Updated: Mar 7
Peoples Park Tagaytay is neglected, run-down and was abandoned before completion… So what is it about the place that keeps people coming back? Read on to see…
After being dropped at the front entry gate of Peoples Park Tagaytay, we paid our entry fee and made our way up the hill. The original designers had grand plans for this site but the years have not been kind. Still, the view is awesome…
Originally called the “Palace in the Sky”, the Park (People’s Park In The Sky) started being built in 1979 under Marcos. It was to commemorate the visit by the then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and serve as his guest house. Before completion, the EDSA People Power brought an end to the Marco reign and the Palace in the sky was abandoned. Shortly after the name was changed to People’s Park In The Sky and forgotten about.
My first impressions of the “Palace” – Walls crumbling and paint being eaten away by mould or simply just peeling off… Rusting railings and weeds everywhere… The place had an eerie feeling about it. You couldn’t help feeling sad for what could have been… But, strange as it might seem, I couldn’t help simply loving the place…
BUT, there are many things about the People’s Park I DIDN'T like. Let’s start at the beginning…
Arriving at the Park
We wanted to catch the sunrise from the People’s Park in the sky so we woke early and made our way to Olivares’ jeepney terminal, hoping the Jeepneys would be going at that time... They weren’t but we were lucky enough to see a tricycle passing so we caught it. We arrived at the entrance to catch the sunrise at 6.45 am only to find the park doesn’t open till 7:30 am (opens every day from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM) … So we waited. Before too long other visitors and tourists started showing up so we got in line.
Hmmm… I thought public parks were free to the public… Apparently, I was wrong.
Park entry 30 Php. Not a large amount of money and it must go towards maintaining the park I thought, so we paid the fee and passed through the gates.
Now that we were inside the gates we could either walk to the peak (it is a fairly long uphill walk) or catch a Jeepney for 5Php per person. We had already missed the sunrise so we decided to walk. Now, we got there in the early morning but by 10 am it was already starting to get pretty hot in the sun so if you come in the hotter months (April to May) Bring a hat or umbrella, especially if you plan to walk to the peak.
Shrine Of Our Lady
We stopped at the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love to take a few pictures and look around. After our brisk walk up the winding road, to see more stairs leading up to the Shrine was just painful. The shrine was built in 1974 and seems to be one of the most photographed buildings in the park. Rather distinctive with its green roofing and a larger-than-life statue of Christ.
Once you reach the peak and look out over the spectacular view in front of you, all bad feelings and disappointments are forgiven and forgotten. The scenery is amazing and Taal Lake and Volcano have never looked better… Believe me, just for the views alone Peoples Park is worth the effort to visit. At the peak, you will find the “Mansion”. It is from the balcony of the mansion that you will get the best panoramic views of the Cavite landscape.
On a bad note, if you are wanting a place with more activities, sorry, there is not a lot else to do except picnic, buy pasalubongs, or having your photo taken riding a horse (20 Php). And, yes, Cheche just had to ride the horse. 20 pesos for half an hour of riding a horse in small circles (yahhh).
Ohh, if you get hungry or thirsty at any time, don’t worry, there are plenty of stores selling food and drinks. If you want to use on one the “cottages” to sit and eat, be warned, there is a 100 Php fee for cottage use. I found this a little disappointing…
Everywhere you look they seem to want to charge you a fee for something you would think was free.
We continued our uphill climb to the peak until we reached the “Palace” (Mansion). Looking at this building you experience the total neglect and abandonment that occurred. With its mould-covered walls and rust encrusted railings it still has a certain charm.
Even though it has never been occupied it has a certain haunted feel about it. The People’s Park Tagaytay has more than just amazing views… It has character.
We decided to stop and take in the view while having lunch. We did all this from the Grandview Food-house. The food is good, the prices are reasonable and the view… Amazing!
Is The Peoples Park Tagaytay Worth Visiting?
I have read and heard many people complain about the park not being well maintained. I do agree that the Manson (Palace) and a few other buildings are in need of a lot of TLC (tender loving care) but, from my point of view that only added to the charm… As long as they don’t let it deteriorate any further. The garden areas were well kept and the eating/cottage area did have a bit of litter (They do signpost the fines for littering) but that is seen at any tourist attraction, I was a little disappointed with the constant fees you pay but it is a small price to pay and the view is breathtaking.
Also, you can also have your picture taken with a parrot or a snake for a modest fee.
People’s Park Tagaytay is not really a park, it is a tourist attraction. Would I return again? Yes, I would. Apart from a few negatives I still enjoyed my day there (even if I didn’t get to see the sunrise)
How to Get There
From Tagaytay circle, take a jeepney heading to the park. Fare is about 17 Php.
From Tagaytay circle, head to the northeast of Tagaytay via Tagaytay-Calamba road.
From Manila to Tagaytay City, it takes close to 2 hours. (From: Coastal Mall Metro Bus Station, Coastal Mall Terminal Road, Parañaque, Metro Manila To: Tagaytay, Cavite.)