"There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location."
This timeless phrase, said to have been coined by a British tycoon, is well-known to the city of Tagaytay. Just 56 kilometers south of Manila, on the ridge of Taal Lake and Volcano, the city has been a haven for locals and foreigners alike. President Quezon himself would retreat to Taal Vista Lodge on horseback to take advantage of the cool air and breathtaking views.
For some cities, the center of town is plaza, a boardwalk, or a shipping center. In Tagaytay, it is the smallest and most active volcano in the country, a unique natural formation that is actually a lake within a volcano within a lake. From Tagaytay, one can see as far as Manila Bay to the north and Laguna de Bay to the east. The various residences, recreational, and leisure facilities all strive to frame a view of the magnificent scenery, each contributing to Tagaytay's reputation as a world-class resort city.
The proximity between Tagaytay and Metro Manila has influenced the relationship between these citites throughout history. It was a staging ground for Katipunan rebellions against Spain in the dying days of the 19th century and the landing grounds for American troops towards the end of World War II. Tagaytay was a heavily forested area, refuge for bandits, a gathering place for revolutionaries, a passageway for farmers, then troops, and now commuters. Tagaytay's strategic location and breathtaking views have paved its path from string of quiet farming towns to a destination competitive on the national and international arena.
Guiding this path in Tagaytay's recent history is the Tolentino family. The view sparked interest, but expert leadership helped develop Tagaytay into the destination we know today. When Isaac Tolentino was appointed Mayor in 1954, he inherited a town struggling to become a city. At the time, Tagaytay was battling a crumbling image, touted as the "poor man's Baguio." The bad boy reputation of Cavite, with its guns, violence, and criminals extended its ugly reach to Tagaytay leaving many to believe it was "no man's land." Tolentino Senior worked tirelessly to dispel these perceptions, and with little industry other than fruit vending. he focused on increasing the city's tourism potential. Isaac Tolentino's sons Francis Tolentino and Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino chose to follow in their father's footsteps and continue the family legacy. During their terms as Mayor, the brothers continued growing the tourism and real estate industry by attracting key investments and developing effective local government initiatives.