A day trip to Rizal

May 29, 2018 by

Not wanting to be trapped in the crazy traffic along C-5, I was determined to choose a destination that doesn’t involve “going south” for our family day trip.

After much consideration, we decided to embark on a day trip to Rizal province. Oh wait, I actually didn’t consider the heat BUT what can you do when it is summer.


Family time

Family time


We were tight on days because my brother was only visiting for a short time so we exclude anything that requires an overnight stay (byebye Zambales, Baguio, La Union, La Casas de Filipinas and others). I googled high and low and finally decided on the following itinerary:

Brunch at Rustic Mornings, Marikina

Sightseeing at Pililla Windmill Farm

Calinawan Cave, Tanay

Daranak Falls, Tanay

Tanay Church

Tanay lighthouse

Dinner at Vieux Chalet, Antipolo

So off we go!

First stop: Rustic Mornings, Marikina.

We went here because we saw some people went here the week before and they said it’s a nice hidden sanctuary very near the city.

Verdict: True! They keep the gate closed for whatever reason but there’s an open sign. We enjoy a nice alfresco brunch eventhough it was mid morning. And a plus point for me, their service is pronto. It bugged Phodi and I that food service in Manila is generally very slow but Rustic Morning was very quick. And their hash brown is rosti like! Yummmm


Pililla Windmill Farm


Next stop: Pililla Windmill Farm

1.5 hours away from Manila, is a sustainable renewable energy farm. This amazing farm is an answer for the future guys. The farm at Pililla is the 2nd in the Philippines, with the first windmill farm located in Bangui, Ilocos.

As it is summer, we were practically burned under the sun. Heheh open air, mid-day, on top of the mountain.. Perfect combination. Regardless, we enjoyed the place. They provided extensive information on the structure and the energy usage. I learned new things by visiting this place. Nathan also had fun reading the information.


Pililla Windmill Farm


We noticed that the local government just started building the site to be a tourist attraction. We saw some preparation to shift the road from gravel into cement. So yes, it was very dusty (because of the strong wind.. obviously that’s why they build windmill farm in the area!). But there were CR near the information center. Also as the time we visited, it was free entrance.


Pililla Windmill Farm


Some Pililla Wind Farm trivia:

  • there are 27 windmills operating
  • they can generate power for 66.000 houses in the area.
  • the windmills are imported (from Germany, I think) to Manila Bay and it took 2 days to bring them up to Pililla
  • the times when we use most energy (AC and lights), are also the time when winds tend to blow stronger. i.e. 12-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
  • it’s the 2nd wind farm in the Philippines


My trivia: I enjoyed listening to the constant “whoosh whoosh” sound that the windmill produces ;)


Calinawan Cave


Next stop: Calinawan Cave

My mom, kids and I stayed in the car for this one. My mom and Nathan don’t like darkness and I couldn’t bother going in with a baby. My dad’s verdict? It was good but we have been to a better one in Indonesia. Sorry! The cost per person is P40 and P200 for the guide. Nice photo spot.


Calinawan Cave



Daranak Falls


Next stop: Daranak Falls

I actually wanted to go to Batlag Falls which google said is better. However, because our driver was quite persistent to go to this one so oklah… lo and behold, it was too crowded even though we went on a weekday. We were prepared to go swimming but I lost interest as soon as we arrived. The cost to go in was P50 per person. The water was a bit murky because there were too many people. I think you can rent a floater for P50 and a tent for P200.


Daranak Falls


Although we didn’t swim, we still had a nice time there just enjoying the sound of the falls. I think it was also the kids’ first time to see a natural waterfall. Nathan now has a clear picture of waterfall vs fountain. Haha.


Tanay Church


Next stop: Tanay Church & Tanay Lighthouse

Nothing too special at the Tanay Church. I barely remember what I saw there. Oh wait, there’s the (cardboard) Pope at the church.


Tanay Lighthouse


The lighthouse was even more interesting because it is very… short. Haha. Oh but it’s ok, at least we went and saw the view. It was a nice area for the local to hang out while waiting for sunset. Most of all I’m still amazed that there was no one smoking! Thank God that we get to be in the Philippines after the smoking ban imposed.


dessert platter at Vieux Chalet

dessert platter at Vieux Chalet


Next stop: Vieux Chalet in Antipolo

Vieux Chalet is a Swiss restaurant owned by a Swiss – Filipina couple. They said you need to “reserve in advance so we can serve you better”. Truth is, because everything is homemade they need reservation so they could calculate how much to prepare in order to maintain freshness. On the day we dine there were only 1 drink available. Hehe.

Food wise, it was ok. I wouldn’t say fantastic but it’s definitely different. The view though is nice especially because we can see our side of the city from here. Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas is easily seen because the lights make it distinguishable.  Now I know that the mountain view I see everyday from our condo is Antipolo. Anyways, the view and the price of Vieux Chalet make them popular for proposal. In fact, we found out that one of our dgroup friends proposed his then girlfriend here.


Vieux Chalet Antipolo


To take advantage of the “special occasion” mood in this place, we told the waitress that we’re celebrating my brother’s birthday. His birthday was the day after anyway. He was given a chocolate lava cake on the house. Thank you for the nice gesture!


After a full day adventure around Rizal, we came home pretty much sticky and dusty. I think it was a good day trip to do from Manila though. The main point of interest is definitely the windmill although nothing much can be done there. Would I do it again? Hmm… I don’t think so. Would I recommend it? Maybe if you’re interested to learn about sustainable energy. Otherwise it will be a no.


Wait up Philippines, we’ll travel more!


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