If you want to get in touch with nature in a very intimate way without spending thousands of pesos just for a ticket, you need to consider going to Tanay, Rizal!
Tanay is a first class municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is located 57 kilometres (35 mi) east of Manila, although a typical commute between Manila and Tanay will take between one to three hours depending upon traffic conditions. It contains portions of the Sierra Madre Mountains and is bordered by Antipolo City in the northwest, Baras, Morong and Teresa in the west,General Nakar (Quezon Province) in the east, and Pililla, Santa Maria (Laguna province) as well as the lake Laguna de Bay in the south. (Thank you Wikipedia!)
From Star Mall Terminal in Shaw Boulevard, we rode a van heading to Tanay. Fare is Php 70.00.
It took us an hour and 45 minutes of travel to reach Tanay city proper. It was a Saturday (and a holiday) so traffic was light and easy. Praise God!
It was around 10 AM when we reached the center of Tanay. We hired a tricycle (for a package of a thousand) to tour us in all the major tourist attractions in the city. Kuya Jason was our driver.
The first place that we visited is Tanay Church.
San Ildefonso Church or popularly known as Tanay Church is located along the street of Del Pilar at the heart of the city. It was completed in 1873 and is now a National Cultural Treasure. The relics that the church holds is a bone of their patron saint, San Ildefonso.
The interiors of the church show a baroque architecture. It’s amazing and breathtaking.
After visiting Tanay Church and saying a prayer for safe adventures ahead, we went to Tanay Parola located in Brgy. San Isidro, Tanay Rizal.
After lunch, we went to Calinawan Cave to do spelunking.
Assisted by our tour guide, Kuya Adam, we entered the cave full of excitement and thrill.
Calinawan Cave is located in Brgy. Tandang Kutyo, Tanay. As per Kuya Adam, the name of the cave was derived from the word “linaw” after the historical event where Filipinos settled and agreed on their disputes against Spanish Revolutionaries. Doon sila nagkalinawan.
Tour Guide Fee: Php 200.00 | Environmental Fee: Php 20.00
Environmental Fee: Php 50.00
A hidden paradise near Calinawan Cave is Daranak Falls, still in Brgy. Tandang Kutyo. It boasts a 14-meter high falls and clear blue-green waters which serves as a natural pool for visitors.
Batlag Falls is just near Daranak Falls with an entrance fee of Php 100.00.
This is such a dreamy place!
The night before heading to Tanay, i’ve been researching about this place a lot. Photos of this river really amazed me so I told myself that I must see it. And man, it’s spectacular.
Tinipak River is tucked in the mountainside of Sierra Madre, located in Brgy. Daraitan.
The road to Brgy. Daraitan is a bit of a challenge. From Sampaloc, Tanay, you’ll endure almost an hour of butt-numbing tricycle ride in a long winding rocky road.
But as the saying goes, no pain, no gain. I assure you that the long bumpy ride is really worth it once you reach the majestic view of Tinipak River!
The river is the jump-off point to Tinipak River.
We crossed the very clean river (sorry, I forgot its name) to get to the other side where tricycles are waiting to take all tourists to Brgy. Daraitan. The boat ride costs Php 5.00.
Upon reaching the other side of the river, we rode a tricycle that took us to Brgy. Daraitan. Nakasabay namin dito si Ate Estrella, a missionary. She was with her grandson, John Michael. She heard us talk about our boat-ride experience using our Bicol dialect. To our surprise, she joined us in our conversation and instantly offered to stay the night at her house in Brgy. Daraitan (4 blocks away from the Brgy. Hall). I believe that this is a blessing — we saved Php 650.00 of accommodation. Praise God!
So we headed to Tinipak River. We registered at the Brgy. Hall of Daraitan, and we were welcomed by Kuya Tony, our tour guide.
Tour Guide Fee: Php 500.00 | Environmental Fee: Php 20.00
From the Brgy. Hall, it took us 45 minutes before we reach Tinipak River. The trail was easy amidst the presence of rocks and gentle streams of water.
The moment I saw a portion of the river, i became too happy. Tinitignan ko lang ito sa picture last night pero eto na sya ngayon sa harap ko. It is so beautiful. No wonder – it’s really the cleanest river in Region IV-A.
The name Tinipak refers to the limestone and white marble formations that have been carved by the flowing waters.
Unfortunately, the bridge was devastated by the flood brought by the recent typhoon. According to Kuya Tony, the bridge might be restored in January.
We spent almost 3 hours in the area. We did not swim because of the strong current.
Before we run out of daylight, we decided to leave the river at around 5:30 PM. We went back to Daraitan Brgy. Hall to settle our fees.
Tinipak River is one of best destinations i have been to! I will definitely be back there!
Seven PM when we went to Ate Estrella’s house to have some rest. It’s just awesome to think about how she offered her house where we can stay despite the fact that we’re strangers. I believe it was God who moved in that situation.
As I have mentioned, Ate Estrella is a Christian missionary. She runs an outreach church in far-flung communities in the country under the Christ-Centered Mission Church. She holds Sunday worship service just right outside her house. We are blessed to have attended the service the next day.
Her dedication in sharing the Word is outstanding.
The service started at around 10 AM. There was only a few who attended the service, most of then were children. But she told us that she is not after the number of people who attend her service but she’s more concerned with sharing the Word to those who most need it.
We left Ate Estrella’s house at 11 AM for Regina RICA. As Catholic Christians, we want to attend the Holy Eucharist at Regina RICA at 3 PM. It was the last Sunday of 2015 so we made sure not to miss it.
From Brgy. Daraitan, we rode a tricycle to Regina Rica for P300.00. It took us around 25 minutes to get there.
Regina Rosarii Institue for Contemplation in Asia is located along Marcos Highway, Sitio Aguho, Sampaloc, Tanay.
This is the perfect place for those who are in need of peace and solemnity of the soul, heart, mind and body. This is the place that i need. It was my birthday the next day so visiting Regina Rica was a perfect gift for myself — not just Regina Rica, but all the places we visited in Tanay!
The place is being taken care of by Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii.
We attended the 3 PM mass. It was powerful.
Before and after the mass, there was a like session where attendees are being led by a Dominican nun to meditate, relax and just feel the presence of God. It was amazing!
Overall, our Tanay trip is something that should not be forgotten. I just want to praise God for this not-so-far-away yet so meaningful trip. I really felt His presence and His love for me. It seemed like all the events were carefully-woven by Him. Oh, tapestry of grace!
Thank you for reading.