LONG WEEKEND ALERT! Tagaytay is (safely) open, so enjoy the view and the bulalo

Published November 27, 2020, 2:53 AM

by Johannes Chua

I know your first question and the answer is “no.” No, you don’t need to show anything if you plan to visit Tagaytay this long weekend. But that doesn’t mean that everything’s back to normal.

The ‘sleeping beauty’ that is the Taal Volcano, surrounded by a calm lake (Photos by Renz Palermo)

I was in Tagaytay last weekend to check out how this tourist destination has changed since the Taal Volcano eruption early this year. I was expecting a crowd-free environment and I was “disappointed” yet “happy” at the same time — disappointed as I was not the only one who was enjoying the cool weather and the cooler view (Taal was sound asleep), but happy in the way that tourism was once again picking up in this part of the country, which is what gives employment to a lot of people.

Families from Metro Manila and surrounding provinces are now flocking to Tagaytay to enjoy its cool atmosphere. Face masks are worn at all times, except perhaps if you are the subject of the photo

What has “changed” in Tagaytay is the strict implementation of health protocols. During that weekend, we went to three restaurants, one bar, Sky Ranch (open only from Friday to Sunday), Orlina Museum, and some shops. All of them were observing the necessary health protocols, from checking the body temperature of visitors, enforcing the wearing of face mask, to physical distancing. The staff at Orlina Museum even reminded us to keep our face shields “down.”

Drop by the Orlina Museum to see these amazing glass sculptures. The museum strictly enforces health protocols, with taped directions on the floor for physical distancing

Tagaytay, at that time, also implements a strict curfew. The bar we went to closed at exactly 9 p.m., and no amount of bribe convinced the waiter to let us hang around for another hour. Ditto also with other establishments in the area, as convenience stores (better buy your personal essentials early) and groceries were also closed by 9 p.m. Discipline is alive and well in Tagaytay.

Do not leave Tagaytay without savoring a piping hot bowl of bulalo

The hotel we went to also followed the health protocols strictly, but we were not asked for any test results or medical certificate. I do advice that you call first the hotel of your choice to ask them for their requirements. I asked some friends who said that some hotels would only accept online bookings. Some hotels are lenient as long as you observe health protocols while some may ask for more requirements.

TRAVEL TIP: If you have more time and are already tired of the cool breeze of Tagaytay, then Nasugbu is just an hour-drive away. The beaches of Nasugbu are ready to celebrate a belated summer. Like the hotels in Tagaytay, make sure to check first with your resort about their requirements. A friend of mine was able to visit Nasugbu easily and dropped by unannounced at a beach resort. He said he felt safe as health protocols were observed, even though he wasn’t asked for any test results or medical certificate.

After your break in Tagaytay (or Nasugbu), support the local economy by purchasing fruits, vegetables, and pasalubong items sold along the main road. You could also buy some flowers or potted plants to help small business owners, who may have experienced a “double whammy,” which starts with the letter “V” (volcano and virus). Your peso doesn’t only ensure that they continue to thrive amid the challenges, it is also a “statement” that you support Tagaytay’s journey to recovery.