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RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain. A unique insight into the fragility of the extraordinary human brain. A true st...

Friday, March 29, 2013



Tagaytay City is a good place for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila especially so since SM Land opened Sky Ranch and Sky Eye last March 2, 2013. 

The easiest way to go to Tagaytay City is via FX Van for Php 200.00 from Starmall, Shaw Blvd. Starmall is in front of Shangri-La Mall in Edsa. But you could also opt to ride the bus.

Here are the options:

Option #1: FX Van from Starmall, Shaw Boulevard
Option #2:
FX Van from EDSA Pasay Rotonda to Nasugbu or Lemery route
Option #3: Buses from Harrison Plaza
to Mendez-Tagaytay 
Option #4: Buses in EDSA Pasay, behind Sogo and Mcdonalds like Crow Transit and DLTB 
Option #5: Buses from TAFT BUENDIA - JAM Transit going to Batangas
Option #6: Buses from Lawton like Kirby Bus to Tagaytay

Tagaytay City is very accessible via public transport.
  •  If you take the FX, you can ask the driver to drop you off at Olivarez Plaza or Tagaytay Rotonda.
  • Then you can take a trike or jeepney (Php8.00) to go to Sky Ranch

TAGAYTAY SKY RANCH: My Sky Eye Experience

TAGAYTAY SKY RANCH: My Sky Eye Experience

We recently visited Tagaytay Sky Ranch. You wouldn't miss this amusement park because it is just beside Taal Vista Hotel along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay City

The center of attention is the Sky Eye which commands a huge presence along the ridge. The Sky Eye is the tallest Ferris Wheel (also known as Observation Wheel) in the country at 63 meters (207 ft) with 32 gondolas or capsules beating the Mall of Asia (MOA) Eye at 55 meters (180 ft) with 36 gondolas and the Enchanted Kingdom's Wheel of Fate at 130 ft.   If we consider Tagaytay City's elevation of 2,000 ft. above sea level, this means we will be enjoying the highest point of the Sky Eye at 2,207 ft. wohooooooooot!

But we have to admit that the Philippines is still far from beating the tallest Ferris wheels in the world.  Way back in 2008, my brother and I tried the tallest Ferris wheel in the world - the Singapore Flyer at 165 meters (541 ft) and it was an awesome experience. Each gondola has a very wide space, comfortable seats and individual earphones where you can hear the voice of an English speaking tour-guide. There's also a video presentation before you board the gondola. We were able to see parts of Indonesia and Malaysia while aboard the gondola at or near the highest point of the Singapore Flyer.

Still on my must ride lists are:
  • Star of Nanchang in China at 160 meters (525 ft.)
  • London Eye at 120 meters (394 ft.). 

Aside from the entrance fee of Php50.00 (which is a promotion until May 30, 2013 based on their post at the teller's booth), you have to pay another Php150 to ride the Sky Eye. For details, see Sky Ranch.

The ride is one loop around lasting for only 10 minutes or less. Bitin! The gondolas are a bit small and can only fit 4 people. Mas matagal pa pumila kaysa yung kabuuang pagsakay. Nakaka disappoint :-( To the owners of Tagaytay Sky Ranch: Kindly make it at least three (3) loops please!

What saved the day is the view from the top. Yes, folks! As you approach the top, you'll have a 360 degree-view of Tagaytay City and you'll also see the wonderful Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

Beside Sky Ranch, a Science Discovery Museum and a row of restaurants are being built to complete the Sky Ranch experience. Overall, we felt that the ride is not worth it for one loop, 10 minutes at Php150 per head. Yes, you have to pay separately for the rides inside the Sky Ranch Sky Fun Amusement Park.


Despite all that, I guess I am lucky 'coz at least I can say that I have experienced to ride in the tallest Ferris wheel in the country today. 

I just hope they make some improvements in the future.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

TAGAYTAY: Sky Ranch, Sky Fun!

TAGAYTAY: Sky Ranch, Sky Fun!

The newly opened complex in Tagaytay is named "Sky Ranch," whereas the amusement park within Sky Ranch is named "Sky Fun" and the Ferris Wheel within is "Sky Eye."

Recently, we had weekend discoveries in Tagaytay.  Tagaytay City is a conglomerate of fun-filled destinations. Aside from the buko pies (young coconut cream pies), bulalo (a Filipino stew made from beef shanks and marrow bones) and the unobstructed view of Taal Volcano, the city has a lot more to offer like the Puzzle Mansion and Sky Ranch. What used to be a vacant lot beside Taal Vista Hotel was turned into an amusement park complex by SM Land.  Disclaimer: This is not a paid nor sponsored post.

The Sky Eye
Sky Ranch is a leisure park that is envisioned to be one of the definitive Tagaytay City's experiences for local and foreign tourists alike.
The Sky Ranch Entrance Fee is Php100. It is a good thing that there is an ongoing promotion until May 30, 2013 - a whooping 50% discount. Yehey! My friend said that if you are a Taal Vista Hotel Checked-In guest, you can get in for free at Sky Ranch. Senior Citizens and our physically challenged brothers and sisters get 20% discount from the regular rates on entrance and riding loop ride. The rent for a Gazebo is Php750 from Monday to Thursday and Php1,000 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Mime artist near the entrance to Sky Eye
 When we got inside the complex, we found out that we had to line up at the Sky Fun ticket booth to buy tickets for each ride individually. There are no ride-all-you-can tickets or packaged rates at the moment. It can get chaotic, especially if there's a huge crowd on weekends.

Express Train ride costs Php50.00 per head.

Mini Pirate Ship ride costs Php50.00 per head.

Super Viking ride costs Php100.00 per head.

Wonder Flight ride costs Php50.00 per head.

The kids could play here too.


Carousel ride costs Php50.00 per head. For sure, this carousel looks more attractive during night time.

Nessi Coaster ride which costs P50 per head is safe even for children. It gives a powerful adrenaline rush when the mini-roller coaster goes all the way to the top and goes down into a spiral loop. The spiral and turns are amazing. Weeeeeeeee!


Horse Back Riding (P250/30 minutes per person). The horseback riding is very expensive, considering you just go around a looped trail. I hate to compare but at Puzzle Mansion the rate for horse back riding is only Php50.00. Geeezz! Sky Ranch, what can you say about this? That is already times five.

We were a bit disappointed with our overall experience at the Sky Fun Amusement Park. Aside from difficulty in parking because of the huge weekend crowd the ongoing construction can put you and your little ones, not to mention your cars, in jeopardy. For God's sake, it is still a hard hat area. I believe the construction should first be completed before the rides are opened to the general public. Riding the Sky Eye is also a bit disappointing experience. The windows are filthy and you really can't fully appreciate the view on board the Sky Eye because of the dirty and low quality plastic windows used. But for curiosity's sake you can try to head there during weekdays when there are lesser crowd than during weekends.


I hope to come back in the future to see a better Sky Ranch and Sky Eye  Please make it better and please don't forget to provide ample and safe parking space for all your guests.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

GINA GIL LACUNA: New Guinness World Record Holder for the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzles in any Size, Shape or Form

GINA GIL LACUNA: New Guinness World Record Holder for the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzles in any Size, Shape or Form

I personally witnessed the awarding ceremony of the Guinness World Record to a Filipina at the Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay City last November 29, 2012.  

Guinness World Record adjudicator Seyda Subasi Gemici of Turkey officially certified Gina Gil Lacuna on Thursday as the new Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles. The 1,028 jigsaw puzzles at the Puzzle Mansion was adjudicated in the presence of two official witnesses, Sister Angeline Ilagan and UP College of Fine Arts Professor Monette Narciso.

Yes, folks! Be proud! A Filipina was officially hailed by the representative of Guinness World Record as the holder of the biggest jigsaw puzzle collection in the world. 

Gina Gil Lacuna (left) is officially awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest puzzle collection by adjudicator Seyda Subasi Gemici of Turkey. 


Gina Gil Lacuna, a Filipina retiree from Tagaytay City, has officially surpassed the record previously held by Brazil's Luiza Figueiredo, who reigned for two years. Mrs. Gina Gil Lacuna, a retired businesswoman, eclipsed the old record five times over.

View of the facade of the building that houses the Puzzle Mansion Museum.

Present during the awarding ceremony are Tagaytay mayor Abraham Tolentino, DOT Calabarzon Director Luella Jurilla, relatives, family friends, media and bloggers. 

"I'm 47 years old,"Gina Gil-Lacuna jokingly said, when asked about her age. The proud new Guinness Record-holder is so bubbly that she actually glows when she talks about her puzzle collections. Mrs. Gina Gil-Lacuna started collecting and solving jigsaw puzzles at age 35, and has been pursuing her hobby for 26 years now.  "It was just a hobby at first. It takes away my stress," Gina Gil Lacuna, 61, told everyone after she was awarded her certificate of recognition by Guinness World Records. The hobby, which she took up some 26 years ago, turned into an obsession that has seen her collect a total of 1,028 different puzzles framed on the walls of the first floor of her two-story bed and breakfast inn. 


Mrs. Lacuna's puzzle collections comes in various forms and sizes from pictures of Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Picasso works, comic book characters, architectural replicas, religious figures, landmarks, animals, landscapes, Disney characters even mural-sized classic paintings and custom-made photos to toy-like wooden figures and miniature replicas of cities even puzzles that are 14 feet long and 5 feet tall to smaller globes and crystal puzzles. The largest puzzle in her collection contains over 18,000 pieces.

Who would have thought that solving and collecting jigsaw puzzles is the kind that bags you a Guinness World Record? Good for Mrs. Lacuna she was able to achieve such an astonishing feat.


"When the record of 238 puzzles was set in 2010, I already had more in my collection," Lacuna told everyone on Thursday at the Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay City. "But I didn't know that such a record existed."

The former clothing businesswoman didn't start small with her jigsaw collection. Her first jigsaw was a 5,000-piece puzzle of Disney characters. “I started doing puzzles when I got to Hong Kong 26 years ago,” said Mrs.Lacuna, who solved a 5000-piece Disney set for her son, Gino. “Doing puzzles is easy, that’s why I don’t get any help!”


Mrs. Gina Gil Lacuna wants to encourage everyone to try her hobby, especially the youth because according to doctors, working on difficult jigsaw puzzles exercises the brain. The more you work your brain, the better off your mind will be.

An upcoming addition to her collection is an almost 32,000-piece puzzle measuring 17 feet tall and 6 feet wide: a Keith Haring Double Retrospect set, believed to be the biggest in existence today. “I want to finish that by February next year,” Lacuna told visitors at the awarding ceremony at the Puzzle Mansion.


Mrs.Lacuna’s self-imposed discipline has impressed Guinness World Records Adjudicator Seyda Subasi Gemici of Turkey. She allots three to four hours each day to work on her puzzles, finishing one to five of them at a time. “She is strict in following her own rules, and I like people like her,” said Gemici, who is on her fifth assignment for Guinness in the Philippines. Tagaytay City Mayor Tolentino assured Mrs. Gina Gil Lacuna that Puzzle Mansion will now be included and will be highly recommended as one of the places to see in Tagaytay.


The UP Singing Ambassadors serenade us with wonderful songs while we were eating.

The night was capped by a magical fireworks in Tagaytay's night sky.


All  of Mrs Gina Gil Lacuna's collections are housed at the Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay City which you can access just by dropping by and paying an entrance fee of Php 100.00 per person. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Sunday. For more information visit here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

TAGAYTAY CITY: Puzzle Mansion

TAGAYTAY CITY: Puzzle Mansion

Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay City houses Gina Gil Lacuna's jigsaw collections. New Guinness World Record Holder for the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzles in any Size, Shape or Form is Gina Gil Lacuna of Tagaytay City, Philippines.

Gina Gil Lacuna (left) during the awarding ceremony wherein she was officially recognized as the record holder with the largest collection of jigsaw puzzle. 

Here are some of Gina Gil Lacuna's collections:

Marvel Heroes Puzzle. Obviously it was for her unico hijo! Oh, Gino, you're so lucky!  Your mom obviously has you in her mind always!

The nativity scene in Nazareth where Jesus was born and was visited by the three kings.

See these jigsaw collections in person for Php 100.00 entrance fee only.

Puzzle Mansion is located at Tagaytay City in the Philippines.



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