I love horses. There’s something ephemeral-ethereal about the look of their eyes that get to me. Don’t you get the feeling that they’re aware of otherworldly things? They look subtly ever-pensive, even as they trot on mechanically. And that stance, the musculature of a beast that seemed to be created specifically to be with people — does it not strike you as curious? Hence, horseback riding is one of my favorite touristy activities, even though experience dictates that the actual activity isn’t always worth what you pay for.

Fujiko the Horse, Taal Lake and Crater

Fujiko the Horse, Taal Lake and Crater

Was it worth it? For the view, I’d say maybe. But for someone who’s been to Tagaytay a thousand times and is acrophobic, it wasn’t necessarily spectacular from the vantage point of a borderless cliffside which I couldn’t even approach. Can you imagine paying a hundred pesos for every ten minutes of going around in muddy circles (which the caretakers there kept insisting that it was a good, long, track, for an additional Php100 fee, of course. We paid for it and ended up in a smallish field that was uneven to ride on). It was drizzly, too, which is a totally okay-situation for me, except my cute horse-caretaker kid insisted I stop riding despite my protests of it being okay. I thought it would be for the horse’s health, but he rode the horse round and round the track under the rain, after I dismounted, so I don’t know how to feel about that. He was a very small kid. 8 years old, he said. His horse’s name was Fujiko, which was kind of poetic. In Japanese, it means “Child of [Mt.] Fuji”, which is a volcano, and we were in Tagaytay. So, uhm, yay for life metaphors!

Unless you are extremely bored or have the extra money to dispense, I don’t recommend horseback riding in Picnic Grove. There are better places for wannabe-equestrians such as us. I do, however, recommend having a picnic at the beautiful plant-laden picnic area near the eco-trail. Time spent with friends and family eating out al fresco, amid wildish greenery that I feel would be a rarity in a few years, will not fail to rejuvenate any stressed human being. We are creatures of nature, whether we admit to that or not. A good laugh here and there, a breath of fresh air–perhaps the occasional trip to Tagaytay is worth it despite shelling out a bit of extra money (that could have been saved for a better, farther trip, is my main grievance).

Do you feel the same way? What do you guys think of Tagaytay, its horses, and its tourist-destination status?

Well, until the next post!



2 thoughts on “Tagaytay Picnic Grove: Horseback Riding

  1. I’m with you in believing there’s more to a horse’s eye than just vacant obedience. I remember welling up in tears seeing the sad eyes of a horse pulling a calesa at rush hour in Lawton. Horses are dignified animals that should be running freely, not pulling calesas and getting whipped. :(


    • Yes, thank you, finally! I pass by Lawton everyday en route to Instituto Cervantes, and I always wonder how people can stand looking those horses in the eye. There’s too much in there to not be alarmed by the indignity to which Manila horses are put. It’s very very sad. Dignity, yes, that’s the right word for them!

      Thanks for stopping by my baby blog, AJ!


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