Day 3 – Adventures in Tagaytay

On Day 3, our first full day in the Philippines, we started our adventures in a beautiful city called Tagaytay.  This rural area has vast untouched landscapes.  Here we’ll be doing some sight-seeing and recreation before gearing down to do our service work.  Tagaytay is a 2 hour drive from the hotel.

Spoke too soon, that’s a 2 hour drive WITHOUT traffic!
Good time to get some shut-eye. This is what a student leader looks like when their last sleep was way back in Toronto
Street vendors take advantage of the traffic as they weave in, out, and between cars
Boiled Peanuts anyone?
01 - Pineapples
During the drive, we were able to see some beautiful scenery. Believe it or not, these are pineapple fields.
First stop: A beautiful sanctuary where the Canossian sisters live and do their work
10 - Mano
We are welcomed by Sister Haydee Librojo, Mike and Bernie’s dear friend who use to work at both St. Barnabas and Our Lady of Assumption. “Mano Po” (a Filipino sign of respect shown to those older than you are)
02 - Stairs
The landscapes and architecture here at the sanctuary are beautiful
Sister Haydee shows us around
03 - Hallway
A very easy place to ground yourself and open your spirituality
And a perfect place to take a picture
And a selfie!
Now we know why we travelled all the way to Tagaytay!
Simply beautiful
Jeffery! (Jairuz is rubbing off on you)
Imagine living here.
We met and conversed with a group of ladies discerning to enter the life of the church. Their lives and background were so diverse.
Now off to get some snacks prepared for us by the sisters
But first another photo-op
Before heading upstairs for some refreshments
Many of us were introduced to this white fleshy fruit called guyabano
This is what Guyabano (aka sour-sop) looks like uncut
Mark (aka Father Balano) seems to like this super anti-oxidant
Nicole on the other hand…… 🙂
We were also treated to some delicious Lengua de Gato (translated as “cat tongue”) which tasted like shortbread cookies
And Kyla-Anne’s favourite: Skyflakes
And no Filpino merienda (translation: day time snack) is complete without Milo to drink
We thank sister Haydee for her hospitality and words of wisdom: “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” “Name it, claim it, tame it, then aim it.”
Next stop, mass at Our Lady of Lourdes parish
The church was packed. We arrived just as the previous mass was just about to end
Standing room only for the 10:00 am mass
Luckily because we arrived early for the 11:30 mass, we were all able to get a seat
Mass was 1.5 hours long but felt like an hour
The boys get to play some b-ball back at the spiritual centre as the girls change from their “Sunday Best” into some more recreational clothing
Up next: Skyranch amusement park
The home of Philippines’ tallest Ferris wheel
04 - Ferris Wheel
You can’t tell from this picture but Erica is freaking out!
05 - View
Gorgeous view of Taal Volcano from the top of the Ferris wheel
Lunch time aka chicken time (again!) Why they chose KFC beats me 🙂
No where to sit so let’s use the floor
KFC isn’t KFC without kanin (rice) – Toronto take note!
Next stop, Picnic Grove to do some horseback riding
You’re smiling now, wait till your rear end gets sore
Let’s giddy-up!
Jairuz: Hey Kyla-Anne, I bet I can beat you in a race
Shaelyn, Erica, and Joe
Lindsay posing as she gets her helmet adjusted
Horseback riding, beautiful landscape, a sunset, what can be better than this?
I know, a foot spa!
Tickles like crazy but a highly effective exfoliant!
Shaelyn, you can do it!
7 - Fish Feet
Let’s take a closer look at what’s really going on down there
06 - Fish K & A
Keep your feet in!
The funniest picture ever!
Everyone in the spa was deaf after Danielle’s screams!
Everyone is finally getting used to the sensation
09 - Fish Jai
The foot spa even comes with a foot massage – Jairuz, wake up!
Relaxing for Jairuz but still ticklish for Alanna
And same with Shaelyn
Joe on the other hand loved the special treatment
Awww, time to relax

Time to head back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow’s big day in El Dorado.

Each student brought 2 pieces of luggage. One for clothes and one with personal gifts and donations
Student leaders unpack and sort their donations
It was unbelievable how much stuff we brought over
We had hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste thanks to a drive at Danielle’s school (Blessed Mother Teresa – DCDSB), and donations from Colgate-Palmolive (thanks to Merle Gonsalvez for hooking it up)
I know “Ball is life” Kat, but those are for brushing
We also had toys
Various stuff animals (if you can call that an animal)
We had socks and various types of clothing
Different games including a wooden hand crafted chess set
And even letters from elementary students from Danielle’s school
And MORE toys!
Now that’s Christmas love! All from Toronto
Student leaders be PROUD! You’re all amazing!

    El Dorado, here we come!

17 thoughts on “Day 3 – Adventures in Tagaytay

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  1. Kyla-anne, Melissa and the rest of the student leaders. I am so proud of you all. After such a long flight you managed to have a fantastic day of fun in the sun in Tagaytay. Thank you for sharing the photos and memories Michael.

    I can’t believe how many toys, clothing and other donations you all managed to pack and carry with you for the families in the Philippines. You will most definitely put many smiles on faces later today.

    I look forward to following your progress of your spiritual adventure over the next two weeks and know that all of your families are thinking of you and wishing you well in building many homes and touching the hearts of all those that you meet.

    Keep up the great work, you are all wonderful leaders and you should be very proud of yourselves for all the good you will be doing in the upcoming days.

    Love mom
    Sandy Kelly

  2. Thank you for allowing us to share in these student’s memories of a lifetime.

    All the best on this experience!

  3. So much happened on day 3! We shared great laughs, had fun, and still managed to get work done. We were all wiped out by the end of the day, but that’s only the beginning of our project… And yes, ball is life! #BILinthePhilippines

  4. It was fun touring tagaytay today! I never knew it was so cold up there…felt like toronto in the fall. It was really fun visiting sister Haydee. I once again experienced the beauty of spontaneity when we visited her. She gave us a piece of her wisdom and it was great walking around in the gardens…I really felt peace with God and creation!
    We got to play bout 5 mins of basketball to aha #Day3

  5. After minutes of persuasion and convincing from everyone else, I eventually tried the fish spa! It was so ticklish!

  6. It was really fun visiting Tagaytay for the first time and trying new activities such as the fish spa. The fish spa gave the group memorable and unforgettable laughters and relaxation.

  7. Tagaytay was great, the ferris wheel was really fun. I wanted to go ziplining, but we couldn’t…
    Fish spa was the best part of the day for sure. Really cool and relaxing

  8. Super happy you guys got to go to Tagaytay! Such an amazing place; I took some great shots there that, to this day, are my desktop wallpaper on my laptop!

    Too bad you guys didn’t go ziplining, but all more the reason to go back to the Philippines to do so!

  9. That was my very first real ferris wheel ride! I’ve been terrified of ferris wheels for years! Horseback riding was definitely my favourite part, I was taught how to ride the horse without help. I want to go again so badly! The experience was awesome but bonding with my PH fam was even better. ❤

  10. Tagaytay was an amazing place to visit! The scenery was beautiful. Meeting Sister Haydee was great, I’m very grateful for her hospitality and her wisdom she shared with us. The fish spa was definitely my favourite part of the day, the feeling of the little fish nibbling at your feet is hard to explain with words! Overall, the day was awesome, but being stuck in a broken down bus for a few hours was not.

  11. TAGAYTAY!! It had the BEST scenery by faaaar! Going to the top of the mountain and seeing the beautiful waters surrounded by mountains and a volcano was something you don’t see normally in Canada. I was just so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to see such beautiful landscapes and experiencing it with such wonderful people. Although Jai was trying to kill me by finding bugs and running after me with them. 😛

    Seeing sister Hydee was also very amazing, she was such an inspiration. “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” *snap snap snap* Those words were so deep.

    Horseback riding was incredible! Riding a hoarse while it as going literally as fast as a car felt amazing!! It was like you were flying. At first I was SCARED to death but I told myself, “Be one with the horse” I literally became one with the horse. I felt its pain and suffering as it was forced to carry strangers around for hours everyday and not get fed well. It was as skinny as me and yet it was carrying me and another 14 year old. It was definitely an incredible experience.

  12. I loved Tagaytay! The weather and the scenery was beyond amazing. I was happy for that 2 hour bus ride considering the fact that the last time I slept was in Toronto! I was excited to meet sister Haydee and definitely reflected on her words of wisdom. This was my first time going to a filipino mass. It was better than I expected because it was in english and and decor of the church was beautiful.

    My favourite part of the day was the foot spa. At first I was nervous to put my foot in but after a while it felt great. I even switched from the small fishes to the bigger ones. As for horseback riding, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it but I sucked up my pride and tried it. Once the person let go of the horse and the horse started moving I couldn’t do it anymore. LOL, at least I can say I went horseback riding right?
    All in all a great day 🙂

  13. Day 3 has been a blast! The beautiful scenery we saw in Tagaytay was something most people only see in pictures. I felt like this was one of the days we all bonded together as a group because being stuck in a bus with 13 tired people really brings everyone together.

    Sister Haydee’s wise words will stay with me forever. She was very intelligent and made me think about why I was doing this trip. The landscape was definitely something to admire. It was really amazing to see how many people came out to church and it really showed the importance of religion within the Filipino culture.

    Horse back riding was a fun experience even though I was scared for the most part because all my horse wanted to do was run. I felt sad for the horse because having to carry people for hours must be hard work but it was great talking to the people helping us out. My favourite part would probably be the foot spa because I’ve been wanting to try it out for a long time. It was very ticklish and watching everyone’s reaction was hilarious. I liked the small fish best because it felt like my foot was asleep. Organizing the gifts was fun because we knew we were going to make a lot of kids happy.

  14. Day 3 was so much fun! Tagaytay was such a beautiful place and the weather was nice. It kicked off with meeting Sister Haydee who shared with us some words of wisdom. I am grateful for her hospitality as she was just such a genuine person.

    Besides the gorgeous and priceless views of Tagaytay on top of the Ferris wheel and the horse ride along the pineapple plantations the fish spa was my favourite part of the day. Those fish had a feast on my feet and after that foot massage, my feet felt silky smooth. It’s only day 3 but what a blast!

  15. Even though I was just at Tagaytay 2 days before we went as a group, it was still more fun with the PH fam! I had a relaxing and peaceful time at the House of Spirituality and learning about Sister Haydee’s lifestyle as a nun. It was nice going to church as a group as well. SkyRanch was fun too! The overlooking view of the Taal Volcano from the top of the ferris wheel is beautiful!! Strolling around the amusement park was a great way for us to bond as a family. Despite the pain we had to deal with, I really enjoyed horseback riding! The guy assisting me with my horse (the horse’s name is Krispy Kreme haha) was really nice, we had a nice conversation about his family abroad and his job. I was both really excited and really scared for the Fish Spa! When the little fish were eating off my dead skin, it felt like pins and needles. It took time for me to get used to it, I wanted to pull my feet up off the water because it tickled soooo much! I switched to the big fish and this time I actually felt them chewing on my feet. It started to feel relaxing; I didn’t want to get up anymore but I had to move on to the free foot massage. That felt sooo good too! I thought I would feel ticklish during the massage but I didn’t! I want to go back and do it allll over again!

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