Rizal, Philippines · 3 hotels available
Discover the secrets of the refreshing, mountainous town of Tanay, Rizal and fall in love with this underrated travel destination.
Tanay, a first-class municipality of Rizal province, is just around 2-3 hours away from Metro Manila, depending on traffic. It is bordered by Antipolo City in the northwest, Pililla, Laguna and Laguna de Bay in the south, municipalities of Baras, Morong, and Teresa in the west, and General Nakar, Quezon Province in the east. Because of its geographical location, Tanay is also composed of portions of the infamous (and mythical Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the Philippines. Climate in Rizal is generally cool.
By land transportation
You can ride either a UV Express van or a jeepney plying from Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong or Sta. Lucia, Cainta, or C-5 Makati going to Antipolo. These public vehicle routes usually go through Tanay.
You can also utilize the railway systems when going to Tanay. From the airport, ride a shuttle bus going to the railway systems’ EDSA-Taft Avenue station. From there, you can either take the Light Railway Transit 1 (LRT-1) going to Doroteo Jose Station, then the LRT-2 to Santolan Station. You can also choose to take the Manila Metro Railway System (MRT) and go down at Cubao Station. Walk to Gateway Mall and ride a UV Express van or jeep going to Antipolo.
The tricycle (motorcycle attached to a closed sidecar) is Tanay’s main mode of transportation. If you’re planning to explore outside the town but don’t have a private car with you, head to the Tanay Transportation Group’s terminal at the municipality’s public market to rent a van, jeepney, or tricycle.
Head to the Tanay Lakeshore in the early morning and check out the lighthouse or parola, one of the municipality’s historic real estate. You’ll be able to get a great view of Laguna de Bay and its neighboring mountains.
Paseo Rizal Mayagay in Sampaloc is home of the Kalingang Pilipino, a small art gallery and gift shop that showcases the best of local Filipino art: folkloric artwork on canvas, sculptures, and other mixed media pieces.
Now don’t forget to visit the religious infrastructures, too. The 14-hectare Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (RICA) is a popular pilgrimage site showcasing a 71-foot Queen of the Holy Rosary statue. Tanay Church, on the other hand, is a national heritage site as accorded by the National Commission for the Culture and Arts.
For the adventurous, hike Mt. Daraitan to get a beautiful view of the rivers and mountains of Tanay. After the 2-hour trek, head down to Daraitan River where you can take a dip surrounded by dramatic limestone rock formations carved out by the river.
There are so many activities to choose from if you are looking for a thrilling adventure at Tanay, Rizal. A top pick would be hiking the discovery trail at Masungi Georeserve, a 300-hectare park just at the border of Tanay. The trail is made up of a variety of obstacles including caves, hanging bridges, viewing decks, and a giant rope hammock. Schedule a group trip online in advance at P1,400 per person.
Daranak Falls will be another perfect highlight in your itinerary. This 14-foot waterfall comes with a deep basin, which is perfect for diving. Upon paying the entrance fee (Php50 per person), have a day picnic near the waterfalls.
Tanay is lively every 22nd to 24th of January, as they celebrate the Feast of the town’s patron, Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Schedule your next trip here and check out the activities at Tanay Park, which is just adjacent to Tanay Church. Take part in the town’s fiesta activities, which include tribal dance performances, Serenata (serenade), band drill jamboree, and prestigious pageants.
Head to Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant in Angono and order a steaming pot of Dinilawang Kanduli sa Alagaw (at Php200). This is basically a turmeric-based soup with alagaw, a medicinal plant with lots of health benefits, including properties that have the ability to fight against virus, bacteria, and parasite.
The Gathering Cafe and Tanay Hills Coffee Beanery has a best-tasting fusion dish. Their Golden Brewed Fried Chicken (Php280) has been flavored by three kinds of coffee before making it to the fryer: Arabica, Barako, and Robusta.
Another fusion food item comes in dessert form. The Sweet Life in Angono offers Bacon Maple Gourmet Turon, which is deep-fried, glazed banana roll topped with sweet white cream, maple, and bacon bits.
Rizal’s proximity to Manila has made it possible for the province to have a wide array of entertainment options. Nightlife in Rizal, however, is best enjoyed with buckets of beer and finger food at any of the restaurants dotting the Antipolo ridge and viewpoints. From here, you can enjoy the twinkling lights of Manila and the cool climate. If you wish to rough it out, you can camp with a group for the night out in the Daraetan River.
Tanay has a lot of B&Bs and resorts, so this really depends on your preferences. Book a couple of nights at Ten Cents to Heaven or Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort, which comes with facilities that would make up an action-packed weekend getaway: swimming pools, hanging bridge and zipline, waterfall features, and obstacle courses/
If you want some peace and quiet, a room at the Momarco Resort & Hotel means staying at a secluded location with everything you need at a resort: swimming pool, man-made lagoon, sports center, mini-zoo, and the Bathala Bike Park, a large bike course.
If you are on a budget and would like to spend more on exploring Tanay, Sampaloc Inn is a backpacker heaven. Economy rooms at this accessible inn start at P900 per night.
Secure a map from the tourism office. This way, you can plan your itinerary better and save costs on transportation expenses.
Bring at least a thermal jacket or thermal wear if you cannot brave the cool climate. If you do not like to bring shorts to your trip, a pair of thick, woolly socks can help keep you warm during the night.
Be conscious about your waste. Throw any candy wrappers, papers in a trash bin or keep it in your bag until you spot one.