The many natural wonders of Rizal province

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Alexander Villafania

ANTIPOLO, RIZAL PROVINCE – Despite its rough and mountainous terrain, this province has several unique tourist spots frequented by people from nearby Metro Manila.

Sandwiched between Metro Manila and Quezon province, Rizal province is named after the country’s national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, who, despite his being born in neighboring Laguna, was adopted by the province.

The province’s mountainous terrain—as well as the rather difficult and traffic-riddled road system — makes it difficult to visit. But one does not have to look at other regions to see natural wonders as this province alread boasts quite a number of them.

At the onset, Rizal province is popular for several things; Antipolo Cathedral and Boso-Boso Churches in the capital city of Antipolo, the Crescent Moon Lounge, Cloud 9 Deck View and Eagle’s Nest picnic places that lets visitors have an overlooking view of the Manila cityscape, Talim Island in Binangonan, among others.

One of the more recent developed attractions is the Thunderbird Resort which features club amenities for both local and foreign tourists.

Rizal is also home to several families of renowned artists such as those from the clan of muralist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, National Artist Vicente Manansala, finger painter Rafael Pacheco, and Jose Blanco.

Not known to many is that Rizal province is that Botong Francisco discovered ancient petroglyphs (rock engravings) in Angono during a field trip with a troop of Philippine Boy Scouts. The Angono Petroglyphs, as they were later known, were dated to come during the Neolithic period, or about 1,500 BC. Because of their historic significance, the Angono Petroglyphs were included in the inventory of rock art by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Because of the mountainous terrain, Rizal also has several waterfall formations. Three of its most famous are Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo, Daranak, and Batlag Falls in Tanay. These are already popular among locals and their surrounding areas have been developed for picnics. The website Pinoy Mountaineer describes how to get to the three waterfalls.

However, they also cautioned that Hinulugang Taktak, the most popular of the three, is already littered with trash from visitors and should be maintaned by the local government.

Despite being a little further from the mainland, Talim Island is still part of Rizal province. The island is rich in bamboo grass, which is why it is popular for its bamboo furniture. It takes a boat ride to reach the island. Talim island is actually popular among mountain bikes and hikers. Some have taken videos of their recreational adventures in Talim Island.

Visiting Rizal is actually very easy. There are several public transports from Manila that take people to Rizal and its municipalities.

Several jeepney stations can be found in Cubao and Mandaluyong (at the back of the Shaw MRT station) and people can also take the RRCG buses that take passengers from the Manila City Hall. It does take some time to go to Rizal, depending on the distance but there are already many hostels for vacationers staying overnight.

Photos taken from Paraisophilippines and Tourism-Philippines

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