No need to go to Tagaytay
Batangas City folks, do you know that there’s no need to go to Tagaytay to quench your abrupt Tagaytay craving just to enjoy the breath-taking view of the famous Taal Lake and its weird Taal Volcano (a resident from San Nicolas, Batangas once told me that the volcano that we thought we know is not the actual volcano). Why? Because we have Noni’s Mountain Resort to answer that (I’m referring to the “view” not the restaurants and bars in Tagaytay, you gotta love that place).
How I discovered it
I discovered this very scenic, relaxing place back in 2011 when I had to offer a radio ad deal to this resort. And being the corny, sensitive dude, I was awe-struck by the lovely little place. The place was a good escape from the chaotic urban life, and you get to enjoy the real ambience of nature here and that weird lonely feeling that you are so isolated from the world. And that it actually feels good because finally you get to be with yourself and feel your existence. Kinda deep, but again, you gotta be there to actually get that weird state of mind.
Noni’s Resort After all, it is a mountain-kind of resort, more like a forest resort but the place is not exactly a mountain but more of a far-off portion of a plateau that overlooks Taal Lake. It’s like the place is situated on a cliff that gaze down to the mighty Taal Lake Volcano with the majestic Rockies side of Mt. Maculot on the right. From afar, you will see Tagaytay ridges and before your very eyes, the vast calm mysterious Taal Lake. The perfect view of the lake is kinda relaxing and eerie. As you stare at the lake, your lakemonster-infested mind (caused by too much horror movies) will draw pictures of a huge lake monster, more like a local folklore version of Loch Ness, emerging in the middle of the lake swimming closer and closer, and climbing up over trees towards where you stood. Kinda terrifying, huh? But in vain, you will get to see nothing, just that eerie weird feeling being near a lake. That’s another thing that this place can offer, a sense of awkward eerie thrill staying in an isolated resort at the edge of a haunting quiet mysterious giant lake. I think it’s perfect to stay here during rainy months to add to the excitement. Most specially, if you are constantly haunted by the machete-hacking Jason of Friday the 13th movies, he-he.
The place was neat and cozy. Beautiful establishments for your accomodations that are named after Batangas towns. I like their restaurant with the poignant arrangement of fabric that serves as ceiling, perfect for lovely dinner balls (unfortunately, during my last visit this year, they already changed that). And their food, excellent! The place is reasonably priced so you get to enjoy all the perks for paying your top peso. And the food really compliments the place aside from the rooms and the ambience and excellent customer service.
There are team building facilities, a few caged birds and snakes and one big swimming pool to wet yourself if you feel like diving into the lake ’cause it looks so close from the viewing deck (it will take you about an hour or two to trek down to the lake from the resort). They have opened another attraction in the resort ~ a mini campsite just below the viewing deck. It’s like you’re on the edge of a cliff with less terror because they have paved and flattened it already to set up your tents.
To sum it all, let me quote their mini-website, “It is beautifully situated 1,000 ft above sea level and has a breathtaking scenic views of Taal Lake, Tagaytay ridges and Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas. It is the place to spend your vacation, relaxing in a peaceful and serene surroundings in a farm and resort, while enjoying the amenities of urban living. Enjoy the privacy of the entire guest house for family reunions and other private gatherings.”
How to get there
From Batangas City. Drive to Muzon via San Pascual-Bauan route. When you reach Muzon turn right goint to Alitagtag Town Proper. Drive past Alitagtag Town Proper, then turn left when you reach Pinagkurusan (a crossroad). 1-2 km from Pinagkurusan, you will see a barangay road on the right going to Nonis. Or if you want to avoid the nasty San pascual-Bauan traffic, take the Balagtas-Balete shortcut that pass through Natunuan, San Jose, going straight to Bungahan, Cuenca then turn right to Dalipit, Alitagtag until you reach Pinagkurusan then turn right to reach Ping-as where the resort is located.
Commute. Take the Lemery jeep at calicanto (at the gas station near Puregold). Pay not more than P40 to get to Muzon. When you reach Muzon, wait for a jeep going to Lipa. It will take you not more than P20 to go to the Ping-as barangay road. Tell the driver to drop you off at Nonis.. the driver will drop you there, take the trike from the kanto straight to Noni’s resort.
From Manila. Take Star Tollway from SLEX and do the Tambo Exit in Lipa City. Turn left then drive until you reach Banay-banay Crossing (Lipa City), turn right there. Drive straight (you’ll pass a zigzag) until you reach the town of Cuenca, the home of the famous Mt. Maculot (on the right side). Drive past Cuenca, until you reach Brgy. Ping-As on the right side of the highway, less than 3 kms from Cuenca. Turn right in that barangay road that leads to Noni’s. You’ll find houses there, so no worries, just ask them when you get lost. I suggest that you travel during daytime unless you are already familiar with the place.
Commute from Manila. Take the Lemery-bound bus from Manila (in Cubao terminal and Kamuning, i guess). It’s not gonna take you more than P200 (one-way). Ask the driver or conductor to drop you off at Ping-as. Then take the trike from there. It will not cost you more than a hundred bucks for the trike. If you cannot find a Lemery bus, then take the Lipa bus from Manila. From Lipa, take the Lemery jeepney (about P30) and tell the driver to drop you off at Ping-as, Alitagtag. Then take the trike from there.