What a Feast! Nanay and Kurt's Birthday Lunch at Josephine's -Tagaytay

Crispy Kangkong, Php 220

Destination: Josephine Restaurant Tagaytay
Km. 58 Gen. E. Aguinaldo Highway,Maharlika West, Tagaytay City
Tagaytay City

Josephine's in my mind, is the perfect place to celebrate my Nanay and Kurt birthdays having experienced dining here 2 years ago. So, we headed back to the restaurant near Ayala Malls Serin after our country walk at Sonya's Garden. The restaurant offers the best view of Taal lake and volcano and serves all-time Filipino favorite dishes which my Nanay absolutely liked. 

November 14 - It's the biggest event of the year for our family as my mother and nephew celebrated their birthdays. It was my Nanay's 3rd birthday against all odds of breast cancer and we wanted to make her day extra special this year so we decided to spend a day in Tagaytay City. Both celebrants had never been to Tagaytay and never seen the world-famous lake and volcano, I'm quite sure, the experience will brighten their spirits …and I'm glad they do  😍


Unlike my previous experience when we have to wait to be seated, the main restaurant was empty when we arrived around 11 AM. With Modern-Filipino interior and air conditioning system, the high-ceiling main dining area that also offers panoramic view of Taal lake and volcano would be best to dine during hot summer days.

Bulalo Soup, Php 840

It was such a lovely day, sunny but chilly, two tables were occupied by group of Chinese tourists at the al fresco area playing card games. We also picked another long table outside to have a better view of the lake and volcano and take advantage of the kinder blew of the fresh and cool air of southern Luzon. 

Nanay and Kurt were so delighted to finally see Taal Volcano so real and so close. "I only see it in books and pictures, now I've seen it personally", Nanay Said with wide smile on her face that I haven't seen for months.

Chopsuey, Php 320


We started with Crispy Kangkong (Php 220) while waiting for other dishes. Tatay liked it and amazed how they made it so crispy. Nanay's choice was Chopsuey which was perfectly done according to her liking. We also ordered Lechon Kawali (Php 380) and Mango Salsa (Php 160) to complement with. It was good but nothing beats the Lechon Kawali of Syudad by Barrio Fiesta so far. 

Lechon Kawali, Php 380

Mango Salsa, Php 160

The prime attraction of our appetite is of course, Bulalo Soup (Php 840) in large bowl with lots of vegetables and tasty soup. It was big, steaming hot when served - the soup alone can satisfy my hunger. Sorry for bad angle of my Bulalo picture but it was meaty on the other side. The meat was tender, veggies were cooked right, and the large bowl was just enough for all of us. Who wins the bone marrow is obvious, lol!


Josephine's has been in this business for such a long time as proven by the great service they provided us. Offering glass of water the moment we settled-in is I think fundamental and a sign of good service according to my standards and I'm pleased they do. 

We were at home - It was like a birthday celebration with extended family when we celebrated my love ones birthdays here, they did not come unprepared for such occasion. Take a look how the crew played and sing Happy Birthday song with us. Nanay was so overjoyed to see strangers celebrating her life with us.

A delightful lunch indeed. It’s a nice place to celebrate milestones in your lives when in Tagaytay with your love ones, family or friends. Serving not only Filipino favorite dishes but also offers great view of the lake and provide exceptional service guaranteed to keep you coming back again and again.

It may be hard trying to get some quality time with your family out of your busy schedule but you gotta clear your calendar for such special moment and dine-in at Josephine's - Tagaytay. Because here, you’re at home. 

Josephine Restaurant Tagaytay
Km. 58 Gen. E. Aguinaldo Highway,Maharlika West, Tagaytay City
Tagaytay City

Country Stroll Around Sonya's Garden, Tagaytay

Address: Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, 4123
Hours: Closes 6PM
Phone: 09175329097

After breakfast at Bag of Beans, it was still too early to check-in at Hotel Monticello so we headed to the nearby Sonya's Garden for a stroll to fill the gap while deciding where to have lunch. Sonya's Garden has been one of my favorite destinations in Tagaytay, introduced by Peachy of The Peach Kitchen back in 2010. We always drop-by at Sonya's garden if we had a chance when in Tagaytay to purchase Cheese-hopia - cheese-flavored rendition of the Chinese hopia made with pure parmesan that often runs out as soon as they’re made. Secret dressing is another favorite pasalubong From their country store.

At 9 AM, sunlight was just piercing the morning mist and, high in the trees, birds chirping like warning each other raucously of our presence - it was music to my ears however. Our original plan was to avail the buffet lunch but we came too early so, we headed to just stroll around Sonya’s different paths leading to many discoveries. Kurt and Tin were pleasantly surprised to find something new and exciting behind the greenery, another secret waiting to be discovered. 

The fresh and cool air of southern Luzon blew kinder, just perfect for our morning walk. Sonya's Garden offers a scenic country, Tuscany feel. Its like walking in an Italian region which boasts vivid colors of flowers and glorious views. Nanay particularly enjoyed the small market scene at the entrance of Sonya's Garden, she bought organic fresh fruits and herbs for home cooking.

After challenging months battling cancer and many trips to PGH for treatment, this was the glimpse of old rural Philippines we had been longing for. Out on the marvelously manicured gardens, my worries seemed to evaporate with each footstep. This country walk wasn’t just pleasure - it was therapy. Exploring the garden is 100% guarantee that the sight will cheer you up and the walk will do you a power of good.

First Look - Twin Lakes Hotel, Tagaytay

Twin Lakes Hotel Tagaytay
Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Brgy. Laurel, Batangas City

Raise your hand if Twin Lakes Hotel is also on your list of travel destination for 2019! I was so excited upon knowing that Twin Lakes Hotel Tagaytay, located at the front of the country's first and only vineyard township resort and community has opened and quickly put it on my list of next destination this year.

We were at the Twin Lakes Shopping Village - a small part of 1,149 hectares estate - the Philippines’ first vineyard township community and Tagaytay’s first master-planned integrated tourism destination where stylish shops. boutiques are mixed with quaint cafes and dining spots, dinning at Bag of Beans CafĂ© and Restaurant - “West Lake" Branch when I learned about the newly opened hotel. I checked the rates instantly through their Social media channels and quoted Php 18,000 nett good for 4 persons with breakfast at their Family suite on February 10, 2019. Hmmm, gotta wait for Anney's initiative to experience this place. I’ll bet she’ll book and organize once she knew about the infinity pool, lol!

TWIN LAKES is master-planned integrated tourism destination by Megaworld located in Tagaytay and Laurel, Twin Lakes encompasses 1,149 hectares., designed to be the premier medical & educational tourism estate. Provides refreshing views of famous Taal Lake & Volcano Offers a cool mountain breeze amid rugged terrain and a man-made lake. The community is a showcase of themed residential phases that are seamlessly integrated with expansive nature spaces, well-designed retail, commercial and civic centers and vibrant lifestyle and leisure hubs.

So exciting and will patiently wait until the project completed. Hopefully, the hotel would offer great deal via Deal Grocer, booking or Agoda very soon.

Bag of Beans CafĂ© and Restaurant, Inc. “West Lake Branch”, Tagaytay City - More than just a Stopover

Contact Number: 046-460-4146
Address: Twin Lakes Shopping Village, DayapItaas, Laurel, Batangas

Cappuccino, (Php 140)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope everyone had a very happy and memorable holidays. Have you spent it with your family at home or gone out of the country? However you celebrated Christmas and New Year, what matters most is that you spent quality time with your love ones. I hope you did and you were able to build stronger relationships and rekindled lost ones, because family and friends is love and love is the essence of our every existence 😊

So, let the love begin with my first post of 2019, starting with our family's short out of town getaway in Tagaytay City to celebrate "the matriarch" and Kurt birthdays. Nanay's 72nd's birthday was on November 14 while Kurt's falls on the same day. It was a double celebration indeed, and my brother decided to treat us for an overnight stay in Tagaytay who by the way, was also on vacation mode from working overseas. I booked 2 rooms for one-night stay at Hotel Monticello through booking.com giving us great deal among Tagaytay's list of accommodations 2 days prior - room review coming up on my next posts. Check it out soon!

We rented a van for just Php 8000 all included (gas and toll) - low price, but we need to depart very early on November 14 to avoid number coding. We departed around 5:00 in the morning armed with pandesal and sandwiches. Nanay was very hesitant to go because she's not feeling well but with continued encouragement, she gave in.

We arrived around 8:00 AM in Tagaytay and decided to stopover and have light breakfast at the quaint French-Country-Farmhouse designed Bag of Beans, Twin Lakes or West Lakes branch while waiting for 2:00 PM check-in time and greeted with the chic and elaborate design of the place. West Lake branch of bag of Beans is my favorite, it shows a fresh display of colors and clean whites to achieve a chic and posh look that is very pleasing to the eye. Distressed woods, machuka tiles, vintage items and hand-crafted furniture also adorned the cafe to add a visual flair, perfect match to complement the beauty of one of the country’s best scenic spot, Taal Lake. 

Nanay had Soup of the day (Php 195), a clear but tasty soup with shiitake mushrooms served with bread roll and butter while we had Quattro Formaggi (Php 550) and our own choice of coffee and/or drinks. Oh! yes, pizza for breakfast is love with four cheese toppings, hey, it's the middle of the day for us since we started that day so early, we deserved pizza! lol. Enough of justification, I had their signature iced cafe latte which is really good, Kurt had hot chocolate which he didn't like and Tatay choice was White Chocolate Mocha (Php 150) which was too sweet for him after his first sip. We switched it and both are happy and satisfied. My brother Ramil and our driver had Kapeng Barako (Php 110) and Tin had Cappuccino (Php 140) which were all fine.

The fresh and cool air of Southern Luzon completes the comfort and vibe offered by West Lake. Sipping the signature coffee brew at the veranda will give you a glimpse of a perfect sunrise or sunset and of course, a perfect view of the promising, newly opened Twin Lakes Hotel - the Philippines’ first vineyard township community and Tagaytay’s first master-planned integrated tourism destination. Twin Lakes Shopping Village is every inch photogenic and Bag of Beans is a dreamy and romantic dinning spot offering freshly-baked pastries and delightful cuisines everyday.