Sunday, January 15, 2012


Celebrating our seventh year together, bf and I decided to take an overnight trip to Tagaytay.
We rode a bus from Bacoor that has a Mendez-Tagaytay signboard to it.  The trip costs us Php 71 each and the ride lasted for an hour.  We dropped off at Jollibee in Tagaytay rotunda instead of Olivarez terminal where we were supposed to ride a People's Park jeepney that will pass by Crosswinds Grand Quartier Hotel Suites.  We then hopped on the said jeepney at Olivarez terminal and paid Php 14 each for the ride going to Crosswinds.

Here's a brief breakdown in case this happens to be your itinerary:
  • SM Bacoor - Olivarez Php 71
  • Olivarez Jeep Terminal - Picnic Grove Php 11
  • Olivarez Jeep Terminal - Crosswinds Php 14
Now at Crosswinds, we waited right outside the main entrance while the guard on duty called the suites's shuttle.  I was expecting it to be a coaster type of bus, but it was just a simple sedan.  The entire place was breathtaking.  We drove around the wide streets of the village, pine trees all over the place, colorful country-style houses on every block, and the never ending hills of the place gave us this feeling that we're out of the country and not in Tagaytay.

We arrived at the suite's lobby.  It's a very tiny lobby where the pigeon hall is situated on the left and the reception desk on my right.  We were welcomed by Kenneth, the receptionist.  He asked for bf's credit card and gave him an info sheet to be filled up.  Kenneth walked right outside the lobby's entrance, leaned on the floor and reached for the PDQ machine (credit card swipe machine).  It took him a while there. Then I heard the guard asking if there’s no signal. He nodded. Bf then asked him if they accept cash payments, and he enthusiastically said yes. He should have asked us first so he could have avoided the hassle. Hehe.

I handed Kenneth Php 3,500 and he’s asking for additional Php 1,000 for insurance, but it is refundable upon checking out. You know, just to make sure that any damages that we might be making to their facilities will be covered by it. Yeah, I’m just making assumptions again. :p  Lesson:  Pay in cash at Crosswinds Hotel Suites.

We were then escorted to our room which was just near the lobby.  I fell in love with the room the moment I walked in.  It can be treated as a fully-furnished pad.  Very nice.

I took a quick nap after having an exhausting trip.  As soon as I woke up, bf and I decided to have a quick snack and so we went to the nearby convenience store.  That's nice of them to think of having such a store here at Crosswinds.  It will be difficult for us to go grab a snack outside the hotel because it will take us a long while to reach the village entrance by foot (since the chauffeur was on duty).  But as we were mesmerized by the beauty of the streets toward the store, we took most of our time taking pictures specially on the store's neighbor, Santa's House.
We gone back to our hotel room, ate and drank our snacks, then geared up for our next destination, People's Park.  Since the chauffeur has not arrived the time we went out our hotel room, we decided to go on foot to the village entrance.  It was drizzling then, but humid.  It was a very long walk and a lot of trekking (yup, the place is full of hills), but because the place is breathtaking, we never felt exhausted, but we are way sweaty.

Right across the village entrance, there's a small house situated beside the road.  We asked manong if how long will it take us to get to People's Park by foot, he said it'll take us 45 minutes to an hour.  So we opted to ride a jeep going there.

We hopped on this jeep with a People's Park signage then dropped off at the foot of our destination.  We paid the entrance fee and trekked at the peak of the Park.  It's almost dusk when we arrived so we took a lot of pictures and succumb to the beauty of the place.  If only the place was preserved, it's a good venue for coffee shops and acoustic bars.  It really gets eerie once the darkness seeps in.
There was this tricycle waiting for passengers right outside the park's entrance.  We quenched our thirsts at the nearby store and went back to the tricycle.  We told the driver to take us to the nearest jeep terminal that we saw earlier so we have a ride back to Tagaytay Market for our dinner.  But the driver told us that it will cost us Php 40 for the ride, but it'll only take us five minutes to get there!  The lady who owned the store informed us that our fare back to the terminal would only cost Php 5.  Ugh.  So instead of throwing fists in the air, we walked going to the terminal.  It took us 20 minutes to get there.
Fare/Parking breakdown from People's Park:
  • Crosswinds to People's Park (jeep) - Php 8
  • Parking fee at People's Park - Car/Jeep/Bus Php 20; Bus Php 40
  • People's Park Tricycle to Jeep Terminal for locals - Php 5
  • People's Park Tricycle to Jeep Terminal for tourists - Php 40
  • Jeep terminal to Olivares - Php 16
  • Jeep terminal to Tagaytay City Market - Php 10
Fare from Crosswinds:
  • Crosswinds to Olivarez - Php 14
We bought ingredients from the local market and headed back to our hotel.  This time, we were fetched from the village entrance to our place.  It's pretty dark on the road towards the suites, and we're not brave enough to trek down, so we're glad the chauffeur was still there at 8PM.

I cooked Nilagang Baka instead of going out to have our dinner since we can't find a cheap place to eat good Bulalo.
The next morning, we have our complimentary breakfast served in our room: Tocino and Longganisa with fresh squeezed orange juice and I-have-no-idea-if-it's-fresh mango juice.  Both tastes good and very filling.
We checked out at 12 noon and headed to Olivarez terminal for a bus or jeepney ride to Mushroom Burger.
  • Crosswinds to Olivarez (jeep) - Php 14
  • Olivarez to Mushroom Burger (jeep) - Php 8
The burgers weren't great.  We do think it's just a tourist hype.  Angel's burger or Minute Burger tastes way better.  The mushrooms were okay, I'm a fan.  But what tastes bad was their ketchup-mayo dressing.  It's so old school.  Then having cucumber in it makes it much more cheap on its taste.  It's a complete blah.  I'm going to throw up now.  So it's not worth reviewing anyway.

Then we rode Nasugbu jeep to Sonya's Garden that costs Php 13 each, then tricycle (Php 10 each) to Sonya's.
We had a relaxing full-body massage that costs Php 785 each.  The spa area is situated inside this big room with dividers on it.  So silence is observed in the area.  They gave us this dalandan (?) tea that we absolutely love right after our massage.

To put an end on our short trip, we went to Bag Of Beans near Sonya's and Alfonso.
The venue was packed.  Beautiful interior and aesthetics of the place, though the drink and the food were not good.  I ordered their White Mocha Drink which was so sweet and so bitter at the same time.  There's no subtlety to it!  Gawd.  It was a horrible drink.  And its coffee was kind of sour, which I don't like.  It has something to do with the beans.  Their carrot cake was quite good, but still a bit sweeter than expected.  So sweet drink + sweet cake = unsatisfied customer.
Bf had pancakes and it wasn't good as well!  It must have been beaten for quite a while that it turned out dry.  Very bad pancakes.  Tsk.  For his drink, he had hot chocolate.  It was quite on the sweet side too, but better than my white mocha drink.
Overall, our Bag of Beans experience was unsatisfactory.  Bad service, bad food.  Oh, why bad service?  Because they drop our orders on our table as if we're asking too much from them.  They served pancakes without the syrup and when we asked for it, the server asked why.  Plain stupid.  Sorry for the term.  Anyway, don't try it here if I were you.  I don't know if it's the same on their branch near the Tagaytay rotunda.

From there, we called it a day and we rode a bus to Manila.

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