Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Second Look at Tanay, Rizal's Beauty


Whenever a tragedy happens at a certain place or region, the tourism gets affected the most.  Like what have happened to Tanay, Rizal, after the Sitio Bayucan (Magnetic Hills) tourist bus accident.

According to the local government of Tanay, it has been observed that tourist arrivals have slowed down following the temporary suspension of all school field trips in the country as a consequence of the said bus accident, which involve 15 casualties from the BestLink College.

The   Department   of   Tourism   (DOT)-Region   IV-A  in   collaboration   with   the   Provincial Government of Rizal and the Municipality of Tanay together with the Tour and Travel Agencies,   Stakeholders   and  Academe   came   up   with   a  “WALK   FOR   SAFETY   IN TANAY” to recapture the trust of tourists and travellers and assert the safe and secured destination of Rizal.

It was held last April 5, 2017 at  Epic Parc (Tanay Sampaloc Road). But on the day before, together with some media personnels, we were able to visit several tourist spots and had a look at their major roads.

Contrary to the remarks made of the danger of going up the hilly roads of Tanay, it was actually a smooth ride from Manila.


 Our first stop was at the municipal hall of Tanay and we were welcomed by the tourism office and Mayor Rex Manuel C. Tanjuatco.



Next stop was at Momarco Resort.

With that let me enumerate for you certain tourist interests that you can also add in your itinerary, when you wish to visit the province of Rizal.

STAYCATIONS AT RESORTS

Tanay has several good resorts that are either good for staycations and for team-buildings, one of them is Momarco Resort.

Address: Sampaloc Road, Sitio Bathala,
              Bgy. Plaza Aldea, Tanay, Rizal


Momarco Resort is nestled amidst the rolling hills of Tanay, but entrance is just along Sampaloc Road.  A five to ten minute more of drive, a bit rough, will get you there.  Along the ride, in the vicinity of the resort, you might spot upon some peacocks, fowls and a cage for ostrich.


The lobby where guests are welcomed is such a relaxing place.


Only one building stands mighty proud in the middle of the lush and lavish land surrounded with tree and flowering plants.


A perfect place to wind away, stop for a snack or stay for a night after a day full of exploring in Tanay.

After a hefty lunch inside the resort's cafeteria, we were off exploring the quaint town.

CHURCH-HOPPING

There's nothing much to do in the resort except rest in the hotel rooms or swim in the pool, so most of the tourist would do "church-hopping," visiting one church after another.

On our day tour, we first went to their most famous church, Tanay Church, but officially known as Saint Ildefonsus of Toledo Parish Church.


It took 10 years in the making according to historical books, What started as wood and cogon many moons ago, a strong-structured stone building is now a witness to the rich history of Tanay.


You'll not miss this stunning sculpture as you enter the gated vicinity,  A group of artists from Laguna carved the sculpture of San Ildefonso, Tanay ís patron saint and Mama Mary.  It's their way of saving a century old acacia tree.



I'm not into churches, but I can tell by the looks of it that the church and it's people have a mutual relationship, so even though the structure took a lot of beatings in the past, the people were able to maintain and develop it.


Although at that time, there is undergoing graduation ceremony, we still took time to check out the 14 Stations of the Cross inside the church.  It is considered as one of the most beautiful Stations of the Cross in Asia. The carvings are depicted to have Malay features as evidenced by the brown skin of the natives and their squat figures, all of which are believed to have created by native Tanay artists. Some distinct depictions are borrowed from the native culture such as the "Tambuli" made of carabao and the bolo instead of the typical Roman sword. The carvings are encased in large glass windows across each side of the church. (credit here)


As morbid as it seems, inside the church are prominent people buried under the ground.


Several makeovers have been done inside the church, but they were still bale to keep and put in highlight what it really looked liked back then.  A certain part of the walls have exposed original stone walls.


On one side is a courtyard leading to the office of the parochial vicar.

Spelunking


Tanay had been known for their, mountain and forest trekking, this include visiting several caves that are accessible and open to the public.

One is the Calinawan Cave


It was scorching hot that day as it was at 2 pm when we got there, so I'm very excited to go in.  It' wasn't my first time to go inside a cave so I'm not scared or hesitant.


This small passage is actually just one of the entrances to the cave, our guide have been trained so that we enjoy the routes that needed to be followed. Many who have been here have been quite surprised of the cave's magnificence.


Before going in, you need to go first to a shed, where the tour guide station is and where you need to get started with a chosen helmet and flashlights. Here is also where you needed to pay the entrance/environmental fee. Initial guides and rules to follow will also be given.


Our tour guide in yellow shirt.


The Calinawan cave is actually composed of numerous chambers and there are five layers to be explored. The first and second layers were easy and good for beginners but the third to fifth is quite a challenge as it requires passing through small holes and requires crawling as well, this is something claustrophobic people would not like to be in to.


It is actually cold inside even though no air gets in.


Amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations are just some of the attractions you will find here.


The cave actually has a heart, I mean literally, but you need to look closely to find it.


This is the adventure.


The mouth of the exit as spotted from the inside.


The exit!

It took us less than 30 minutes to finish the tour actually, but you can have it longer and enjoy the inside some more. Together with the back stories of the cave.


Chasing Waterfalls

Tanay has four different falls you can visit, but the most famous one is the Daranak Falls.



Although coming here on public transpo can be a bit tricky and hard, might I say, when  you reach the pool of water and hear the relaxing gush of water storming down the basin, you will say, "it's worth all the travel."


The unspoilt beauty of Daranak is maintained by the local government of Tanay, with just an entrance fee of P50 for both adults and kids, the surrounding is kept clean and life guards on duty until 5 pm.


You will find rubber inflatables which are for rent, as the water's depth is 14 meters deep and the falls at 12 meters high. There are layers of falls below the main falls, which is more suitable for those who can not swim.

The water is cold and clean and can really relax you without even going under the water.  It's very recommendable for summer outings as it's costless, easy to find and you can also find something to eat inside even on a budget.

With that list, you have actually travelled a third of what Tanay can offer in terms of tourism, and it can only take you a day.  Tanay has so many things more to share. Click on the photo below to see more landmarks and tourist spots.



You can also visit their Facebook Page to see updates of their events and improvements.

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