Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Vios-venture, Tagaytay to Matabungkay

Matabungkay in Lian, Batangas has always been a favorite beach destination since its discovery in the 1950's.  But unlike before, with the recent developments in Laguna and Tagaytay, even the trip is an adventure apart from the destination.

Last Saturday, we made this Batangas destination our weekend getaway.  We planned our itinerary so that we will be in Tagaytay in time for lunch.  We left Manila around 10:30 am taking the South Luzon Expressway.  We only made one quick stop for breakfast and to gas up.  Also, to get something to nibble on and other provisions.

We took the Sta. Rosa exit and continued to the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay connection, passing Nuvali and Silang.  As planned, we arrived at the ridge exit around 11:30.

We are in search of a place to have lunch.  After having been to Tagaytay many times, we want to explore something different from the usual Tagaytay offerings.  Enough of the Bulalo for now.  Just a few meters  from the Rotunda, we found Pamana Restaurant.  I remember the countless times we pass by the restaurant to get to our favorite Bulalo places like Leslie's and the stalls at Mahogany Market.

We arrived early, and was the 2nd group inside the restaurant.  I personally like the nostalgic interiors of the place.  The white walls are filled with old photographs and framed mirrors.  The miss match wooden tables and chairs adds a rustic appeal complimented with antique ornaments.  The condiments served in a sungka board was genius!  It wasn't long till the place was filled with the lunch crowd.

The food they serve were modernized versions of Filipino Classics. We ordered the Inihaw na Bicol Express, Pinangat, and Bulanglang.  All in all, it was good, although the leaves used in the Pinangat could have been cooked more and felt a itchy as you swallow.

After lunch, it took us another hour to reach Matabungkay.  During weekends, the local community asks for a 5 peso per head donation as you reach the end of the road leading to the resorts.  We were given a family room when we checked in.  It has a spacious living room and dining area.  It has a small nook that can be used as a kitchen.  The mini ref is also located here.  The bedroom has a large bed, that can accommodate up to 4 persons with the addition of extra beds.  Next to the bedroom is the toilet equipped with hot and cold shower and the closet.  Both sections has a veranda that opens to the grounds and the beach at the distant.  We have to thank Joie Oliveros of Matabungkay Beach Resort for the lovely accommodation and their generosity.

We spent the afternoon at the restaurant sampling their Halo-halo and Puto Bumbong over a cup of Kapeng Barako.

We explored the resort and head for the beach in time for sunset.  We went to the Helipad area to capture the moment at break-water with our cameras.  Although it was a bit cloudy that day, it was one of my best sunset shots.

We went back to the restaurant for dinner.  This time we were in the mood for the best that Batangas has to offer.  We ordered the Bulalo, Kinilaw na Tanique, and Lechon Kawali.  

We also took advantage of their Happy Hour Every Hour Promo, where a choice of appetizer is included with a bucket of beer (6 bottles).  We continued our drinking at the Videoke Bar and the sang the night away.

We woke up early for breakfast. They have Filipino and Continental Choices.  We ordered the Filipino Set, that can a choice of Longganisa, Tapa, Cornened Beef, Daing na Bangus served with garlic rice, 2 eggs prepared the way you wan it, fresh fruits, and coffee all for 250 pesos.  After breakfast, we decided to try the swimming pool.  The water was cold since it was too early, but got warmer as noon approaches.

After the swim, we went back to our rooms to prepare our things and checked out around 11 am, so we can go back to Tagaytay in time for Lunch.

Just as planned we were back in Tagaytay by noon.  We made a quick stop at Mushroomburger for a quick sampling of their meatless burgers, and continued to look for a place to have lunch.

What caught our attention was Tootsie's right after the fresh vegetable stalls near the Rotunda.  Although the restaurant does not have a view of the lake, they made it up with the country inspired interiors and the food.  They serve Ilonggo favorites, on top of the Tagaytay favorites.  We ordered Kansi, Inihaw na Bangus, Stir-fried Vegetables, and Lumpiang Ubod as a starter.  The food was great and immediately we fell in love with place and can't wait to try the other items on their menu.

After Lunch, we went to Ilog Maria in Silang for the Natural Soap and other Products from bees.  We missed the corner and had to go back since the sign is now almost covered with the tall grass on the main road.  My favorite is the Spearmint scented oatmeal and honey soap.  The scent lingers after every shower.  Also, I got me a bath gel, since it's more convenient to bring along for travels and the gym.  I am yet to try the bee propolis that I got and my throat spray.

Instead of continuing the Cavite route to Manila, we decided to go back to the Sta. Rosa - Tagaytay connection.  We made a stop at Solenad in Nuvali for desserts at Conti's.  Since were in the area, we also took time to feed the fishes.

After dessert, we were back in Makati just in time to catch the 7:00 PM mass at the Sacred Heart Shrine in Saint Paul.  After the mass, we got invited to have dinner at a friends condo in Shaw Boulevard.  She makes a really good Strawberry Margarita and Mudslide.

It was a really long weekend spent with great meals, destinations, and great fiends.

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