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Travel Guide to Rizal: Your Weekend Fix to Art and Adventure Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Cover photo by Livi Bautista. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

At a Glance

Overlooking Manila, Rizal is a perfect getaway for art and adventure enthusiasts. Outdoor junkies swear by Masungi Georeserve for its giant rope hammocks stretched over impressive karst formations. Pinto Art Museum and the Philippines’ art capital, the town of Angono, are explored for their varied art pieces and installations.

Overview

Shaped like a spider’s web, the giant hammocks at Masungi Georeserve are an exhilarating sight to lie on. Just don’t look down as the blade-sharp karst formations will make your heart jump out of your chest! The high elevation and surrounding natural beauty of the Sierra Madre mountain range in this area are a sure treat to citydwellers of Manila.


Just nearby the georeserve are outdoor destinations that easily get packed on weekends. Mt. Daraitan offers a moderate hiking trail with cool views of Laguna de Bay and a side trip to the marble-bouldered Tinipak River. Similarly close by are Calinawan Cave and its sun-golden cave openings, and the clear blue-pooled Daranak Waterfalls and Batlag Waterfalls.


Rizal, however, is not limited to adventure junkies. Those with an inclination to art and architecture can head to the quirky Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo for a half day’s exploration. And if you’re hungry for more, drive by the town of Angono, the Philippines’ art capital, where you can visit many art galleries and museums such as Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Art Gallery and Angono Street Gallery.


There are several nature resorts too in Rizal. Some of our best picks are Mount Purro Nature Reserve, Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa, and Boso-Boso Highlands Resort. The best time to visit Rizal though is in November, when locals dress up in giant paper-mache figures and parade on the streets during the Higantes Festival or Parade of the Giants.

8 Things To Do in Rizal for the perfect weekend adventure

Written by Colleen Cabili

Pinto Art Museum

You don’t have to be a fan of art to appreciate this contemporary museum in Antipolo. A well-maintained garden welcomes guests upon entering the property. Inside the stark-white building are works of different Filipino artists—paintings, sculptures, and even installations. 

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Photo by Pricilla Cruz Perez, instagram.com/pmec.

Tinipak River

Often included in itineraries as a side trip to the famous Mt. Daraitan, this river deserves a spotlights of its own since it’s known as one of the cleanest in the country.

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Photo by Renz Carandang, instagram.com/renzcarandang.
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Photo by Raf Camahort, instagram.com/camahort.

Daranak Falls

Locals and tourists alike can be seen flocking this 14-meter high attraction during the hot summer months. Its close proximity from the metro makes it a top getaway choice among city dwellers.

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Photo from instagram.com/georgeabphotography.

Masungi Georeserve

Craving for a different kind of adventure? Strap on your hiking shoes and invite your friends over for a 3-4 trek in Masungi Georeserve, a conservation area and geopark found that’s packed with thrilling amenities that will make you appreciate nature more.

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Photo by Gene Yamamoto.
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Photo from instagram.com/robinell_pitz.

Camp Sinai

If you’re an avid long-distance biker, you’ve probably passed by this stopover in Tanay. Apart from the magnificent panoramic view of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Manila, and Laguna de Bay, it also features the world’s largest tablet of the ten commandments.

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Photo by Franc Ramon.

Mt. Daraitan

Mt. Daraitan's proximity to the city makes it a popular dayhike among climbers of all levels. A part of the Sierra Madre mountain range, its summit offers panoramic views of Laguna de Bay, Mt. Makiling and Sembrano, and the glassy Tinipak River. 

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Photo by Daphne Pacia.

Calinawan Cave

Explore the chambers of this multi-storey cavern which served as a hideout and shelter for Filipino revolutionaries during the Spanish American War and World War 2.

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Photo from justinvawter.com.

Palo Alto Falls

This tranquil waterfall is regarded as one of Rizal’s best kept secrets. Despite being nestled in the middle of a developing leisure and residential area, Palo Alto Falls has kept its tranquility intact. 

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Photo from tupanggala.com.

Where is Rizal

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Rizal is part of Calabarzon located in northern Philippines.

How to get to Rizal

Folks driving from Manila can quickly get to Rizal in one or two hours' drive via C5 and Marilaque Highway. If you're commuting, there are several points in Manila where you can take a jeepney, FX, van, or bus. Popular pick up points include Cubao, Starmall EDSA Shaw, EDSA Central, and Robinsons Ortigas. It may take two rides in some cases, but no worries! Drivers and locals in the area are very helpful and can easily teach you how to reach your exact destination. Going around Rizal makes use of jeepneys and tricycles. Some areas also offer taxis and vans rides.


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