A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person
– Mignon Mclaughlin

Back in November 2008, my first morning in the arms of Manila after a two-years stint in Dubai and a short rejuvenating trip in Singapore, my then fiance fetch me early to give me a tour at our wedding venue. I admit I wasn’t the typical bride who picked our wedding location after I’ve been there, and in truth, I haven’t even step foot on our church and reception site until a month before the big day.  I just knew how everyone is raving about it for a destination wedding and the photos seemed inviting… the rest was history.

Just before 8 AM, we hit the road going to the Philippine’s Second Summer Capital, Tagaytay. It was a weekday and the sun is gorgeously shining upon us. Such a good day to explore a cold haven, just few hours away from Manila. The traffic flows smoothly and in less than two hours we reached Rotonda.

We made a stop at Bag of Beans where we ordered Filipino breakfast, his was LongSiLog or Longganisa – Sinangag – Itlog and mine was TapSiLog or Tapa-Sinangag-Itlog. We had a sumptuous meal with hot pandesal and sweet smelling cup of coffee. A perfect starter to one exciting day!

After the authentic Filipino feast, we headed to Caleruega. It is still a few minutes drive from Bag of Beans as we passed through a long, rough road next to Evercrest Entrance. I knew then that some of our guests would complain the long ride.

Reaching Caleruega, we were greeted with a stunning view. It is everything I expected it to be. Majestic, breathtaking and close to nature. The Transfiguration Chapel is towering at the heart of Caleruega. Soon it will stand witness to our union and I will be walking down the same aisle.

We dropped by the office first to settle our full payment, and after which made an ocular visit cum photo ops in every corner of the chapel and Caleruega ground.

We also swing by the Koi Pond and played around at the wooden & hanging bridge.

After a handful of snapshots, which I am intending to use for our AVP, we decided to go to our next stop.

Prior on leaving Manila, we got in touch with Ms. Mavic to allow us to do an occular visit at Blue House and Pink House. We checked to see the amenities and accessibility from the main road. We lean towards renting either of the two houses for our Wedding Preps Accommodation.

We fell in love with the Blue House instantly and decided to get it for his accommodation.

We also drop by Andanita Taj of Tagaytay to inquire about their available rooms, possibly for my Preps Accommodation. Unfortunately they are already fully booked and the last room left cannot accommodate a big group.

I really liked the ambience of Andanita Taj, bold colors, indian inspired interior and a 180 degrees overlooking view of Taal lake. So while deciding on what to do with the small room and searching for other hotels in Tagaytay, we just went straight to check in at Hotel Kimberly where we will spend the night. Our accommodation was a surprise gift courtesy of our Godmother. Can’t thank her enough for our cozy room.

Too bad, we don’t have enough time to have a leisure lounge at the lagoon and swimming pool. My fiance had to doze off from a day of driving and need to recharge for our food tasting later on.

Caught some ZZZZzzzzzzzs.

By 5 PM, we headed to Sonya’s Garden for our food tasting. We were served with the house specialty, dinner set of Green Salad, Bread, Pasta and Dessert and a bottomless fresh dalandan juice. I am not a vegetable lover, but I enjoyed the dippings and toppings and some salad ingredients.

We just planned on ordering leachon perhaps to balance the meal. And I’m sure most of our guests will look for rice and we ain’t gonna serve them that, so I wonder how will they take the new experience.

After a hearty meal, the staff gave us a tour at Sunflower Greenhouse, the newest addition to Sonya’s Garden. It will be our Reception Venue and I can’t wait to see the restaurant setting and table arrangement. The beauty of Sonya’s Garden is that it is beautiful as it is and only requires minimal flower arrangements.

Making faces while tasting the salad. You know I don’t like greens on my plate.

After a chat with the assigned staff, and photo ops, we went back to our hotel to call it a night.

The following day, we indulged in a free continental breakfast. We have to leave early for our next appointment in Manila.

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Haven Hunter -Weekend Haven



  1. [...] recently got me really excited. I found out a new haven, just inside the country. No, its not Sonya’s Garden but can you keep a [...]

  2. Vera (Reply) on Wednesday 27, 2009

    Those pictures you posted, those were from the Kimberly Hotel?

    • havenhunter (Reply) on Wednesday 27, 2009

      Hi Vera, thanks for reading. The one with the rattan furnitures are from Kimberly Hotel. The other place with overlooking background is from Andanita Taj.

  3. Zella Dillehay (Reply) on Wednesday 27, 2009

    Im pleased I discovered this weblog, I couldnt get any info on this matter before. I also manage a niche site and if you are ever interested in doing a bit of visitor writing for me make sure you feel free to let me know, i’m always look for people to check out my web site. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!

  4. monique (Reply) on Wednesday 27, 2009

    i really like this place… but there’s a time that i had to contact them but their line is not available so sad.. Cry


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