The Department of Tourism – Region IVA has its flagship domestic program with the Green Corridor Initiative. This aims to boost sustainable tourism in and around Calabarzon. Its role is to maintain regional biodiversity, improve environmental quality, and offer economic resilience opportunities. Recently, the Department of Tourism’s Calabarzon office invited Village Pipol Magazine on a two-day trip for a Tourism Circuit Cluster of the Province of Rizal, showcasing attractions while protecting heritage and culture in the new normal.
DOT-Calabarzon showcases eco-faith tourism circuit in Rizal
The validation of the identified tourism circuit became one of the essential steps in its development. It considers the specific measures of readiness and quality of tourism products that will remain promoted and marketed under the Green Corridor Initiative. Rizal features tourist attractions and destinations in Pillila, Tanay, Baras, and Morong, as its program’s second phase tourism circuit model.
The participating tourism industry stakeholders in the validation are the following:
- Representatives from Rizal Travel and Tours (RTAA)
- Media Representatives from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and other media outfits
- Provincial and Municipal Tourism Officers
Day 1 | Rizal
Bulawan Floating Restaurant
Bulawan Floating Restaurant offers authentic Filipino cuisine. The place looked and felt relaxing, especially the huts above fish ponds with wooden footbridges interconnecting them together. Plus, fishing becomes an optional activity for those who prefer to catch their own before it is served for a price per kilogram.
Diocesan Shrine of Mary Magdalene
Diocesan Shrine of Mary Magdalene also known as Pililla Church was built in 1582, under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene. The church is made of mudbrick and other organic materials. The facade and belfry, on the other hand, looked simple but elegant at the same time. Then, a small retablo housing the image of St. Mary Magdalene can be found inside the baptistery.
Lyger Animal Sanctuary
People can see all kinds of animals at the Lyger Animal Sanctuary. These include lions, tigers, ligers, camels, sheep, birds, peacocks, civet cats, deer boars, monkeys, and ducks. Aside from seeing these animals, you can also ride a boat for fifteen minutes while feeding mighty ducks in the small shallow lagoon.
Located at the Pililla Windmill Farm, Santi’s Farmhouse has a relaxing and refreshing place. Pililla Wind Farm has the potential sites for wind farms due to good to excellent to wind resources.
Kape Natividad is an original espresso-based coffee shop and pugon-baked pizza in Tanay, Rizal. The café is a local coffee shop that supports local coffee farmers. They offer an affordable selection of coffee or non-coffee drinks and pugon-baked pizza.
Tanay Highlands is a pet-friendly cafe, restaurant, and campsite. The place welcomes you with a spacious view deck that offers good food and coffee. They have an expansive view deck lined with wooden tables and benches. The Highlands have an unobstructed 360-degree view of the mountainside and nearby towns.
Regina Rosarii Institute of Contemplation in Asia (Regina RICA)
Regina RICA houses a 13.5-hectare land in the hills of Tanay, Rizal. It has three waterfalls, a creek, and ten thousand trees, and a lot of promise for the renewal of this wonderful path to God. It’s a venue for serenity, silence, and stillness.
Daranak Falls has become one of the flagship destinations of Tanay. It has also become a popular summer getaway for locals and tourists from in and out of the country. The 14-meter-high falls nestle calmly at the foot of the Tanay mountains and are preserved with natural vegetation.
Bakasyunan Resort Tanay
As the name implies, Bakasyunan is a vacation place abundant with flora and fauna. It has a breathtaking panoramic vista that harmonizes with nature that looks and feels liberating. It’s perfect for those seeking refuge from the Metro.
Kainan Sa Tabing Lawa
Kainan Sa Tabing Lawa offers Filipino cuisine. It has been Tanay’s famous restaurant since the 60s. The place looks like a big rustic cottage built from nipa and bamboo. It has ordinary-looking chairs and tables. Because of the wind that naturally goes around, it doesn’t need any air conditioning as well.
Day 2 | Rizal
Hane Festival on Tanay’s 416th Founding Anniversary Celebration
We also attended the 12th Tanay Hane Festival at the Tanay Park Visit and Tour of Agri Trade Fair Exhibit. The term hane is peculiar to the Tanayan-Tagalog language as it is an expression asking for an agreement toward the end of a statement. It’s a celebration of exciting activities participated by various government agencies.
Fresno Agro-Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite
Fresno Agro-Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite is located in Tanay, Rizal, just a few meters away from Treasure Mountain. Fresco remains in a higher location which means a better chance of getting a nicer view. It actually became a famous attraction in the house built for the TV show FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano starring Coco Martin.
Lutong Pugon Tiongco’s Garden
Lutong Pugon is like a secret garden restaurant owned by local artist Jun Tiongco, serving delicious wood-fired pizza. It’s a refreshing spot, especially with the artistic dome-like structure made with bamboo poles with a refreshing view of the gardens.
Diocesan Shrine and Parish Church of St. Joseph
The Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Joseph is also known as Baras Church. It was the first church that Franciscan missionaries built in 1595. Built-in a mixture of fortress-style and barn-style Baroque architecture, it has a simple facade with a decorative touch through a stream of balustrade trimming its triangular pediment.
Mangantinila Café and Restaurant
Mangantinila Café and Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Located alongside Laguna lake, the ambiance, and refreshing air. It has nipa hut cottages for dine-in customers.
CVM Orchard and Eco Park
CVM Orchard is perfect for overnight camping in Rizal. For accommodations, they have open nipa huts and kubo with rooms. However, if you want, you can pitch a tent for a complete camping experience. They also have a spider web, tire swing, and hanging bridge that are perfect for kids. Plus, they also offer ATV, bike, and boat rentals.
St. Jerome Parish Church
St. Jerome Parish Church is also known as Morong Church. It has a healthy significance during the Filipino-Spanish war. Aside from that, the facade and bell tower is one of the most striking of all church facades along Laguna de Bay. Described as Baroque, the church was designed by Severo Sacramento in 1853. Various decorative elements, some Mexican in origin, give the facade a richness characteristic of Baroque. Four angels, representing the cardinal virtues, stand at the corners of the bell tower.
Pambayang Museo ng Morong
Established for the people of Morong, the museum showcases the rich history and culture of the Moronguenos who descended from the river people and lakeshore dwellers around the Laguna de Bay long before the Spaniards came to colonize our land.
Again, thank you Department of Tourism-Region IVA for touring us around Rizal and its tourist attractions. We would love to go back again and bring our friends and family to these destinations!
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.