Not-Your-Usual Valentine’s Day Spots in CALABARZON: Part 1
Traveling with your honey, hubby, babe, baby or the love of your life strengthens the bond of your relationship. Exploring the unknown places, getting lost in unfamiliar alleys, and having a taste of savory dishes are all part of the experience. The excursion becomes enjoyable and sweeter when it happens on Valentine’s Day.
If you are planning to surprise your partner until the last minute, try considering the areas of Cavite and Rizal. Both places are a drive away from Manila. Most of all, they offer unique hangout places and activities for a different kind of Valentine’s Day.
Another accessible province from Manila is Cavite. The area is showing signs of economic progress. New malls, housing estates like Vermosa, and work opportunities are available in various municipalities. There 17 towns in Cavite in total.
Visiting the Corregidor Island brings you back to World War II. The area has a rocky fortress, a reminder of how freedom was fought and won. What’s more, it has the Mile-Long Barracks, Spanish Lighthouse, and Eternal Flame of Freedom. You can visit the fort and ruins through a traditional historical tour using the tramvia, a walking tour for hikers and a biking tour. Guests can bring their bikes.
If hiking is becoming a common activity, why not try paragliding? Carmona Ridge pumps adrenaline in your blood and gives you a chance to fly. Couples will feel literally feel like flying through the extreme sport.
Rizal is one of the most accessible provinces from National Capital Region especially if you’re coming from the East. It takes an hour or more depending on the part of the region.
The area has 13 municipalities and a city. Currently, four places are gaining popularity – Angono, Antipolo, Taytay, and Tanay. Places like Antipolo and Tanay are mountainous while Angono and Taytay are some of the low-lying towns of the province.
Known for its Higantes Festival, the town is the “Art Capital of the Philippines.” It has folk art museums, eateries, and restaurants with exotic and native cuisine as well as quick and sweet munchies. The Balaw – Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Art Gallery and Nemiranda Art House Atelier Cafe Restaurant serve local specialties that aren’t on the usual menu.
The town is also the site of the first known work of art in the country. The Angono Petroglyphs is reminiscent of the Neolithic period that serves as a rare treasure. National Artist and local Carlos “Botong” Francisco discovered the rock carvings in 1965.
Looking for a getaway near Manila? The resorts in Antipolo are a great sub for the beach life. Loreland Farm Resort is an eight-hectare property that houses Luljetta’s Hanging Spa and Gardens. The spa includes bed and breakfast, sauna, hydro massage, fish spa and the meditation lounge. The overlooking view from the infinity pool adds to the appeal of the retreat.
If you want to explore something different, the Mystical Cave in Puting Bato has rock formations similar to religious figures. Moreover, the rock ceiling resembles the typical cathedral and almost eight storeys deep. The deep sections are open to experienced mountaineers.
Antipolo is also a must-visit spot for art enthusiasts. Pinto Art Museum, a Mediterranean-inspired structure, fuses art and nature in one setting. The place allows lounging and taking photos of various works of art. The museum has contemporary Filipino artworks as well as indigenous ones. The area also features a chapel and cafes.
Meanwhile, Tanay is an excellent substitute for Tagaytay. You can feel the cold breeze in the mountains of Tanay. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the conservation area and rock garden at Masungi Geoserve. There’s also the Daraitan Falls and Tinipak Rocks. You can swim in the small pool of water below the falls and climb the rocks until you reach the highest peak.
Cavite and Rizal aren’t the usual places you hear about CALABARZON. These provinces give you time off Laguna and Batangas (ehem, Tagaytay). Though they are gems, they aren’t the only places to explore in the region.
Featured image by PhilStar