A few of you have been asking me where I am these days, so I'm going to keep you posted with a blog. I'll start with the first Philippines trip of 2010, and I'll be updating regularly. Life on the road is usually pretty boring - 12 hours of work plus dinner - so don't worry...you won't be reading an hourly journal.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Yesterday, off to Tagaytay, for my first sightseeing trip in the Philippines. Sort of a cloudy day, the hostess in the hotel restaurant advised me to take a jacket. I didn't bring anything long sleeved to the Philippines, but that's OK...it's 80 degrees outside, right? The adventure begins...

90-minutes drive to the town of Tagaytay, with our driver Jeffrey. Everyone in Asurion's Philippine operation knows Jeffrey. There is no such thing as a speed limit, a red light, or even a proper side of the road on which to drive. No one gets there faster, and no one takes more years off a passenger's life than Jeffrey.

Arrival at Tagatay, which is situated on a cliff that looks to be about 2,000 feet high, overlooking a beautiful lake with the Philippines smallest volcano. Clearly, the thing to do is to go out to the volcano, right? To get there, you simply have to go down a series of the steepest, narrowest, most winding roads imaginable...with Jeffrey at the wheel! Just close your eyes and think about something else.

Arrival at the bottom of the cliff, and here's our transportation...EXCELLENT! (Yes, that's the volcano in the background.)

The water looks smooth, right? Think again. A 30-minute ride to the volcano. It's hard to see in the picture below, but we arrived soaked to the skin and chilled to the bone. Beautiful ride anyway, though.

On our arrival, though, we found out that it is an hour's ride -- on horseback -- to the volcano. We thought about it, but were just too cold and hungry. So...we turned around and went back across the lake, which was looking increasingly ominous. For a moment, I actually pondered if we were going to die out there. Here is the scene just before we got back on.

We didn't die.

Back safely on the mainland, Jeffrey took us confidently up the steepest, narrowest, winding roads imaginable (eyes closed, think of something else), and back to the main drag of Tagaytay. Something hot for lunch was clearly next on the agenda, and someone had heard of "The Palace in the Sky." Off we went.

Up the mountains...further up...into the clouds (literally) we went. Until we finally reached The Palace in the Sky...which is a little local shopping district with -- you guessed it -- no food. Turn around, Jeffrey.

We eventually wound up at Pamana, a wonderful restaurant overlooking the cliffs and the volcano, where we had some of the best local food around, including crispy pata (deep fried pork leg) and much much more. Satiated and warmed, we settled into the peaceful return to Manila, safely ensconced in the car with...Jeffrey!

1 comment:

    Love ya,