Mommy on the Road: The Smallest Volcano

Karsten and I just got back from a delightful weekend-long trip to Taal in Batangas, and Tagaytay, a cooler city just an hour and a half outside of Metro Manila. Known for its tiny volcano (the world’s smallest active one!), I had been there many times, and also with Karsten last year.

But this time, we sidetracked from the usual places, visiting the heritage home Villa Tortuga in Taal town, learning about our Filipino history and the some of the key people whose homes are still existing here, and even dressed up in Filipino turn-of-the-century costumes for a photo op. (Yes, my boy is wearing lace, but didn’t the little prince also wear a dress?)

Late afternoon, we checked into the lovely Nurture Spa for pampering. The Nilaib, my spa treatment of choice, lasted for a blissful 90 minutes. Hot pouches made of banana leaves filled with herbs were steamed, and placed on my body in a wonderfully warm sensation that allowed me to drift in and out of consciousness. Without even having tried the offered Qi exercises yet, I was sure I had already found my peak of meditation and harmony.

We tucked into the Greek Restaurant Mano’s, along the highway, and Bag of Beans, a coffeeshop-resto where I picked up herbal soaps and Karsten chatted with the resident parrot.

There’s also two zoos just between Cavite and Tagaytay, Paradizoo and the Residence Inn, so we passed there and visited the animals, watched the cable car and zipliners, and met a five-legged cow! Karsten was so excited to sit on the miniature horse, but he got a bit traumatized when it tried to chew his leg!

We were lucky to have a nanny and driver helping us get there, as much of our recent travels have been just the two of us, and quite exhausting. I’m grateful for the more relaxing trips like this, where getaways really are restful, and getting back home doesn’t mean having to recover from them!


Nurture Spa: Barangay Maitim II West, Tagaytay City. Call 0917.NURTURE, or email

Paradizoo: Km 63 Panugyan, Mendez, Cavite;;; 899-9824; 8999595; 0917 8351111)

Villa Tortuga: M. Agoncillo St. corner V. Noble St., Taal, Batangas. Call 725 0819, 0917 8246900, or email


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