Regina Rica at Tanay, Rizal

Still undecided which church are you visiting this coming Holy Week? 
I have another suggestion aside from Tagaytay Visita Iglesia link: here and Kamay ni Hesus link: here.


Here's a place in Tanay, Rizal that is definitely visited by a lot of pilgrims especially during Holy Weeks.

One Sunday afternoon we thought of attending mass here at Regina Rica in Tanay. As in we were just having lunch and we were like,

"Darating ba tayo dun ng 3:30 kung aalis tayo ng 1 mamaya?"

Here's our spur of the moment trip to Tanay:

The travel was so long! When we reached Morong, we asked a tricycle driver if we were still far from Regina Rica and unexpectedly or expectedly, we were. We have no idea where it is aside from the information that it is near Camp Capinpin and it is along Marcos Highway. After around one and a half hour of non-stop driving, we started questioning ourselves on how we were able to come up with the decision to go there that afternoon. Sobrang bigla tas ang layo pala sobra. It was like travelling from Quezon City to Batangas kind of feel only this time, there's no convenience of SLEX and/or Star Tollway. We passed by barangay after barangay. No, actually it was municipality after municipality. Talk about driving through Antipolo, Teresa, Morong, Baras to Tanay. Don't get me wrong. I love long rides and I've always wanted to go and explore Rizal province, maybe because it was too sudden that the travel to Regina Rica was kind of draining. Wala kasing preparations, hapon na and even if we knew that we were in the right way, we couldn't estimate the time nor the distance of Regina Rica from where we were, medyo nakakapagod din 'yun.

*I remembered that I've passed by there for a few times already when I went to Pangil, Laguna and Quezon few years ago.

Anyway, when we saw the tarpaulin that said,
"Regina Rica, straight ahead."

All my energy was restored.

Unfortunately, the mass was already more than halfway when we arrived but it's okay.

After the mass, there was Anointing of the Holy Oil and theirs is the most fragrant oil I've smelled ever. Too bad they don't sell it in their souvenir shop.

If you like to be Anointed too but can't travel to Tanay, they also have Anointing of Holy Oil in St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel in Libis link: here.

Oh, and it was so sweet of the nuns to ask us, all the Regina Rica first-timers, to stand as they sang their welcome song. It's like the whole travel was worth it because of the hospitality they showed us. Plus, "Kaya kayo andito kasi tinawag kayo ni Mama Mary at nakinig kayo." And that answered why and how we come up with this super spontaneous idea of traveling there.

Thank You, Mama Mary for calling us that afternoon. Thank You for allowing us to spend an afternoon there at the slopes and mountains of Sierra Madre to relax and unwind... and for reminding me what I like doing the most, what excites me and what fascinates me.
The design of their altar.
View from the chapel.
I heard that there's an orientation in the morning because the place is huge. They even give out map of the area.
Are you "fit" enough to climb 308 steps that would lead you to this 71 feet tall statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary? If not, you don't have to worry if you can't reach the top of the hill by foot because there's a shuttle that would take you there for only P 5.00 per person.

And so we'd have the energy to climb, we ate here at their Pasilungan Restaurant first.
Vegetarian and organic foods are available.

Here's what they were offering for that day.
Pasilungan is a self-service restaurant.
P 100.00
2-3 persons.
Mais Con Yelo
Souvenir Shop and Orientation Hall
Become a part of the S-trail by donating P 1000.00.
I'd like to have my name there too!
Your names are going to be placed here if ever you decide to sponsor.
And we reached the top of the hill.

The experience definitely reminded me of Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon link: here. This time, mas madali lang akyatin.
View up there.
Aside from the statue of Mama Mary, there's also a part of the hill where you can write your pledges and thanksgiving or offer candles.
"Nothing can destroy you in this world except yourself."


Our thoughts become our actions which will shape our destiny.
Let's practice internal locus of control. 

Kind of hard to light up their candles.
Challenge lang i-shoot 'yung candle sa baso pag nasindihan na.

Candles are color coded depending on what your prayers or thanksgivings are. And you'll also see my sexy silhouette in this picture. Baka sexy. hahaha
Stations of the cross scattered around the vicinity.
Outside view of the chapel.
I wasn't able to put watermark on the picture of the nipa huts which you can rent in case you'd want to have picnic there. I was also told that there are more to explore in that area like the hanging bridge and some animals like rabbits and monkey are available for viewing.

Medyo kapareho siguro ng Caleruega in Batangas link: here.
And then our driver was able to ask another driver of a shorter route (baka shorter nga) to home and!!!! Yes, there is. Although it also took us more than hour, mas okay since walang traffic and tuloy tuloy lang.
I was so amazed watching the sunset while driving through the zigzag road of Sierra Madre Mountain Range and overlooking Laguna Bay.

Someday, I'd like to experience staying in a resort there in Sierra Madre or better yet, experience mountain climbing (Hello, Daranak and Batlag falls din). I was too caught up in looking at the sceneries that I didn't notice that everyone in our car was already starting to get nervous as the sun started to set. Madami daw kasing NPA sa lugar na 'yun and that they may stop us anytime and steal or worse ma-hostage, pwede rin mawalan kami ng gas nang walang tindahan na madaanan o kotseng dadaan. Daming pwedeng mangyari pero habang andun kami, wala kong kaalam-alam na natatakot na sila. Thankfully, we got home safe.

I noticed that there were several military checkpoints in the area. Di ko alam kung dahil lang nandun 'yung Camp Capinpin o ano. I even saw something like Jungle Fighters, 2nd Infantry Division specializing in jungle warfare. Wala talaga kong naramdaman na takot whatsoever kahit may mga ganyan. All I know is that the view was breathtaking.

If you're going there, wag na lang paabot ng gabi para mas safe. Pa-full tank na kayo just to be sure especially if you're passing through Cogeo/ Marcos Highway. Wala kasi talaga masyadong bahay pero grabe ang ganda ganda ng daan. Sobrang sayang lang that some mountains don't have trees anymore. Huhu. Sana sa Sierra Madre ko matupad 'yung nasa wishlist ko na makapagtanim ng puno this 2014. Hope the government and the people take necessary actions to restore and conserve the area. Ang ganda para sirain lang.
Here's a map I found in Regina Rica's site.

We passed by the black colored way ng papunta and pink ng pabalik. Passing through that pink road is 100 times more convenient than passing through the black. And don't get fooled by the simplicity of the map. Yes, diretso lang but you're gonna pass by a mountain range kaya medyo paikot-ikot 'yang pink na 'yan. Mala-Baguio raw 'yung daan kasi zigzag pero sobrang ganda. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi na maganda dyan... e maganda naman kasi talaga. hahahaha

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