Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday, Manila Day 6, 7/26/13: Tagaytay

Damian was exhausted, so he decided to lay low today.  I wanted to check out Tagaytay.  Tagaytay is in the province of Batangas. The temperature is much cooler up there so we brought sweatshirts.  It is characterized by the Taal Volcano Island at the center of the Taal Lake. It is an active volcano!  It blows my mind that there are so many restaurants and tourist activities around an active volcano! My nephew came by the hotel and the driver drove my mom, my nephew, and myself to Tagaytay.  It is about an hour and a half car ride to get there from Makati.  This gave us the opportunity to see more of the provinces.  Personally, I like going outside of large cities and seeing the "simpler" life.  Anyways, we went to this great restaurant with a great view of Tagaytay.  More authentic Filipino food!  The place was packed, but the balcony had a great view of the bay!  My nephew suggested we go to a hotel to get another awesome view of Lake Taal.  Tagaytay reminds me of "The Island" on LOST.  So much green here surrounded by clear water.

After lunch we went to a hotel to get another great view of the lake again, the mAss Kicker Mobile got a lot of stares as usual.  We met an elderly gentleman and his family who were curious about the mAss Kicker Mobile.  We had a lengthy discussion about how convenient it is and where to get one.  We wanted to stay there longer because it was so peaceful. We ended up getting halo-halo at the hotel restaurant and listening to a "Filipino Mariachi-like band" sing songs in Tagalog and English.  I have forgotten how much I enjoyed live music.  I will have to start going again in San Diego!  I used to go to Seau's The Restaurant for Island Reggae night. Ever since it closed, I haven't experienced live music.  It has been a while since I've enjoyed it.

Just being able to witness the breath-taking scenery in Tagaytay reminded me that life is precious.  We can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.  There are three options when facing adversity.  You can:
  1. dive – succumb to the disease/adversity
  2. survive – weather the storm of an intimidating diagnosis/news
  3. thrive – become proactive in the fight against this disease/step up to the challenge 
To "THRIVE" you have to "SURVIVE" first.  Surviving is logically the top priority, but what happens next after you survive?  Some choose to return to their normal lives.  Other choose to continue the battle against these diseases.  They are no longer fighting for their own well-being.  They are fighting for others similar to them!  One of the biggest reasons we are taking survivors on trips to different areas around the world is to show the world that life after after a tumor/cancer diagnosis DOES EXIST!  WE ARE LIVING LIFE AND THRIVING!

Before heading back, we stopped by a church/chapel in Tagaytay.  They requested silence outside because there were no doors.  Seeing familiar Catholic structures surrounded by tropical foliage was strange to see at first, but eventually it started to grow on me.  Seeing cathedrals in Europe, Catholic Basilicas in San Diego, and modern churches/temples/synagogs throughout North America gives me a sense that we can all be connected by a common belief.  Sure religions differ, but most agree that there is a "standard" that people need to live up to.  The fact that these beliefs have been around for thousands of years gives me hope for humanity.  Every society has to have some semblance of moral rules/laws.  This gets tricky when governments intervene.  I will cut myself off here because I don't want to get into a philosophical debate.

Anyways, we got some great photos from Tagaytay.  Check them out here:
Pictures from Tagaytay

When we got back from Tagaytay, I took my daily siesta and met up with my cousin and nephew for dinner at a modern Filipino restaurant on Bonifacio High Street.  It was old school Filipino cuisine with a modern flare.  The place was packed!  Damian went off on his own adventure that evening in Makati so I didn't get to meet up with him until I got to the hotel later in the evening after dinner.  Finally met up with Damian, but we were both too exhausted to go out and do anything...

The following day was our last full day in Manila.  Stay tuned!

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