Discovering Rizal Province via Manila East Road
by Danny Tariman
It was a lazy Sunday morning after attending the Mass. Without much to do at home, we decided to have a “joy ride”.
We tried the C-6 (Circumferential-6) Road from Bicutan in Metro Manila, going to Rizal. It was an easy 30-minute drive from Bicutan to Cainta, Rizal! This is a very big improvement in travel time from an hour-and-a-half drive via Ortigas Avenue to just about 30 minutes via C-6! We have no objective destination. This was just a pure “joy ride” exploring the towns of Rizal province via the Manila East Road, and perhaps taste local food and delicacies.
We first got the sight of this old church in Morong town, in Rizal province. This was almost twelve noon. We stopped here, and of course, we prayed inside. It is the St Jerome Church of Morong. This is a centuries-old structure with fine architectural design. The frontage is plastered in cement while the sides and the interiors still shows the concrete blocks in its original form.
We were looking for some local restaurant that serves local food. Unfortunately, most – if not all of them – are branches of Manila-based restos. And so we just had our lunch at a popular burger chain.
We then proceeded to one of Tanay town’s favorite nature tourist destination, the Daranak Falls. Wow, it is awesome! The magnificent water falls veiling a wide portion of a hilltop. There are also a number of smaller, secondary falls, but this main falls really gushes immensely with water from the mountains.
Downstream is a wide river where many local tourists were enjoy a cool bath, some of them making some “rock arrangement” activity. We had a quick exploration of the place, passing through rocks and foot trails.
After few minutes – that was about 2pm – we drove back towards the metro. We passed by Tanay Church. This too is a centuries-old structure. The interiors show a bit of renovations; it does not show anymore the mortar-and-brick surface we usually see in old churches. The altar is impressive with gold trimming.
Our next stop was the name-sake of my hometown, Baras in Rizal. (I am from Baras, Catanduanes.) This too is an old church and the interiors shows its antiquity. I appreciate the interiors as it is able to maintain its rustic looks. The yard has some steps which matches the antique appearance of the church. A good place for photo-ops.
One thing I noticed: an old church bell which is very similar to my hometown’s church bell. I remember in my childhood, whenever this type of bell is rung, the entire town is filled with its “clanging” sound. This one however, rests on a hanger just a few feet from the ground. How I wish it is still used and hanged at the church’s belfry.
After this “visita iglesia” on a regular weekend (not holy week), we drove back home. I love these moments with my family, exploring together places we haven’t been before!