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Tagaytay Picnic Grove sports new look
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Rachel Castro-Barawid
Date: 2002-10-05
Despite the mushrooming of exotic havens for relaxation, posh hotels and resorts, specialty restaurants and various picnic areas in Tagaytay city, the Tagaytay Picnic Grove has still managed to maintain its rank as the favorite destination for family reunions, school fieldtrips and budget travel.

Busloads of students, tourists and scores of families as well as couples and honeymooners have never stopped trooping to this special interest resort since its inception in 1968. No doubt, the Tagaytay Picnic Grove (TPG) has established itself as among the sought-after perennial attractions in one of the most popular tourist cities of the country, Tagaytay.

The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) which manages and operates the property, has recently inaugurated another special feature that is definitely going to draw more visitors to the resort.

PTA general manager Nixon Kua recently presided over the opening of the resortís Eco-Adventure Trail, a 404-meter trail which starts from the childrenís playground snaking all the way to the main View Deck. Visitors who are traversing the trail will also come across a suspension bridge and will be treated to the cool, fresh air and lush foliage surrounding the trail. Other special guests during the inauguration are Tagaytay Vice-Mayor Virgilio Ambion, Deputy general manager Lydia T. Cosuco, and Rev. Fr. Royce Quintillan OFM, Cap. Also present were TPG resident manager Ed Piamonte and members of the Tagaytay tourism council and several environmental organizations.

Although admitting that there are still lots of room for improvement in this property, Kua disclosed that his department has been constantly developing the resort; renovating its existing facilities like the horseback riding shed and souvenir shops; and refurbishing its cottages and rooms since 1989.

Kua said the eco-trail is just one of the features that will give Tagaytay Picnic Grove a new look. For this year, PTA will build additional cottages, picnic sheds and comfort rooms to cater to the ever-increasing number of visitors to the place. According to Kua, more than 2000 visitors flock to the resort on ordinary days. During the peak season, especially on holidays, the resortís tourist arrivals swell to about 10,000-15,000 people.

With edutainment (education and entertainment) in mind, Kua also noted that they will add rarely seen animals like musangs and monkeys in the resortís childrenís park and build an aviary. He said he will enlist the help of the University of Los BaŮos professors and students in taking care of these animals and the trees around the resort. He added that a man-made waterfalls will also be built under the suspension bridge to further enhance the aesthetic beauty of the eco-trail.

The PTA head will strictly enforce the city ordinance on littering to address the garbage problem of the resort. Deputees will be deployed in all areas of the resort to arrest littering visitors.

Located on Brgy. Sungay, East-end of Tagaytay City in Cavite, Tagaytay Picnic Grove is nestled on a hill overlooking the Taal Volcano and the coastal towns of Batangas. The 13.5-hectare property has various facilities for conferences, meetings and recreation. It has eight duplex cottages, with two cozy rooms in each cottage. Each room is equipped with private toilet and bath, cable TV and a veranda. Several picnic sheds, tables, pavilions are scattered all over the resort. There are two dining outlets; the 80-sitter Alamat Restaurant and Bar which serves ala carte menu and the View Deck restaurant which also doubles as a function hall for conferences or parties. Visitors can play indoor games such as billiards and video games at the recreation center. Families can set-up camp after picnicking at the Camping area or go skating, horseback-riding or biking. Children can go to the playground for more fun or go to the butterfly sanctuary for an educational as well as an enriching experience.

A concessionaire which opened only last March, the Butterfly Sanctuary is owned and operated by Jo Mancilla. What started out as a hobby and love-affair with gardens became a permanent and thriving business for Mancilla. The sanctuary features a live metamorphosis of a butterfly, a beautiful mini-garden full of grown butterflies and a souvenir shop.

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