Charming and Spiritual Tagaytay
Slice of Mango, Slice of LIfe
by: Aries Lucea
Tagaytay is a place where most Manilenos are fond of. Its proximity to the city, the cool breeze and far better air quality, attracts city dwellers to this lovely mountain town in droves. The scenery is also quite amazing. The picturesque Taal Volcano can be viewed from atop the mountain of Tagaytay.
I grew up looking forward to all day trips my family had to the lovely town of Tagaytay. Our day would include horseback riding, going to Taal Vista Hotel for a perfect view of Tall Lake and Volcano, going to market for nice quality beef, a snack at the famous Mushroom Burger restaurant and indulging ourselves with fruits at the numerous kiosks lining up the highway.
But as I grew older and so does the city. The fruit stands, the picnic areas and the horses are still there, but now coupled with boutique hotels, fine restaurants and spa and wellness centers everywhere. The city was also able to capitalize on its existing retreat houses and beautiful churches to become a religious destination. And weddings…. yes don’t we all yearn for a lovely picturesque mountain wedding overlooking a volcano within a lake within a volcano. Tagaytay has also become the country’s top destination wedding for a lot of dreamy brides and grooms.
A lot of Pinoys are what I refer to as church tourists, meaning they make it their mission to visit all the Catholic churches in the country. Church hopping is not really my cup of tea, but Tagaytay houses of faith are of a different league. Its’ minimalist style, nature-infused and subtle architecture are not only a spiritual treat but a visual and artistic experience.
Top 5 Spiritual Places in Tagaytay
5. Madre de Dios (Tagaytay Highlands) – A chapel amidst sprawling yet serene surrounding at the Tagaytay Highlands. If you ever get invited to attend a wedding here, don’t hesitate to accept that opportunity. 4. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish – White façade and the beautiful Our Lady of Lourdes statue is enough to make it on this list, not to mention its tall and cool interiors.
3. Tierra de Maria Haven of Meditation – This is a personal favorite. I brought a lot of my Japanese friends in this place and those religious statues never fail to catch their curiosity and the towering image of the Virgin Mary is also quite amazing.
2. Chapel on the Hill – A circular chapel atop a hill with splendidly crafted dome ceiling. It also has a labyrinth floor considered as a sacred design for devotees.
1. Transfiguration Chapel – Popularly known as Caleruega. A small chapel surrounded by lush greenery. Colorful lights pierced through the chapel from stained glass windows surrounding this quaint structure. Bring your picnic basket with you and have a lovely one at a nearby ground.
After enjoying the sights of Tagaytay, make sure you experience the great hospitality in one of boutique hotels sprawling around town, get pamper in one of those heavenly spas and have a nice meal at the organic and fine culinary places making a splash in this relaxing destination.
I love the old charms of Tagaytay, but the modern flair of the city is a soothing addition to an already beautiful place.