PhilippinesTRAVELPeoples park Tagaytay

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.

Palace in the Sky

My first impressions of the “Palace” – Walls crumbling and paint being eaten away by mold or simply just peeling off… Rusting railings and weeds everywhere… The place had an eerie feeling about it.

Tagaytay’s Peoples Park in the Sky has fallen into mediocre neglect: not the kind of abject disrepair that would attract morbid ‘poverty tourists’, or urban adventurers in search of modern ruins to explore. Rather, it’s a bland assortment of charmless curio merchants and peddlers of uninspired tourist kitsch, amidst the hollowed-out frame of a disused hill station. Oh, and there seems to be no decent food available on the premises.

Peoples park is broken down

It’s quite frustrating because the grounds of the mansion itself are rather scenic, especially when the fog rolls in. 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… Indeed, the steep journey up to the Peoples Park in the Sky entrance has a beautifully eerie atmosphere — yes, even with the crowds — and it’s the only reason I’d recommend a visit.

There are many things about the People’s Park I DIDN’T like. Let’s start at the beginning…

people's park in the sky aerial view ©️ Ana Paula

Peoples Park Tagaytay Explored

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.

peoples park tagaytay entrance

The wide gate is provided for tourist vehicles and the small gate is for tourists who choose to walk to the top to enjoy the view of  Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano.

People's Park Entrance Fee

Hmmm… I thought public parks were free to the public… Apparently, I was wrong. Park entry is just ₱30 (not even a dollar). 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 ₱15  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).

On the other side, we enjoyed a nice view of Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano.  Be cautious of the passing vehicles and those blind curves, especially when it’s foggy.

A friendly reminder, please 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.

Shrine Of Our Lady
Statue of Christ
Shrine Of Our Lady
Shrine Of Our Lady
Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love
Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love

People's Park View

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.

peoples park view

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…

tagaytay
a bit of color
the amphitheater

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 mold-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!

Tagaytay Highlands view from People's park in the Sky
Tagaytay Highlands view from People's park in the Sky
People's park in the Sky horses for rent
People's park in the Sky horses for rent

Is The People's Park in the Sky in 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 need 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 degree 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 have your picture taken with a parrot or a snake for a modest fee.

The Verdict…

Tagaytay’s People’s Park in the Sky is not really a park, it is a tourist attraction. Would I return? Yes, I would. Apart from a few negatives I still enjoyed my day there (even if I didn’t get to see the sunrise.

People's park in the Sky Tagaytay Shrine of our lady

Located at the highest point in Tagaytay, this popular destination provides tourists with stunning views of both Taal and the surrounding city.

  • Location: Mount Sungay (Mount Gonzales), Tagaytay – Calamba Road, Mt. Sungay, Brgy. Dapdap East
  • Fee(s): P30
  • Operation hours: 8 am-5 pm, daily
  • Best for: Family outings, chill vacay, random trips
  • Adventure level: Mild
  • Highlight(s): Take in the breathtaking view.
  • Insider info: You may ride the jeepney to take you to the highest point.
  • Activity tips: Bring a light jacket as it can get cold.

How to get in People's park in the Sky?

Jeepney: From Tagaytay circle, take a jeepney heading to the park. Fare is about 17 Php.

Car: From Tagaytay circle, head to the northeast of Tagaytay via Tagaytay-Calamba road.

Bus: 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.)

Peoples Park Tagaytay Horse Rides

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