Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tour of Morong, Baras & Tanay in Rizal

I gave my mother a different tour experience last month, when she came for a 20-day vacation here. She doesn’t want long road trips, so I took her on a Morong-Baras-Tanay day tour of century-old churches and Daranak Falls.

St. Jerome Church of Morong

First built in 1586 with light materials, a fire destroyed it along with the town in 1612. Now this current church’s frontispiece and belfry were built by Bartolome Palatino of Paete, Laguna between 1850 and 1853. 

I have read on some internet sites that this church was unique in a sense that Chinese artisans helped in its construction. Whether its Mr. Palatino of Paete or Chinese artisans, I would say they did a superb job in creating those intricate carvings on the church’s facade.

The left side of the church with paved walkway.

Inside the church has signs of modernization, especially the roof and ceiling.

While we are at the church, a baptismal event was ongoing. The crowd and even the parish priest were somewhat amused that a family’s sibling of 7 children are finally getting baptized that Sunday. It was great to see them formally entering the Christian world that time.

San Ildefonso Church of Tanay

Built in 1783, this old church still possess the charm of old churches despite the obvious renovation works on its interior. 

View of the church’s lone belfry from the back, right side.

Inside the well-lighted church with well-arranged benches.

The ceiling of the church, covered by the external dome.

They maintained the wooden retablo on the altar area, which I suspect to be the original one during the Spanish era.

Aside from the exlusive balcony for the governor-general above, they have also retained the priest's pulpit below.

A very unique feature of this church are the 12 stations of the cross, given life through wooden carvings that are very intricate to the smallest details. I really admire the artisans who carved them, who probably came from Paete, Laguna.

Baras Church

Completed in 1686, this oldest and smallest church among the three also sits on a hill, like its counterpart in Morong.

It has dark interior, because the church authorities decided to leave its thick adobe walls untouched and unpainted.

Even their 6 holy water stone stoups and altar were carved from the same adobe stones.

Daranak Falls

Along the Sampaloc road from Tanay to Antipolo, we turned left on a smaller road to see Daranak Falls. The local government had developed the place for visitors’ comfort, at a fee of P 20/person. They open at 8:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm. Overnight stays are not allowed.

While crossing their hanging bridge from the entrance, we saw lots of stones balanced on the almost dried riverbed.

Its just a short walk from the entrance to the waterfalls itself. A nice end to cap our sight seeing tour. There were many visitors that Sunday, crowding the adjacent mini waterfalls on the right side, as well as the pool of the main falls. It was almost 4:00 pm when we arrived, and only my nephew decided to take a short dip.

I decided to see the neighboring Batlag Falls, the upper source of Daranak waterfalls. But with their P 100 entrance fee on this private property, I skipped it. It would be absurd to pay that expensive fee, considering that the more beautiful Maria Christina, Merloquet, and Tinuy-an Falls charge much less than P 100/head.

Cafe Katerina

While cruising along the mountainous Marcos highway, we spotted this restaurant on the right side, with promising view of the hills and valleys below. I made a u-turn and we entered the Cafe Katerina.

The dusk view below is nice, despite the thick clouds with threatening rain.

I think that is Mt. Sembrano covered by clouds on the right side.

Having opened for just over a week, the place and furniture looks relatively new. Menu prices are cheap, and their pancit dish we ordered is very good with large portion size.

That is a cheap and good tour of Rizal towns which is near Metro Manila.

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