Enchanted: The 2nd Time Around

Last year was the first in celebration of my 25th birthday. We arrived noon so the place was already people-packed. As a result, we weren’t able to maximize the unlimited rides. Sans change of clothes, we opt to miss the watery rides. But that didn’t decrease the fun we had. 🙂

This Year

20120818 Enchanted

I have this habit of not experiencing the same suffering again. So after the Space Shuttle last year, I never thought of undergoing the same torture twice. But my companions were so game I decided to break a habit. I’m glad I did. Who would think of backing out when even the cowards want to fight?!

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We were on our way to Baguio so we brought all our stuffs. This time, I was able to experience the watery rides. I so love the Rio Grande Rapids. It feels like a mellower and safer version of water rafting. It would be perfect if the river was longer.

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The Log Jam was a ride to remember. I underestimated it. Never thought it was that heart pumping. I literally hold on for my life on the 2nd jump. You could see how moved I was on my picture. Epic! I don’t want to forget the moment so I had Migo bought the picture despite the price. Hahaha!

I also rode Anchor’s Away again. Migo hating the feeling on last year’s ride opt to pass. I was bored on this ride the first so I wanted to test if I’d be bored the 2nd time. I was amazed. I forgot the boredom. The feeling already get to me but I discovered a technique to make it all go. On the 2nd rise, my hair flew into my face. I didn’t like it so I flipped my head. When I did it, I noticed that the bad feeling disappeared. I did the flipping thing on the 3rd rise, the same thing happen. On the 4th, I shared the technique to Mira. On the 5th, the 2 of us were doing the flipping thing. 😛

1 Flying Fiesta – All
2 Space Shuttle – All
3 Anchor’s Away – All except Brian, Nie, Migo
4 Ekstreme Tower – Mira, Lawrence, John Jay, Ricco
5 Balance Challenge – Lawrence, Mira, Yours truly
6 Bump Car – All except John Jay
7 Rio Grande Rapids – All
8 Log Jam – All
9 Laser Challenge – Mira, Lawrence, John Jay, Migo, Yours truly
10 Carousel – Migo, Yours truly

I didn’t ride the Ekstreme Tower again. I super hate the feeling last time. Haha!

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Tagaytay Tour

We were battered after Taal that the swimming and board game plans were forgotten. But being drawn to water, I didn’t let the swimming slipped even if I had to do it alone. I swam until I got tired of the cold water.

The next day, we woke up at 4 AM. We only had until 6 AM to stay on Aroma. Kuya Anthony would pick up at 7:00 AM for the touristy Tagaytay Tour. We had breakfast. Everyone was ready by 6 AM. Unfortunately, Kuya Anthony was late. We had the chance to play games beside the pool.

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7 Ate 9!
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While waiting for the driver!

When Kuya arrived, we were ready for People’s Park and Picnic Grove. Kuya Anthony was our personal tour guide. We paid him PHP 100 each to take us to People’s Park and Picnic Grove then drop us at Tagaytay terminal. Since we were bringing our stuffs already, we need them to guard our bags.

People’s Park in the Sky
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Picnic Grove
5 picnic groove
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I had fun despite our short stay in Tagaytay. The detour to Taal was amazing. I never thought I could add 2 places on my list. Cavite for Tagaytay, Batangas for Taal. Yeahoo! Finding nice drivers were a blessing too. They make our stay less hassles considering I didn’t know how to commute to those spots. Haha!

If you want to have less hassles too, you can contact Kuya Anthony at this number 0939 881 2338 for your transportation and Tagaytay boating. I can vouch for his kindness. This is the least I could do considering we didn’t give him tip. 😛

Moments at Taal

While the others were preparing, I busied myself capturing Aroma Apartelle. When everyone was ready, I texted Kuya Anthony. The plan was to eat at a Karenderya first before going to the lake. But Kuya suggested why don’t we just ate there. Thinking we could save time if we do, I agreed.

1 Aroma Apartelle
Our accommodation: Aroma Apartelle!

I wish I didn’t. The ride to the lake took about 30 minutes downhill. And the food was served about 1 and half hour. Our energy was drained. For the first few minutes, we were smiling and teasing. The next minutes was torture. I remembered how Erwin slumped unto the table. My stomach was screaming food. My heart goes out to Charina, Ricco and Lawrence who haven’t eaten breakfast.

When the food arrived, everyone got busy. After a while, the usual energy of the group was back. We had Bulalo, Pancit and Pork Belly. I don’t know if the food were really good or it was just good because we were so hungry.

The negotiation followed after the meal. We didn’t waste much time and hurriedly proceed to our boat that would take us to Taal. We were 10 so we had 2 boats. Charina, Lawrence and Ricco were with me and Migo. On the other boat were JJ, Mira, Brian, Nie and Erwin.


I was in awe when we reached our destination. The row of bancas was picturesque. And the horses were amazing. We had to walk a little to reach the main entrance. We were escorted, told about the things we could do and settled for payments. The entrance was PHP 50. The horse ride was quite expensive (PHP 450) so we had a consensus not to ride. They discouraged us about the walk but we were deaf. Aside from the entrance, we had to pay for the guide for PHP 500. We spent PHP 100 each.

The walk was hard at first. Annoying horseback riders followed us, continuously haggling their service. But we remained firm with our decision. We were right. The walk was not that far. They just discouraged us so that we would get their service.

When we arrived at the crater, I feel a sudden surge of victory. We did it! We’ve seen Taal up close. We took some pictures and enjoyed the scenery.

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The views on the way!
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Family pic w/ the mighty Taal.

Some time later, we decided it’s time to go. Migo and I was the last on the trail. I was busy sliding unto the dusty pavement when Migo asked me about his camera. Told him I don’t have it. So we went back to the crater spot, tried to retrace our steps hoping we would find it. It was all for nothing. Our guide went back to look for it too. Nothing still.

I was so down…tried hard not to cry. The walk suddenly becomes unbearable. Then I saw Migo. He had that distant look but it was not a losing face. I asked him and for the nth time, he got me in awe. I hugged him saying, I would copy his resolve. Besides, we could always buy another one. When I did that, the moment was back.

The lost camera had become a favorite joke. We laughed at it till the remaining days of our 4-day trip. We lost it on the 1st day. On the next days, Migo and I have become a camera leech. Thanks to Ricco and Charina for being very understanding. “Bayad to sa nice weather ang camera, Miga!” Says Migo. I didn’t say anything. Silently wishing it would cover for the whole trip.

We were exhausted after Taal. Slept on the uphill ride. When we reached Olivarez Plaza, we asked Kuya Anthony to just drop us. We decided to have dinner and bought snacks for the next day. The next stop would be Picnic Grove and People’s Park!


This day last week…

I can’t believe it’s been a week since. The memories are still vivid…the pain of losing Migo’s cam, the laughters, bloopers and blessings…Maybe not blogging is what makes it still vivid. My minute capacity memory has been threatening out of space so…

An early flight of CebuPac brought me, Migo and JJ to Manila where some of our companions waited at NAIA. But before the worry-free flight, we were faced with an almost habitual annoyance..LATE! When we arrived, the checking counter was closed. But we were able to overcome the obstacle and rendezvous with the others at the planned time and location.

Going out of NAIA, we were faced with the dilemma on how to reached Pasay Bus Station. And that’s because I halfheartedly read the link Migo gave me 2 days before the trip. I’m still having 2nd thoughts then. With nowhere to go, I directed the group to look for the bus stop sign. When I saw the bus, my mind was fixed. I’m quite sure the last stop was the Pasay Bus Station. I just don’t know if it was the same station where we’ll find a ride to Tagaytay.

I was agitated along the way. Desperately looking for signs that my decision was right. Habitually blaming myself why I choose not to print maps and all the kresia stuffs. You see on this trip, I vowed to be a little spontaneous. I’ve always been clipped and controlled when traveling. This time, I just had the final itinerary. No maps and all. I wanted to develop the ability to decide things right there and then.

My heart hammered when the bus stop. Is this it? Is this really the place? And hooray! The driver confirmed my doubts. I silently congratulate myself saying “See! I know you can do it.” We had breakfast then took the bus to Tagaytay. The ride was quite long. It took more than 2 hours. When the conductor collected our fare, I asked him to drop us at Olivarez Plaza in Tagaytay. He nodded as he handed me the tickets.

I slept along the way but is mindful that I have to wake every now and then to make sure that we haven’t strayed away from Tagaytay. I can’t trust our fate to the conductor entirely. On my nth waking moment, I lookout the window and asked Migo where we are. He said, we just reached Tagaytay. My heart starts hammering again. Oh my! I have to make sure we got off at the right spot.

There was a vendor. I didn’t mind him at first. But at the top of my head, I wanted to ask him where we are, thinking the conductor might have forgotten what I told him. When I did, he said we might have missed our stop. I panicked. Ordered the group to hurriedly took of the bus. When everyone was settled, I let out a sigh of relief. Ah! I was right. I should not completely trust anyone.

Picking a tricycle to Aroma Apartelle was hard. The dispatchers and tour people were annoying so I hurriedly pick the next tricycles in sight. On the ride, I was praying that the drivers would not impose too much fare. Someone told me never to ask fares when traveling because tendency is people will take advantage of your ignorance. But what choice do I have?

I was relieved when the fare was just PHP 10. Silently thanking God that He had lead us to a nice person. While waiting for the others to settle their fare, our driver proposed if we’d like a Taal tour, boating and trekking. My mind wanted to say “No” immediately. I’ve been researching Taal tours and what I found was discouraging. The prices were expensive. But JJ was especially open to idea so the negotiation continues. Kuya Anthony, which we learned later, offered that the estimated budget is PHP1K per person. I was all in with the 1K. But I can’t decide for the group so I mentally list the issue in my head. After keeping Kuya Anthony’s card, we then went inside Aroma Apartelle where Charina, Ricco and Lawrence waited.

Aroma Apartelle, Migo’s find, was nice. It’s a 3-story building with a pool. We took a dorm room good for 12 person at PHP4500 because I thought we were 12. We wanted to transfer to a smaller room good for 10, unfortunately they won’t let us. It’s OK though we need the extra beds for our bags.

After settling, I then open the issue about the Taal tour. They asked about our itinerary for the day. When I read it to them, they comment that it’s just all about eating. A consensus was reached. We will go to Taal and dropped the entire itinerary for the day. I then text Kuya Anthony about our decision and closed the deal. Yeahoo!

And so off we went to Taal…

26th Birthday Trip Itinerary

Oh Yeah! Charry and I just finalized the itinerary today. 🙂 And I can’t wait to follow them all. Hopefully, we won’t stray much…places and expenses. 😀 Super excited…See the itinerary here.

>> The actual itinerary we followed. We saved some bucks. 🙂


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"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

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