From fresh produce at Mahogany Market to family staycation | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

CHEF Rob Angeles (second from right) with his team LINDA BOLIDO
CHEF Rob Angeles (second from right) with his team LINDA BOLIDO

This holiday season, why not make your Christmas truly merry and your New Year happy by avoiding the hassles of long-distance travel?


Let’s face it, whether you are going from one end of the country to the other or abroad, the trip often gets your holiday off to a bad start. And putting up with the same irritations and inconveniences on your return trip leaves you feeling like you badly need another vacation.

As travels during the season of cheer and joy are usually family affairs and involve herding rambunctious kids, you are better off looking for destinations that can be reached more quickly and easily.


If you have a car, Tagaytay City may be the ideal place to spend   some downtime, bond with the family and enjoy nature that is still relatively unspoiled.


THE VEGETABLE section of Mahogany Market LINDA BOLIDO

Just about an hour away from Makati City, you will get to Tagaytay—unless there is some major traffic jam—long before the kids start feeling bored and impatient. The cold, crisp weather of the city, the fresh air you do not get in Metro Manila, and the lush vegetation will help get you in holiday mode before you arrive at your destination.


The best thing about Tagaytay these days is, unlike before when comfortable accommodations were limited, as only a few lodging places were available, you now have more and better choices.


One such option is Robinsons Land Corp.’s (RLC) Summit Ridge that offers guests a breathtaking view of Tagaytay’s main draw, Taal Volcano and the lake surrounding it. The hotel is also within driving distance of the other popular attractions of the city and neighboring towns.


Sparkling offers


POPS del Rosario and Lisette Arena, marketing manager LINDA BOLIDO

Summit Ridge has prepared Sparkles of Joy room packages— Christmas’ Brilliant Bundle, New Year’s Let It Sparkle and the suite Staycation, all offering freebies for holiday guests.


Since food is at the heart of any celebration, Summit Ridge executive chef Rob Angeles and his culinary team in Cravings group’s C2, which operates the hotel’s food outlets, are preparing special Christmas and New Year menus.


Angeles, the 6’3” former shooting guard of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Blazers basketball team that was the 2000 National Collegiate Athletic Association champion, seems as sure-handed in the kitchen as he was on the court.


His holiday menu is an interesting mix of traditional and modern fare that includes soup; salad with 10 dressing choices; carvings; entree; and desserts.


Of course, occupying pride of place is the lechon. Chicken galantina is also available for those who do not eat pork.


Entrees for Christmas and New Year are a mix of chicken, pork and fish to ensure everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, will have something to enjoy.


LIWANAG shows off pieces of cream dory that are ready for frying LINDA BOLIDO

Three desserts are offered. Special breakfast spreads also await visitors, as well as a fireworks display to complete the traditional welcome ritual for a New Year.


Angeles says guests can expect holiday menus that include dishes “from the days of our lolo and lola—Filipino with a little Western twist and unique touch.”


But if you want to prepare your own holiday spread, if cooking is your way of unwinding or because it is a family tradition, Staycation in the two-bedroom suite lets you indulge your passion.


Roseann Villegas, RLC’s director for corporate public relations, says, “Suites are designed to be homes away from home.”


Each suite, with bedrooms normally set up for two adults and two kids but expandable to accommodate eight, has a counter-top two electric-plate stove with range hood, microwave oven, refrigerator, kitchen sink, cooking and eating utensils.


CORAAng Ley, outgoing general manager LINDA BOLIDO

Getting the ingredients for your cordon bleu dish or lutong-bahay specialty is easy enough with the well-stocked Promenade supermarket, right in the hotel complex.


Then there is the Mahogany Market, whose fresh produce section is a delight for the senses. Apparently still unknown to many, including regular Tagaytay visitors, the market, just a few meters away from Summit Ridge, no doubt gets its supplies from the vegetable farms and orchards in the city and environs.


Since neighboring Batangas is a major meat supplier, the separate fresh meat section is an extensive affair where people can get every cut of beef  and pork that their special dishes need.


Modern amenities


THE CHRISTMAS menu includes cream of asparagus soup, chicken galantina, chicken cordon bleu with vegetable trio, cajun crusted fish fillet with dill mustard sauce and fruit compote. LINDA BOLIDO

The hotel also offers what many of today’s kids need— Wi-Fi and cable TV. Villegas adds that, aside from the pool, including one for kids, games to keep youngsters entertained are also available.

For the pious to whom Christmas and New Year are religious holidays above all, Pops del Rosario, hotel manager, says the Caleruega Church of the Dominican order  in Nasugbu, Batangas, is just a short drive away. Even closer is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, parish church of Tagaytay, run by the Capuchin priests, Order of Franciscan Minors.


Also within driving distance is the factory of Ilog ni Maria, which produces various organic honey-based products such as shampoos, soaps, massage oils, liniments and candles, and pure honey.


E-mail [email protected] or call tel. 2406888 or 3971888 local 5 or 0922-8526800.