The Philippine Alps in Tagaytay Highlands: It's More Fun in the Philippines

No, of course we don’t have snow. but guess what, it’s not all about beaches and bit**es in the Philippines either. Tucked away in Tagaytay City, a mere hour and a half drive from Manila (ok, that really depends on the traffic so anywhere from an hour to let’s say 4 on a really bad day) we have the Tagaytay highlands. No relation to the Scottish ones.
Our own little version of the Austrian coutryside or a quaint Swiss mountain town can be found here in the tropics. The log cabins will make you feel like sitting by the fireplace with a mug of hot choco singing Christmas carols.
Because the city lies in a plateau and has fairly high elevation, the temperature drops considerably in the evenings but only just enough for a nice chill. Anyone who lives in a tropical country knows how much of a relief a little bit of cold weather can give.
Sitting on the balcony, small patches of pine forests greet the senses and one can almost believe that Manila is continents away.
An eerie fog creeps in on most evenings giving the ambiance an extra oomph. The good thing about Tagaytay though, is that being in the Philippines, it never gets too cold to be uncomfortable. It’s just enough to give us Filipinos a small semblance of winter (OK, I know this is nowhere near real winter weather but we think you beaches are nowhere near ours too 😛 )
Another good thing about being so close to Manila is that Tagaytay is an actual breathing and living city. In the cabin it feels remote but all the conveniences of a metropolitan city are just a few minutes away. Just come out of the private highlands compound and you’ll be able to find all kinds of restaurants, grocery stores, and everything else you might need for your stay.

Different kinds of cuisines are on offer. Both local Filipino specialties are available as well as some quality Italian, American and regional food such as Japanese, Korean and authentic Vietnamese. Just about any kind of food is available including commercial fast food chains for those looking for something more familiar.

However, when in Tagaytay, it’s sacrilege to miss having a huge bowl of BULALO! The famous bone marrow beef stew is Tagaytay City’s specialty. Here’s one I had at Balay Dako:

For those who would prefer to stay inside the highlands compounds,, there’s a salon, a spa, a golf course, swimming pools and all sorts of other sports facilities.

The only catch is that one needs to be a member or be with a member of the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club to be able to enjoy the facilities. Lucky for me, I have a gracious host. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Herrera! There are several other hotels in the city which are open to the general public. They may not offer the same European appeal but will just as easily give the much needed escape from the tropical heat and is a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of Manila.
Check out the Highlands website for more information: