T A G A Y T A Y
C I T Y
D A Y T R I P
When overnight travels are not possible, no one's stopping anybody from doing a day trip, especially if the destination is just less than 2 hours away.
I did exactly that -- leave the house early to visit Tagaytay City, Cavite and return to Metro Manila in the evening on the same day. I needed a change in scenery after having a rotten weekend waiting for some good news to arrive which did not come.
I have this fascination for well-manicured gardens which started at the front yard of my late grandmother's quaint bungalow somewhere in Pasig City. She loved attending to it. To her disgust, I'd pluck flowers and leaves and pretend to be preparing a potion a la an albularyo (folk healer) as a kid.
After slaving myself working for various companies in Ortigas and Makati City, I finally appreciated traveling to distant places with nice-looking gardens. For that matter, I expected my day trip of Sonya's Garden to be a pleasant one since the weather was also pleasant and I reckoned that it was hard not to stare at anything green.
First, I took a delicious detour at a bed and breakfast along Aguinaldo Highway for brunch. It gave me a good view of Taal Volcano from its viewing deck, but I hesitated staying longer as I still had to visit my target destination.
Arriving At Sonya's Garden
After a P25-worth bus ride and a P30-worth tricycle ride, I was finally at the entrance of Sonya's Garden. A big dog greeted me at the secondary entrance past the parking area. I tried to look for a reception area for information but I failed to see one (I missed it). I advanced down the long and winding orange brick pathway which was surrounded by numerous plants on both sides. Walking through it was already a treat as the lavish smell of country living was evident. The sprawling property was not short on little creative displays of garden trinket and floral arrangement. My simple walk felt fascinating as my residence back home does not have any of those down-home spectacles.
I decided to experience the spa at Sonya's Garden which the management wisely tucked away at the end of the pathway. For a little more than a thousand pesos, I got the Hair Spa and Scalp Massage (P400+) and the Facial Spa (P600+). I discovered that both treatments were mildly performed and used natural herbs, oils, and fragrances (vanilla).
I requested the chance to take a quick shower after the treatments and I took a 30-minute nap. Showering in one of those spa cubicles was memorable as I was provided with a nice view of the garden outside with the effect of a drizzle as water was made to slide down the glass window. It's advisable, though, to close the window during the actual bathing because other guests might see you from the outside.
Complimentary Hot Dalandan Tea
To my surprise, I was served a flavorful dalandan tea when I woke up from my spa nap. The delicious concoction was totally soothing to the senses. It awakened me from my snooze mode. I would have requested for another hot cup but I felt that it was too imposing since it was only complimentary.
Down-home Bakery For Souvenirs
Before covering the rest of Sonya's Garden, I dropped by the place's Panaderia or bakery for souvenirs. I chose between a roll of tablea (pure cacao beans) and a bag of a dozen of pan de coco (coconut bread). I chose to buy the latter. It set me back P120. When I gobbled a piece at home the day after, I discovered that it was stuffed with pandan for aromatic flavor.
I was about to leave the premises when I spotted a covered garden that seemed to be for private viewing only. I was wrong. I was literally pressing my nose against the see-through door when a staff eagerly invited me in. I pushed the door open and noticed that there were no locks on it, only a rock-pulley-system that keeps the door shut all the time. I was glad that I walked that part of the property because the flowers and plants inside were very remarkable-looking. The covered garden was housing scented plants which included lavender. I may not have any knowledge of specific names of plants, but I won't mind having them around. The area was bursting with bright colors that dotted lush greens and that alone was therapy to a city dweller like me. Clutching my purchased pan de coco, I took my time walking around as I was the only guest inside. It was a totally relaxing experience for me.
By the time my visit was over, I was contemplating already of dropping by the famous Mendez Crossing-based restaurant called Bag of Beans for an early dinner.
Come 6:00pm, I was already aboard an air conditioned bus back to Metro Manila.
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