After a season of chasing waves and waterfalls from Taytay to Baler, B/BIYAHE dives back into the staple destinations of summers past. Amid the higher altitude in Tagaytay, new concepts have risen rapidly in the past couple years, from mini-amusement parks to art galleries. And further down south to the old reliable that is Batangas, a new rush awaits.
Serving as quick getaways with fresh goings-on, Tagaytay and Batangas were due for a revisit. For the last trip of the season, we hit the highway with Kito Zialcita, former captain of the DLSU swim team.
Despite recently entering the workforce via the insurance industry, Kito sure hasn’t forgotten to have fun. It’s the kind of mindset we value here at B/BIYAHE, because even if summer’s over, good times and new discoveries should never be a stretch.
GETTING HIGH ON PINOY FOOD AT BALAY DAKO
Traveling to Tagaytay was certainly no slog—just a breezy drive through the SLEX and a winding jaunt up the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. You’ve made the drive many times just for bulalo so this place should feel like home. More so at Balay Dako, Negrense for “big house,” the new restaurant opened by internationally acclaimed chef Tonyboy Escalante.
Driving through Balay Dako’s imposing iron gates feels like entering an aunt’s country estate, if you had an aunt who was rich, elegant, and a bit of a lush. With a view of Taal Lake reminiscent of Neverland and ascetic waitstaff clad in pristine white, Balay’s aim to elevate Filipino food is pretty clear. And tastes pretty clear considering classics given new kick, from a hefty sizzling bulalo with ample marrow to turon stuffed with tikoy and langka.
Add to that a terrace on the second floor that serves #LoveLocal-inspired libations such as a Kalinaw Mojito topped with buko juice and the Tropical Hotdog Night, which shakes San Juan aged lambanog with Manille calamansi liqueur, and mango nectar shrub.
BOATING IN BATANGAS WITH SKIPPER CHARTERS
It’s hard not to spend a day feeding on the comforts of the Big House. Still, onwards B/BIYAHE went, an hour’s drive to Batangas. While we’re still waiting on an official BENCH BOAT, our dreams of sailing the high seas in style are kept afloat by Skipper Charters.
Currently docking at Punta Fuego’s South Marina (soon, in El Nido, or your seaside departure point of choice), Skipper lets you take a luxury boat around the bay like you own it. Seating a maximum of 10, the cost of boat rental can easily be covered by rounding up a group of friends. Hop on one of these world-class, locally made Trevally boats for trips that span an hour’s worth of wakeboarding to a day’s tour along the coast.
Of course, a sunset cruise was the proper way to cap off the hottest season and the B/BIYAHE series. Following a joy ride where Kito squeezed in a few runs on the wake, our trusty boat operator took us to La Germania, a scenic cove where you can park your boat, dip your feet, and crack some beers open.
Syncing his iPhone’s playlist through the boat’s complimentary Airplay, Kito let the songs of his summer waft from speakers, making for the perfect sailing soundtrack. With the sun immortalizing our surroundings—and the summer with it—in a golden hue, there was nothing left to do but jump back in the water.
Check out the Philippine Watersport Hub, the official distributor of Trevally Boats and operator of Skipper Charters: www.philippinewatersporthub.com