To celebrate my silver anniversary (25 years of existence), I decided to visit Tanay, Rizal to explore Calinawan Cave, Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls.
Initially, the plan was to go directly to the falls upon arrival in Tanay. But since we arrived past lunch time, we decided to just go to Sampaloc Inn to rest and check the falls the day after.
In Sampaloc Inn, the very accommodating owner suggested that we visit Regina Rica – their version of Manaoag. Since it was just a tricycle away from the Inn, we decided to give the place a visit after resting.
From Sampaloc Inn, we took a tricycle to Regina Rica and paid Php20.00 per person. The fare should have been only Php10.00 per person but the tricycle driver gave a lame excuse for over charging. We didn’t bother to complain as this would just ruin our day.
Entrance to Regina Rica was free but they charge Php50.00 per car for the parking fee. All visitors are required to register at the souvenir shop. Since the place is a sacred place and just like other sacred places, they have rules on clothings. Sleeveless, shorts and spaghetti straps are not allowed. However, for visitors who came to visit wearing the prohibited clothings, they provide some cloth as a cover up.
|Entrance to Regina Rica|
|View from the souvenir shop|
|Simple rules to be followed|
From the foot of the hill, we noticed the S-shaped trail that we need to pass through to get to the Image of Mama Mary. Big sunflowers were planted along the trail which made the path really look nice.
|S-trail up the hill|
|El Shaddai hills|
|Surrounded by flowers|
|Sunflowers along the S-trail|
Upon reaching the top of the hill, first timers will be given an orientation by one of the nuns. The orientation is held below the image of Mama Mary. As explained by the nun, the place was built three years ago and is now run by the Dominican Sisters of Regina Rica who are mostly Ilonggas. This explains why most of the names of the different areas in Regina Rica are in Ilongga. Also, the S-shaped trail that we passed through going up the hill was 308 steps and we didn’t even notice that it was that many! She further explained that S stands for “sacred”. Then, she explained the cross that was inside the adoration chapel. It has the idea of the “Absence Presence”.
|This is what the cross inside the chapel looks like.|
|Shoes for sale. :p|
|View from just outside the Chapel|
We were also informed that we can offer candles for different purposes – they have colored candles and each color are for different purposes. Each candle costs Php20.00.
And finally, we were also asked to try their labyrinth – where we would walk peacefully and calmly following the steps. Initially, we thought that it would just be a quick activity - but we were wrong! ^_^
|And the journey starts here|
|The center of the Labyrinth|
The trip to Regina Rica was short but fulfilling. Hopefully, more people would be visiting the place just like in Manaoag, Pangasisnan and Simala, Cebu.
Directions to Regina Rica from Manila:
1. At Starmall, ride a van going to Tanay. The van terminal is located in front of Starmall facing Mega Mall. Fare is Php70.00 per head
2. Drop off at the Tanay terminal located in Tanay Market and look for the jeepney going to Sampaloc. The jeepney terminal is located at the leftmost of the same terminal as the van.
3. Ask to be dropped off at Sampaloc Crossing.Fare would be Php26.00 per head.
4. From Sampaloc Crossing, ride a tricycle going to Regina Rica. Fare is Php10.00 per head.