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Tagaytay - Did we enter the Twilight Zone? Any explanations?

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Tagaytay - Did we enter the Twilight Zone? Any explanations?

Post by Winston » September 22nd, 2008, 9:13 am

First, look over the front page of this website about Tagaytay:

Then, read my story about what happened when we went to Tagaytay below, and tell me, did we enter the Twilight Zone??????

Hi all,
I forgot to report on something. A few months ago, we finally went to Tagaytay, me, my gf and parents.

The thing is, I read a lot of wonderful things about it on several websites, which listed many attractions. It sounded better than Baguio even. And my gf told me how cheap the coconuts were and about the beautiful waterfalls and nature, etc.

However, when we got there, it was nothing of the sort. It was a different world. Shockingly, NO ONE knew where any of the wonderful sites I read about online were. All anyone knew was this lookout point, which was a pain to even get to by public transportation. You had to transfer several jeepneys, which went down winding roads that had an uncomfortable G force. We were carrying a baby too, and getting worried. Then, on the final path, we had to walk up a mountain trail to get to the lookout point.

I mean, the lookout point was ok, you could see the lake and all, but where was all the other sites that I read about? The gardens, mansions, nature areas, waterfalls, etc.? Again, no one working there knew anything about them. They just knew a few hotels and this private golf and country club that you had to pay to get in and ride this cable car in the sky (not my thing).

Plus, when you looked below at the area near the lake shore, you could see a complex of buildings that did not looking inviting at all. There didn't appear to be anything for tourists. No big signs down there. I could not even see any hotels, restaurants, or tourist activity down there. You'd think the area near a lake shore would have more activity, wouldn't you??????

After the lookout point, things got worse. We were hounded by groups of seedy looking guys wanting to hustle us into some apartments you could rent for a day, offering good promos. But the way they were pushy about it and the way they looked gave me bad vibes. My intuition said we were better off not trusting them or taking the chance. Better go to a nice normal hotel, I thought.

Plus, the pictures in the binder that they showed of the places they were offering had no pictures of the interior of the place, only the exterior. That was definitely a bad sign and red flag.

But these guys persisted. Two of them followed us even when we rode away in a jeep. But before that happened, the trike drivers tried to lie to us and tell us there was no jeep to try to force us to take the trikes. While we were riding back to the main road in the jeep, the two peddlers followed us on a trike. Whenever the jeep stopped to let people off, they would come up and try to get us to go with them again. It was like they were stalking us.

After a while, I had it couldn't take it anymore. I yelled at them, "HEY LOOK! STOP FOLLOWING US! IT'S CREEPING ME OUT!" The other jeepney passengers smirked and giggled. Finally, they gave up and left us alone. But I was still creeped out and annoyed, with a bad feeling in my stomach.

Then I thought "Man!, what was this? We never bargained for this and didn't come here for a stressful experience. Where was all the awe-inspiring nature I read about?" The town didn't have anything to help any tourists. No signs or nice visitor centers. Nothing. You either knew where you were going, or you didn't.

This felt like THE TWILIGHT ZONE now. How can a place turn out so differently than described? Normally, when I travel, I arrive at a place and wing it, and do ok. All I do is ask a lot of questions and people show me wherever it is I want to go see. That's it. It's always worked for me in the past, in many different countries. But this time, that tactic failed. And I still don't know why.

Then the rain started pouring. After looking at a few hotels, we finally took a trike to The Days Inn. The hotel was very nice and had clean upscale accommodations. The pool was luxurious, but the restaurant food was bad and tasteless. The view of the lake was nice though.

But that's it. I didn't experience anything I read about online. Later that night, I went to the hotel reception staff and asked them about this. They had no idea what I read about online. When I asked about the waterfall, they told me that they knew of one but it was far away, and were better off having a car to get there.

Now, my gf had been here before, but she came last time in a car she said, so other people drove her to the nice sites, and she had no idea how to get to them by public transportation. And unbelievably, neither did the hotel staff of Days Inn. Weird.

The next day, we left back to Manila. On the way back, I scratched my head wondering how a place could be so different than I expected, and how all my usual tactics of asking questions to many people and finding things on the spot failed for the first time. Never before had that happened in all my travels.

How could Tagaytay be for tourists when there was nothing touristy, getting around was inconvenient, and no one knew any tourist spots? Very bizarre indeed.

Any explanations? What went wrong? Can anyone solve this mystery? Or does it belong in the Twilight Zone?
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