The province of Rizal is the "R" in Calabarzon. It is a province to the east of Metro Manila with boundaries of the westernmost towns and cities of Cainta and Taytay blurring into the city of Pasig in the capital region. While becoming increasingly urbanized since the past few decades, it holds some rich secrets in both cultures and sights that are untouched by heavy and popular tourism yet are beauties of their own to be enjoyed.
Due to its proximity from Manila, Rizal is becoming an increasingly good residential option for city-bound professionals and students who opt to stay at close proximity to the center of action (Manila) yet far enough to allow occasional peace and quiet (which is becoming increasingly hard to get nowadays).
- Cainta - the gateway to Rizal province
- Pililla - home to Pililla wind farm
- Rodriguez - formerly called Montalban, it is the location of Wawa Dam, which once supplied water for Metro Manila.
- San Mateo
- Tanay - Ecotourism destination on the slope of the Sierra Madre
- Taytay - a town nicknamed 'Garment Capital of the Philippines' due to the presence of 'tiangge'
Used to be a large province which hugged the north coastline of the Laguna de Bay, Rizal now forms half of what it used to be. Named after the national hero, Jose Rizal, the province hugs on the rugged Sierra Madre, which encouraged mass settlement on the lakeside and on the foothills. It is surrounded by Metro Manila to the west, Bulacan to the north, Quezon to the east, and Laguna and the Laguna de Bay to the south. Situated at the heart of the Tagalog homeland (Katagalugan), Rizal is culturally and linguistically Tagalog; much of the province's inhabitants are Tagalog speakers, except for a very small minority of Ilocano and Bicolano migrants.
Rizal, being part of the Southern Tagalog region, has Tagalog (the main basis of Filipino) as the language for everyday transactions though English is more than a second language to most people (especially to the professionals and the younger ones).
The nearest airport is Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but getting to Rizal from the airport is rather bewildering; you will have to get by Manila's notorious traffic and inefficient public transport. Bus service is severely lacking to serve most corners in Rizal, so you might need a car to cover everything not covered well by a jeepney.
Rizal's roads are notoriously small, crowded, and winding due to its geography, and public transportation is severely lacking once you head east.
The major highway through Rizal is Manila East Road, which runs east to west from the boundary with Laguna toward the suburbanized areas of Cainta and Taytay. While most of it has been widened to four lanes and sections through town centers have been bypassed, traffic remains slow.
Public transportation is poor on the eastern parts of the province; there are few jeepneys, and there is infrequent bus service beyond Antipolo.
- Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje), Antipolo, Rizal (right at the Antipolo city centre, public transportation access). The cathedral is popular with travelers who are about to embark on far away trips and other well-wishers and devotees. The actual image is said to have come from Mexico and survived the trip despite a fire erupting on the Galleon. A small museum behind the main cathedral shows the history of the church, the image as well as the festivals held in the month of May (where lots of devotees flock to visit the cathedral). One can also offer a candle for loved ones or friends who are in faraway lands or about to take a trip out of town or the country.
- "Fried Itik" (Fried Duck) from Angono
- [formerly dead link] Thunderbird Resort Rizal, Eastridge Avenue, ☏ . A/C rooms equipped with mini-bar, cable TV, coffee/tea maker and free wi-fi access. Some of its facilities and services are business center, swimming pool, and casino. From ₱3990.