I spent most of my childhood days in the province of Rizal. Located in the eastern part of the Philippines’ capital, just approximately 16 km (9.9 miles) from Manila, Rizal is one of the most easily accessible provinces from the metro. It is probably one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country with its several mountains and waterfalls.
Some of its towns lie on the western slopes of the southern portion of the Siera Madre mountain range. Thus, making it perfect for mountain biking, day hikes, road trips, and camping.
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT RIZAL
You can hike the mountains of Rizal all-year-round. But the best time to visit is during the rainy season, June to December. It is when the current of its several waterfalls are strong.
PLACES TO VISIT IN RIZAL
During summertime, you can visit Rizal’s museums and galleries. Rizal is not only known for its mountains. It also has a taste of history and art. In fact, one of its municipalities, Angono, is known as the ‘Art Capital of the Philippines’. Here’s a list of places worth visiting in the Province of Rizal:
MUSEUMS AND URBAN AREAS
Pinto Arts Museum (Antipolo City) – Have you seen a museum with a gallery, a cafe, and a park all in one place? It’s a museum in the middle of a forest!
Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Cafe (Binangonan, Rizal) – Art Sector is an art gallery with a cafe and a 360-degree view of the Metro, Laguna Lake, and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
Blanco Family Museum (Angono, Rizal) – Blanco Museum is a gallery of the Blanco Family’s artworks. The Blanco Family is one of the noblest families of artists in the Philippines. The museum has a cafe inside.
Taytay Mega Tiangge (Taytay, Rizal) – Taytay is dubbed as the ‘Garments capital of the Philippines’. And then, a few years ago, they decided to take it to another level by creating a bazaar market. It’s definitely a safer alternative to Divisoria.
Angono Petroglyphs (Angono/Binangonan) – The oldest known work of art in the Philippines, the petroglyphs are said to be more than 2000 years old.
ADVENTURES AND HIKES
The province of Rizal does not lack adventures. It has awe-inspiring waterfalls, challenging biking terrains, and a list of mountains worth-hiking. Here are few places that should be on your bucket list:
Masungi Georeserve (Baras, Rizal) – The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area located in Baras, Rizal. It features geological rock formations, suspended nets attractions, hanging bridges, rope courses, and eco-trails.
Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls (Tanay, Rizal) – Daranak Falls is probably the most popular falls in the municipality of Tanay. Batlag falls on the hand is not that known to many, but it’s actually right at the top of Daranak. Thus, the water from Batlag flows down through Daranak.
Pililla Windmill Farm (Pililla, Rizal) – This windmill farm consists of 27 wind turbines located on top of the mountainous town of Pililla, Rizal. Its purpose is to supply alternate energy, but it has also become the main attraction of the municipality.
HIKING IN RIZAL PROVINCE
Since most of the municipalities of Rizal Province are situated along the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, hiking is the best thing to do here all-year-round.
Mt. Tagapo(Cardona-Binangonan) – Located in Talim Island, Mt. Tagapo provides a scenic view of Laguna de Bay and the skylines of Metro Manila.
Mt. Balagbag (Rodriguez, Rizal) – Mount Balagbag is accessible by trekking or mountain biking. But the best thing to do here is camping. It’s nice to have a cup of coffee in your tent while seeing the metro night lights.
The mountains of Wawa and Mascap (Rodriguez, Rizal) – Rodriguez Rizal is one of the most popular mountain hiking destinations in the Philippines. Barangays Wawa and Mascap gather hundreds or thousands of hikers combined every weekend before the pandemic happened.
The mountains of Tanay (Tanay, Rizal) – Tanay is home to the most majestic waterfalls, rivers, and hike-worthy mountains. Most of these mountains can give you a higher chance of seeing a sea-of-clouds from its summits.
WHERE TO STAY IN RIZAL
With its proximity to Metro Manila, a day trip to Rizal is enough to visit a few tourist destinations. However, staying for a night or two is highly recommended to explore more of this province. You have so many options with your accommodations. You can stay in a fancy hotel, a cozy Filipino hut, a budget-friendly motel, or in a quiet campsite.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve https://www.mountpurronaturereserve.com Address: Purok 5, Barangay Calawis, Antipolo City Contact Numbers: (+632) 8542-3005, 0908-881-2701
LuLuljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa https://luljettas.com Address: Sitio Loreland, Barangay San Roque Antipolo, Rizal 1870 Contact Numbers: (+632) 534 2517,(+632) 633 3494 (0925) 766 7544,(0917) 867 6205
Thunderbird Resorts and Casino https://www.thunderbird-asia.com Address: Eastridge Arts Recreations & Tourism Zone Binangonan, 1940 Rizal Contact Numbers: (+632) 8651 6888,(+632) 8651-3893
Bakasyunan Resorts and Conference Center https://www.bakasyunanresorttanay.com/ Address: 3 Marilaque Hwy, Tanay, Rizal Contact Numbers: (+632) 8706 4509 (0917) 575 5116, (0998) 994 2513
Ten Cents to Heaven Leisure Camp http://tencentstoheaven.com/ Address: Sitio Mayagay II Cuyambay, Marilaque Hwy Tanay, Rizal 1980 Contact Numbers: (+632) 8542 2087
Treasure Mountain Camp Site https://www.facebook.com/TreasureMountainTanay Address: Cuyambay, Marilaque Hwy, Tanay, Rizal 1980 Contact: They are active and responsive in Facebook
WHERE TO EAT IN RIZAL
Although Rizal is a mountainous province, it is bordered by Quezon, a coastal province, and Metro Manila, the country’s capital. This means that you several choices on the menu, from seafood to meat and even pasta.
Tipulo Type: A garden-restaurant with calming ambiance. Serves Filipino dishes. Address: 27 Sumulong Hwy, Antipolo, Rizal 1870 Contact Number: (+632) 696-3051
Yumboss Putok Batok Restaurank Type: Seafood. Has unlimited seafood offer. Address: 146 Sumulong Hwy, Antipolo, Rizal 1870 Contact Number: (+632) 696-3051
Lutong Pugon - Tiongco's Garden Type: A garden-restaurant that mainly serves Pizza and Pasta cooked with firewood Address: Manila East Rd, Tanay-Pililla boundary Contact Number: (0945) 306-6376
Che's Cafe Type: A cafe that also offers a flavorful bulalo. Address: Manila East Rd, Tanay-Pililla boundary Contact Number: (0945) 306-6376
Lugaw n' Toppers https://www.facebook.com/lugawntoppers Type: Lugaw with a twist AND more! Address: Ciudad Grande, Taytay, Rizal Contact Number: (0920) 787-7522
Rizal is just sitting right next to Metro Manila, but sometimes we tend to look somewhere else for our leisure travels. This province has a lot to offer, from adventures, food, arts, and a taste of history. And you may find the tranquility you were looking for here, without traveling on a plane or making a long drive.
I want to see you here in our humble province of Rizal. À bientôt!