in this park. Where some of the tourist, family groups and even students touring around, enjoying the cool and fresh air, and as you roamed around the park you will be impressed with the wonderful scenery of Taal Volcano from a far. In a sunny day, you will  have the chance to see the Manila Bay and Laguna Lake. This is also a good point to see the neighboring towns of Tagaytay, which offers an uplifting view of greenery of the whole place.
The subdivision view in the palace...(?)
The Taal Volcano view in the Palace in the Sky
The road up to this People's Park
Here's is one of our photo souvenir at People's Park Mini Amphi-Theater....thanks...roger...^_^.
group photo opps while were on chilax mode...^_^
How to go People's Park Tagaytay:

If you're going to Tagaytay via public transportation, ask the driver to drop you off at your destination at Tagaytay Rotonda or 7-11 Convenience Store where you can ride jeepney or tricycle to your target place/spot in Tagaytay. The cheapest way is to ride public buses that can be found in Lawton area in Manila of Pasay/ Rotonda Terminal.

People's Park in the Sky can be reached by riding jeepney from Tagaytay Market. Be warned that riding jeepney going to People's Park during weekends and holidays is not easy were you have to compete with other people, just like when you're riding a jeepney in Metro Manila...^_^....Or you may opted to choose tricycle but this may cost much bigger in your transportation cost. People's Park jeepney's also passes Picnic Grove, one of the most famous park of Tagaytay.
Lakwatserong Tatay x-plored People's Park of Tagaytay....
All in all our visit to People's Park is fine, because i really love nature, seeing those majestic landscape when your in a highest place of Tagaytay is one remarkable experience. I do hope that park administration or government of Tagaytay would renovate People's Park before i will have the chance to go back again and hopefully together with my wife and kidz....^_^.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Sidetrip: Caleruega Church

by lakwatserong tatay

This is one of my so many stories that is draft status...hehehe....Happens last May of this year, together with my teammates when we had our team building activity at Tagaytay, this is one of the places that I visited together with some of my teammates as part of my sidetrips at Tagaytay.
Caleruega is located in Nasugbu, Batangas, that is a famous place for retreats and wedding ceremonies. This is a house of prayer wherein you can do a lot of activities like renewal workshops, recollections, youth camps, marriage and family encounters, leadership seminars, outdoor activities and so many more. If your an outdoor enthusiast, this is also the starting point if you want to climb and hike Mt. Batulao....
Trippers photo opps at Evercrest
Here is the start of our journey to Caleruega....it was a bit rough and dusty road going to this destination...although going to Caleruega, the view wer really stunning....^_^
views going to Caleruega
photo opps even riding a tricycle
When we were there, we saw number of tourist rooming around, taking photos anywhere on the place. Indeed the place is a good location for a peace and quiet surrounding were you could medidate or wanting to be a loaner or emo...^_^.
Caleruega entrance
souvenir items...
souvenir shirts
According to what i have researched, Caleruega Church is a very in-demand when it comes it wedding ceremonies, that you have to book a year ahead of the schedule in order for your wedding to reserve the spot because it was really hard to get some available dates, if you want your wedding to be held here. The actual church is just small but the area surrounding was large with green hills and magnificient landscapes in different directions.
photo oppss again...^_^

What's inside Caleruega Office....
so we're are we going...^_^
Actually i was really excited to go to this place, because this would be my first time to see it with my one eyes and i've heard so much about this church. The scenic place it self makes me really excited to be there, so when i had that chance to be near on this place, i've researched and planed it, to visit at least two spots near Tagaytay.
one of the perfect place for prenuptial pictures...
photo opps where everywhere...^_^
Bricks and stone walled structure were everywhere at Caleruega grounds....and every spot here is perfect for photo souvenir, maybe that's reason why this Caleruega is always fully booked for pre-nuptial up to wedding ceremonies, and it has so many places where you could be alone and emo...^_^
Walkways at Caleruega
One of my favorite subject in taking photos were flowers, orchids and some unique trees, that you could see anywhere on this ground, and for that reason, you would really appreciate this place, the nature itself, and add also the breeze of the air, even though your not in Baguio, you would feel it too because Caleruega is located on a hill.
Flower fauna is everywhere....
Caleruega is actually a house of prayer and renewal. But i've realized this is really best for lovers out there, that would want to be married and to be there perfect place for their sweetest day ever.
metal scuplture infront of church
Here are some of my photos around Caleruega church....^_^.
photo opps @ caleruega church
According to their website, the entirety of the chapel is filled with symbols.

Its façade is a reproduction of the original chapel in Caleruega, Spain. Its hut-shaped roof is in remembrance of the temporary sheds that the apostles wanted to build for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah during the transfiguration (Mt 17:1-8). The seal of the Dominican Province of the Philippines is depicted in stained glass in the upper portion of the chapel’s façade. The seven grapevines entwined in the steel doors of the chapel not only portray Jesus as the vine and we as branches (John 15:5), but also symbolize the seven sacraments. The main altar is a carved tree trunk representing the “stem of Jesse,” mentioned in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit (Is 11:1). The tabernacle is a gentle reminder of the burning bush through which God revealed Himself to Moses in Mt. Sinai (Ex 3:2). The birds carved on the communion table are representations of  God’s providence in Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap…and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. The stained glass depicts the Transfiguration of Jesus witnessed by Peter, John, and Luke. With Jesus are Moses and Elijah, two significant instruments of God in the Old Testament (Mat 17:3).
my pictures inside the church
Here's one of our group souvenir shot at the back of Caleruega Church....thanks ichan....^_^
trippers photo opps....
How to go here:

If you are going Caleruega via private transport, just follow the usual routes to Tagaytay City, it is either via SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) or Coastal Road - Aguinaldo Highway - Cavite.

Via SLEX, take Carmona exit and drive down to Governor's Drive and Siland up to the entrance of Tagaytay city. Other route is Sta. Rosa exit going to Tagaytay City, via Coastal Road, drive south to Aguinaldo Highway passing thru Bacoor, Imus, Dasmariñas and Silang, Cavite.

From Tagaytay City, Rotonda, follow the Rd. (Aguinaldo Highway) that leads to Nasugbu, then turn left at the Evercrest Golf Club right after the Arc of Welcome Nasugbu. This will lead to a "Caleruega" sign pointing to a road to the right. Follow the sign and Caleruega is at the end of the road.

For commuters: There are buses from EDSA Taft going to Nasugbu or Balayan, they will pass thru Tagaytay City and Evercrest Golf Club. Get off Evercrest and take a tricycle (Php20) from there.

For more information:

Caleruega Chapel
Close to Nature, Close to God
Address:  Brgy. Kaylaway, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
E-mail: caleruega_philippines@yahoo.com
Contact nos.: (043) 706-0348 / 0921-830-4226 / 0921-270-9890

Entrance is Php30 per person.
Check out their website: http://www.dominicans.ph/caleruega/index

Latwatserong Tatay x-plored Caleruega
Truly Caleruega Church is a photography's haven. I promise my self to go back and will spend more hours and be able to see this place at night.....^_^...Bring much better camera than i used on this visit, and to have better skills in taking picture so i could show it more, what the Caleruega could offer.

After visiting, we headed back to Tagaytay and visit the most highest part / hill that can be found in Tagaytay, the People's Park in the Sky....watch out for this story....^_^.


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