Marriage and Family,  Travels & Education on-the-road

Enjoying Tagaytay with the Family on a Rainy Holiday

We didn’t have enough time to plan our Tagaytay trip. We were supposed to stay home over the holidays but nearing Christmas, we were dying to get out of Manila to breathe.

That’s how toxic our year felt, haha!

So we went looking for a place and after browsing for hours, found one with a wonderful view at SMDC Winds through AirBnB.

SMDC Winds

Travel time was a killer! Jay frequents the roads through Tagaytay and anticipated about an hour or two of travel time. But because the holidays bring so much commuting woes (and because we took the bus), we had to fall in line along with other South-bound passengers and endured four and a half hours of Aguinaldo  highway traffic!

Good thing I bought a couple of pastries and some Piattos before we got into the bus. I was able to distribute it to my hungry brood during the long trip.

bus- reading

SMDC Winds

SMDC Winds is just within walking distance to so many restaurants and cafes such as PapaDoms, Josephines, Ridge Park Restaurant, Bag of Beans, and Starbucks.

At our building was a Dairy Queen and Pizza Hut where we took the kids to eat right after the caretaker left us the key to our unit.

Within SMDC Winds are also ACE Hardware, a Laundry shop, a Nail spa, and a 7-11 outlet.

There are two supermarkets to go to for supplies. SM Hypermarket and Robinson’s supermarket.


We were not allowed to cook at our unit, but was supplied a heating kettle and a microwave, so we stocked up on noodles, coffee, Swiss Miss chocolate,  and cold cuts for our dinners in.

I didn’t mind not being able to cook. My only comment on SMDC is the elevator which takes forever and a day to catch, OMG!

The stairs were not available, too. We tried to go through the fire exit, but it was locked. I’m not sure if it’s set to automatically open on emergencies.


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The Tagaytay Experience

For as long as I can remember, the Tagaytay experience always consists of enjoying the cool weather and the fresh air, enjoying the view of the lake, and food hopping.

I researched for sites to visit before we came and listed a few places to go to such as the Picnic Grove Eco-Adventure trail, the Puzzle Mansion, Sky Ranch, and Museo Orlina, but only managed to visit Sky Ranch on the day we checked out because of the strong rains.

It’s okay, I guess. We can always schedule a day trip to see the rest of them when the sun is up.


Play time!

We were able to do the rest of our plans, anyway, such as play our board and card games, and introduce the kids to badminton and billiards, and swim at the warm indoor pool.

We had so much fun!

I loved that my kids set aside the gadgets for this.

The little ones need to work a bit on their body coordination, but there’s potential there for badminton. More so for our teenager.


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(Click > to see more photos)


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Coffee and Catch-up

We also had the opportunity for a late night meet-up with our good friends, Pastor King and Phoebe, and their kids, who happened to be at Tagaytay on the 30th for a wedding.

They picked us up at 9 PM, and off we went to Twin Lakes.

We were supposed to get coffee and hang out at Starbucks, but the coffee shops were full, so we ended up hanging out at 7-11 which wasn’t bad at all.

We were cozy and warm, and we had a nice time catching up – family to family.

Hangout out with the Luceros. Image source: Phoebe Lucero

The next day, we woke up early to take the kids to breakfast at Josephine’s where they truly enjoyed feasting on bacon, longganisa and cereals.


Exclusive Family Time

We went to Tagaytay to unwind. I was hoping for a little tour but it’s okay. It was more important for us to just be together and just be family.

As a family, we usually have our hands full during the entire year and the holidays are no different. It takes a lot of courage, honestly, to set boundaries and prioritize during this season.

ridge-park-familyFor years, Jay and I have been wanting to use a quarter of the season to go away with the kids so we can have exclusive time to bond, to talk, to do things together and to pray as a family.

It’s fuel for us.


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And a memory-maker for the kids.


At one point, I went on a drama-mode when the rains didn’t stop for us to take the kids to different sites.

I love rain and I absolutely loved the weather, but I wanted to take them to Picnic Grove and the Eco-trails and the museum, and just see more of Tagaytay, but it just didn’t let up.

A mini food hop

But like I said, a big part of a ”Tagaytay experience” is food-hopping, and we were able to check out some of the cool restos you can only find here, at least.

Restos such as Bag of Beans (food was bland, in my opinion, but the place is as pretty as the pictures online), Ridge Park (which was my favorite of all!)  and yes, Breakfast at Josephine’s (a must-try pinoy brekkie for first-timers)!

Bag of Beans (Click > to see photos)


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Ridge Park (Click > to see more)


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Brunching and discussing our Faith Goals for 2019 at Ridge Park. #yearendfamilygetaway

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Tire swing on a windy New Year’s day! #kids #yearendfamilygetaway #NewYear2018

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A shot at Sky Ranch

And despite the rains and having to bring along our luggage, Jay insisted to go to Sky Ranch the day we checked out of our unit, and we were able to do a couple of rides.



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Bringing home the giant plushy!

Lukas even managed to shoot some balls which ended with us bringing home a huge new friend.

Do you see the size of that thing? It’s more than half the size of its owner!

Fitting into a tricycle and in a crowded bus, and running in the rain after cabs in Baclaran with three kids, our luggage, and a big, fat fish wasn’t a walk in the park, but we made it somehow.

Nemo (that’s what I decided to call it) now co-sleeps with Lukas and Judah on their bed like a bulky sardine, haha!


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So it wasn’t such a bad trip, after all. In fact, the kids were thanking us for it and are already asking us for our next destination.

We’re praying to take them to Malaysia and Singapore within the next two years, and to other places in the Philippines in the future.

And though Tagaytay is not exactly a big trip, it’s still a new experience for them.

Something I hope that they will remember fondly when they are older and will serve as a reminder that God has blessed them with a family that loves them, and a wonderful life that enables them to be a blessing to others.


”and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs” 1 Thessalonians 4:11.

 ”But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” Joshua 24:15.


  • Jerzee Benavente

    Ridge Park pala tawag dun. We keep on passing by that place but never really know the name. May mga kubo kaya mapapatingin ka.

    Buti pala warm yung pool sa lamig ng panahon mahirap pag cold pa yung tubig. Brrrrr.

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      Haha, kami nga, the entire time, nakatingin lang sa mga kubo from our balcony, wondering what it was. We just decided to go and see it when we checked out when we realized it’s a resto. Ganda pala!

  • blair villanueva

    Yeah I saw this community last time I was in Tagaytay and I am impressed that this location has fully transformed. I haven’t tried the SMDC and based on your story, we can consider it next time we visit.

  • Karla

    Nagstay na din kami sa SM Winds, sa Home of Soleil naman kami. Isang tawid lang sa Josephine’s. Para tipid, di na kami gumala haha. Nag view deck kami, then swimming sa labas. Kasama na po ba sa amenities ng unit ang mga board games?

  • Joy

    I like going to Tagaytay too. When we were young my dad drive us often there at dawn and be back home before lunch time, basically enjoying the cool breeze in the morning kaya lang these days we can’t do that na ang traffic na sobra. These days we usually booked our stay at Crosswinds para malapit sa picnic area, nag commute din kami with the kids dati nag LRT kami, bus and jeep, ang saya!!!

  • berlin | Momi berlin

    though I was not with you, i enjoyed reading this post. perhaps because i love it when trips include the complete family and you could see the kids enjoying and the parents becoming kids somehow so the little ones can relate. a few days before Christmas, we went to Tagaytay and we just stayed in a bed and breakfast place. Though they dont have the amenities like pool and basketball, we were able to achieve our goal – to have complete rest. I guess, once in a while, going out of your comfort zone is ok and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  • Kaycee Enerva

    Is Tagaytay as crowded like how media and soc media depicts it? I’ve been hesitating to visit there because I’m afraid of traffic and the number of people. I’d love to take my son though!

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      It was during the holidays. According to the locals, though, it’s only during the holidays that it’s like that. The rest of the year, it’s not that bad.

  • Edel

    Wow, I haven’t been to Tagaytay for a very, very long time. I blame the traffic via the Sta Rosa route. Nice to visit Tagaytay especially when its raining because it means mas malamig! So nice to hear kids being thankful for family bonding. 🙂

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