The province of Rizal houses various natural and cultural treasures – from waterfalls and rock formations to world-class masterpieces created by local artists.
*Rizal City Tours are available. Kindly inquire at the Front Office.
Since majority of the inhabitants of the province are Roman Catholics, centuries-old churches and religious structures have been preserved in many Rizal towns.
Franciscan missionaries first built the Boso-boso church in Barangay San Jose in the 16th century. They were later substituted by Jesuit priests in patronage of Our Lady of the Annunciation (Nuestra Señora de la Anunciata), when the latter started organizing the village into a parish. The church was destroyed during the Second World War, but devotees restored it in 1995.
At the summit of the Calvary Hill in Barangay Libid stands an ancient, life-size cross that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ in Calvary. Legend has it that a cross-shaped rock suddenly grew atop the hill but was subsequently destroyed by lightning and earthquake. The locals then built the wooden cross in 1783 on the exact same spot where the rock was. Local folks and tourists alike share spiritual and physical piety as they climb 172 steps to be able to visit this numinous peak.
Sta. Ursula Parish Church
This two-century old church has been structurally preserved and restored to its historical grandeur. It was originally a chapel built in the late 15th century by Franciscan missionaries to gain access to the native settlements around the Laguna Lake. By the 17th century, it was expanded into a big church to shelter its growing parishioners. Construction was completed in 1800 through the help of a barangay decree, which compelled all delinquent male taxpayers to voluntarily work in the church’s construction.
St. Jerome Parish Church
Found in Morong, Rizal, the St. Jerome Parish Church was built by Chinese artisans in 1615 with stone and mortars, the financing of which consisted wholly of donations from town residents. Soon after, Don Bartolome Palatino, a resident of Paete, Laguna, reconstructed it. Its distinct Chinese-baroque architecture features a four-story octagonal bell tower and two Chinese lion sculptures at the entrance.
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church
Antipolo is known to be the home of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Señora de la paz Y Buenviaje). History tells us that this miraculous icon has sailed back and forth between Manila and Acapulco eight times, and on several occasions, was credited with saving her galleon from destruction by pirates, Dutch and British blockades. It was on November 26, 1626 that the Archbishop of Manila, Michael O' Doherty, canonized the Blessed Virgin from Acapulco.
Pinagmisahan Hills (Via Dolorosa)
Formerly known as "The White Cross", the Via Dolorosa majestically stands on the high peak of the Pinagmisahan Hills along the Kaytikling Road of Antipolo City. This groto-like hill is now a popular pilgrim site where regular masses and alay-lakads are held.
The town of Angono has transformed itself into the Art Capital of the Philippines. It is home to two of the country's National Artists – Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco for painting and Maestro Lucio D. San Pedro for music.
Bahay na Bato
Bahay na Bato is an ancestral house made of stone that is located at Barangay Imatong. Constructed way back in 1557, it was originally owned by the Talavera clan and is currently maintained by the Tibay Family. It features antique baroque-style architecture.
Blanco Family Museum
The celebrated Blanco Family of painters has its own museum that houses the extraordinary collection of paintings Jose "Pitok" V. Blanco, his wife and seven children have produced through the years. One leaves the museum, at the very least, inspired to similarly take the brush and paint, and at most, feeling proud to be Filipino. Pitok, the son of a fisherman and prodigy of National Artist Botong Francisco, through hard work and discipline, made international fame, ensuring a legacy of art while keeping his feet grounded on our native soil. Source: www.waypoints.ph
Crescent Moon Cafe
This café restaurant that also houses a pottery studio is owned and run by Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, niece of National Artist and sculptor Napoleon Abueva and daughter of former UP President Jose Abueva. She studied in Japan under Japanese masters for three years and is famous for her unique pieces of handmade stoneware ceramics.
Orville Tiamson Art Gallery
“A painter, a musician and a trans-media artist all rolled into one - this is the young Orville Tiamson. His style ranges from the conventional to new age. Orville Tiamson's journey began with an ASEAN scholarship grant in 1987, later collaborating with the Manila Art Circle of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Swinging from music to painting, Orville tried to capture both genres, but in 1992, he realized that he needed to focus more on his painting. His father, Dominador Tiamson was also a painter, only more traditional. The artist's cubist style is very striking, similar to the carved linear drawings of Manansala, with a modern twist. Orville explores Philippine culture, depicting scenes such as the market place and typical barrio life, but using modern cubist style.” Source: www.kulay-diwa.com
Owned and managed by a Dutch Citizen, Yab Design, or AAA, was founded in 1990. The company produces hand-made decorations, mainly out of polyester resin reinforced with fiberglass, and it specializes in life-size and bigger-than-life figurines of all sorts.
Visitors, of course, don't want to let go of the opportunity to visit and see Rizal's more popular natural attractions, as well as its established sites for the conservation of nature.
Included in the list of National Cultural Treasures of the country and World Inventory of Rock Art, this landmark is the oldest known work of art in the Philippines, dating back to circa-3,000 BC. About 127 human and animal figures are engraved on a rock wall made of volcanic tuff. Although some of the inscriptions may have become indistinguishable because of natural erosion, the rest clearly show stylized human figures, frogs, lizards and other interesting figures.
The Avilon Zoo is the largest zoological park in the Philippines, being an eight-hectare nature reserve dedicated to the preservation of the species' natural habitats. The zoo lies in the picturesque valley of Barrio San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal.
Cardona Rock Garden
The Cardona Rock Garden features hundreds of large stones formed by nature into unique shapes. The stones are considered to be among the more interesting rock and stone formations in the country, and the garden has been pronounced by the University of the Philippines - Asian Institute of Tourism (UP-AIT) as the only geological site in the Philippines.
For a long time, Hinulugang Taktak was known in Antipolo as a summer getaway for people from neighboring towns and from Manila. Later realized to be an imperiled natural site due to the growing population in and industrialization of the city, this waterform was restored and beautified. It has been designated as a National Park by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and has also been proclaimed as a National Historical Shrine.
Located at Sitio Putting Bato, Barangay San Luis, a 205-step stairway greets its visitors before reaching the cave's opening. The forms of the stalactites and stalagmites resemble religious icons such as the Trinity, Calvary, the Holy Spirit, a church bell and the Madonna and Child – giving this cave a sense of mysticism.
PACEM Eco Park
The PACEM Eco Park was established by Assumption Antipolo to raise common awareness for the environment among its students, teachers, staff, parents and visitors, by providing them with first-hand experience with nature's beauty, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the significance of ecological security as the key to our planet's survival. It is a haven of over 80 of the country’s 1,600 species of butterflies and a number of native and foreign birds such as mynahs, owls, eagles and parrots. Situated within the campus of Assumption Antipolo, it features an eco-center, a miniforest, a wildlife sanctuary, an aviary and a pond.