People’s Park in the Sky: On Top of the World!
The People’s Park in the Sky is formerly named as the Palace in the Sky, an unfinished mansion of former president Ferdinand Marcos. It was built as a guesthouse for former US President Ronald Reagan and his wife, but their visit did not push through. Today, it has become a popular destination of people who are looking for some sightseeing and who want a good view of the Taal Volcano.
The place is located in a remote part and the highest point of Tagaytay, but there are jeepneys going to the place so travel should not be a problem. During our visit last time, we asked around for directions and were directed to a jeepney terminal around the Olivares area. It’s a little far from the town center but we were able to reach the terminal by foot.
Upon arrival, we looked for the jeepney bound for People’s Park in the Sky and it’s a good thing that the jeepney was already half full—no need to wait for long (the jeepney has to be full before it leaves). The fare was less than 20 pesos per person, and the travel was around 30 minutes (I guess, can’t really remember). The park was at the endmost part of the way, so we were the last passengers to go down the jeepney.
Entrance to the park was 15 pesos. And from the entrance, there was still a long way to walk up. It would have been an easy and enjoyable walk with the refreshing scenery around. But, it was very hot that day and all we really wanted was to reach the park and escape the heat. So, we decided not to walk and to simply take the jeepney that runs from the entrance going up the main park—fare was 40 pesos each and the jeep would not wait for more passengers. The jeepney immediately left upon our boarding it with my friend and me as the only passengers.
First impressions? Clear sky, majestic view, fresh air, green all around—perfect! The first thing that really captured my interest was the breathtaking view—sloping greens and mountains with the road trailing a path like a snake, the Taal volcano and Taal lake in the distance, all against a backdrop of white, fluffy, cumulus clouds and clear blue sky. Well, there’s nothing more to ask for!
Aside from the scenery around, there were also other interesting things to see at the park. There was a section there with so many souvenir items being sold—from bags and hats to the usual key chains and local works of art. There were also cottages to stay on, perfect for a picnic. There were signs indicating that the stay in each cottage costs 100 pesos, but nobody asked us to pay. Maybe they only asked payment during peak seasons or weekends—good thing we went there on a Monday.
There was also a mini amphitheater, which was already dilapidated and looked like it needs some restoration (as with other features in the park). While we were in the cottage, we noticed a number of cats roaming around. And not long after that, they were all around us looking and probably waiting for food. We gave them some of the chicken adobo pandesal that we had back from Sonya’s Garden, and they ate! Cute little pets!
There were other things to see at the park, but we were not able to see everything because it rained. It was just a light rain, but we had no umbrella with us and it got very cold. So, we just decided to sit there and wait out the rain while enjoying the view. But then before we knew it, it was getting dark and the souvenir shops and stores were already closing. Too bad we missed checking out the main mansion.
Before leaving, we went up to the shrine and took some more pictures. Then, we walked down to the entrance gate, only to find it already locked! Good thing we discovered a narrow passage going out, and we were able to leave safely. It was a great and exciting adventure, and the place was great.
It’s just a little old, and the age is already showing—there were rusted railings, and the signage was not anymore complete with some letters already missing. With some restoration and renovation, though, it can be brought back to its original shape.