Extending my business trip in Manila, I took the plunge and invited my girlfriend Louise over to the Philippines for our first getaway together. Nearly one year into my offshore team building project, I was excited to get around and explore the country a little more (again).
Starting in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) we stayed a couple days to explore what had fast become my second home. The financial district is a stunningly beautiful part of Metro Manila; a fascinating modern city surrounded by 3rd World shanty towns.
Getting on the road, we headed south through Santa Rosa towards Taal Volcano. With a driver for a few days (thanks for the hookup Louie Rosales), Louise and I explored some pretty magical places around Tagaytay.
First stop was dining at Balay Dako – written as a restaurant that proudly serves native Filipino dishes created before written histories, to inspirations fashioned by seafaring traders and the assimilations shaped by colonial occupation. Filipino cuisine is defined by struggle and acceptance, upheaval and adaptation.
It boasts kick arse views, too!
We stayed nearby in a beautiful yet under construction (everything is under construction in the Philippines) hotel – again with stunning views. The most incredible moment came though when someone entered our room at something like 1:30am. Yelling at them, I went out and didn’t see them. Front desk seemed a little surprised, but I will always suspect someone checking our room to steal. Always be vigilant.
Taal Volcano was an experience! The boat ride over, the hike up, the food on the way, hitting golf balls into a volcano crater! What was there not to love? Louise and I loved exploring it all.
We visited some random gardens, crashed a Filipino wedding (who had a very drunk Irish looking groomsman) and finally spent an afternoon at a Filipino Theme Park; Sky Ranch Tagaytay.
All in all, a wonderful experience getting to know each other better as well as exploring more of this country I am spending more and more time in.