People's park in the Sky Tagaytay

Peoples Park in the Sky in Tagaytay

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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!

Update Dec 2020: Still, in our opinion, a must-see for everyone visiting Tagaytay. The spot still isn’t properly maintained or kept as clean as you would hope, but, let’s face it, the entrance fee is low compared to most tourist spots. So, how about we stop focusing on the shortfalls and start appreciating the AMAZING view.

HISTORY

Originally called the “Palace in the Sky”, the Park (People’s Park In The Sky) started being built in 1979 under Marcos. Imelda Marcos decided to build a mansion on top of Mount Sungay, which was at that time land owned by the government. The summit before was used by the Bureau of Air Transport as a radar station.

Construction in the mansion began in 1981, and the work was difficult due to the height of the summit. Roads were built especially for this purpose enabling suppliers to reach the summit of the 2,500 ft Mount Gonzales. The mountain was leveled by bulldozers, and farmers living on the mountainside were asked to relocate

The mansion has commemorated by the visit of then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and serves as his guest house. Before completion, the EDSA People Power brought an end to the Marcos 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.

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

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 charms 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.

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Travel advisory:  This whole coronavirus thing is making us a bit tired and anxious, and we’re sure you’re feeling the same. Ultimately, we’re not sure what’s going to happen over the coming months. Most of us will be OK, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be stressful and difficult. Here, we update this post for more information for anyone who has travel planned or might be planning on traveling, over the next few months. Please be aware of any coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories and review updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process. Find out more

Peoples park is broken down
It is somewhat difficult to imagine what this Palace mansion was supposed to look like.

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 People’s Park Tagaytay I DIDN’T like. Let’s start at the beginning…

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 (open 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.

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Sit back and enjoy our video

Peoples 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.

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You can surely have a good time visiting People's Park in the Sky
You can surely have a good time visiting People's Park in the Sky
Peoples Park in the Sky in Tagaytay
Nice place for a horse ride
Cottages at People's Park in the sky.
Cottages at People's Park in the sky.

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.

– Peoples Park Tagaytay –

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.

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People's Park in the Sky - cheche
People's Park in the Sky presenting a wide view of the Taal volcano and Tagaytay Highlands.
People's Park walk up to the Shrine
brisk walk up the winding road, to see more stairs leading up to the Shrine

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!

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Peoples Park Tagaytay – Is It Worth It?

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.

 

Peoples Park Tagaytay Horse Rides
People’s Park is also home to a PAGASA doppler weather radar station.

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 for ₱20 (half a dollar). And, yes, I just had to ride the horse. ₱20 for half an hour of riding a horse in small circles (yeah). Oh, 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 one of the “cottages”, be warned, there is a ₱100 fee for cottage use. And there are some people who followed us demanding money. It seemed that no matter where we went, we were purely seen as a payday. As an Aussie, Gary found this disappointing. (According to him, most of the Australia National Park does not charge entry fees and remain free to visitors). Everywhere you look they seem to want to charge you a fee for something you would think was free.

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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.

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.

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The broken sign that greets visitors to the People’s Park.
eoples Park Tagaytay Walking to the top

Peoples Park Tagaytay – How to get there?

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.)

Don’t forget your insurance! You never know when you’ll need it. We suggest getting travel insurance.  Which coverage includes medical, trip cancellation, your belongings from theft or damage, baggage,  car rental coverage, and much more…

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