A Day Trip In Tanay : The Regina RICA

We left the Parola (Check : A Day Trip To Tanay : The Parola) around 9 am and its very odd that despite the scourging heat of the sun, the rain started to fall (may kinakasal yata na tikbalang). We finally made it to our next destination in Tanay, the well known pilgrim site of Regina RICA. Regina RICA is indeed one of the popular pilgrim destinations that is not too far from Manila (Check : List of Pilgrim Sites and Retreat Centers NEAR Manila That You Should Visit This Holy Week) . I have always wanted to visit this place but I never got a chance to do so. That is why when I saw that the site will be part of our itinerary, i really just can’t hide my excitement.IMG_0397tRegina RICA basically stands for Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia. The congregation behind this 13.5 hectares pilgrim site was founded by the former members of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary in 2005. Standing on top of the hill is the marvelous image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. It is a 71ft tall image of the Virgin Mary, a masterpiece of artist and sculptor Jojo Barcena Jr. It is definitely a work of art and something pilgrims can marvel but this is not just a typical huge Marian image. This huge sculpture is actually habitable and people are actually encouraged to go inside for their own spiritual enlightenment and meditation.IMG_0375tThe map of Regina RICA showcasing all the facilities, retreat centers and activity areas that you can find within the huge hectare of land.IMG_0384tIMG_0378tThe huge image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary as seen from afar. Like I said, the rain began to fall and I thought that I will never get a chance to enjoy this trip. We were given an hour to explore the place which is actually good enough to attend a mass and to explore the other areas. Since we already attended the mass in Tanay Church (Check : A Day Trip In Tanay : The Tanay Church), we decided to explore the area instead. The rain stopped few minutes later and I started to navigate the place.  The first place that will welcome you upon entering the Regina RICA is their visitor center. Here, you’ll find souvenirs, a booth where you can write petitions, donation area and also venue to orient visitors of the do’s and dont’s while exploring the Regina RICA. This is not a field trip or excursion after all. It is a place of prayer and contemplation.IMG_0381tThe best way to reach the statue of Mary is by passing through their so-called Mary’s Sacred Trail. IMG_0389they also refer it as the S-Trail while others are referring it as the Sunflower trail. I’m not sure if it’s because of the curvy path or because the trail is formerly filled with sunflowers (I didn’t find any though) but as you can see the path is still surrounded by plants and flowers.IMG_0410tCandle Offering Stations can also be found along the way.IMG_0414tIMG_0407tIMG_0404tThe image of Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary as viewed from the S-TrailIMG_0387tAlso from the S-Trail, you’ll get a nice perpective of the RICA Chapel which is located just below the hill. IMG_0420tThe very interesting Columbary as viewed from the S-trail.IMG_0426tAnd finally, after few minutes of passing through the S-trail, I have reached the foot of the marvelous image of the Virgin Mary. IMG_0434tIt was really stunning and I can’t help but to marvel its beauty! As you reach the top, you will be welcomed by a long queue of pilgrims and devotees. They were all lining up to enter the facility inside the habitable statue of the Virgin Mary. Please be mindful that this place is a place of prayer and meditation and they are not allowing anyone to take any pictures inside. You can bring your gadgets with you but please, as a sign of respect, refrain yourself from using it once you get inside. IMG_0460tIMG_0454tSo what to expect from Regina Rosarii statue? Once you enter, you will be prompted into a waiting area. Here, someone will brief you on what are the things you should do and observe once you enter the adoration area. They will provide you information and history about the Regina RICA,about their future and current projects and more. Please be mindful too that visitors are required to take off their shoes once they enter the facility. After few minutes of briefing, you and your batch will be prompted to go upstairs. Here, a member/ sister of the congregation will invite you to join a short yet spiritually enlightening prayer and meditation in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament . After doing so, you will now be guided to the exit so they can accommodate the next batch. IMG_0463tIMG_0466tOutside, you’ll find another activity area, the so-called Pilgrim’s LabyrinthIMG_0495tIt is a very simple activity where pilgrims are encouraged to follow the path all the way to the center where they can offer their prayers and also the path to go out. I actually thought that it is going to be easy but it surprisingly took me almost half and hour just to get the right path. It was really a rewarding experience though. IMG_0469tIMG_0499tIMG_0508tThe image of the Virgin Mary as viewed downhill.IMG_0502tThere is also a Way of the Cross trail for the pilgrims to try on. IMG_0514tThe Pahuwayan Columbary also offers an interesting work of art (also credited to Mr Jojo Barcena Jr)IMG_0517tIMG_0520tIMG_0523tIMG_0535tIMG_0538tRotunda De San Jose

Things You Should Know Before Visiting the Regina RICA
► Regina RICA is open every Mondays to Sundays except Tuesdays from 8 am to 5pm
► There is NO ENTRANCE Fee To Regina RICA
► Those with cars, however, should pay for the Parking Fee (Php50)
► Proper Dresscode should be observed. Female with short skirts is not allowed but if they want to enter the place, the facility is allowing them to borrow long skirts and shawls. (They’re kinda glossy so if you do not want to wear such, maybe going there in proper attire should be highly considered)

How To Get to Regina RICA via Public Transport
►From Star Mall in Shaw Boulevard, you can ride a van that will take you to Tanay town proper. Just tell the driver to drop you off to the Sampaloc Jeepney Terminal. From there, ride the Sampaloc-Bound jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at the Sampaloc Tanay Market. From there you can ride a tricycle that can take you to the Regina RICA site.
► It is very ideal to asked the tricycle driver and made a deal with them to pick you up because it is quite hard to find a ride going back to the Sampaloc Market.

After an hour of exploring the huge hectare of land of Regina RICA (an hour is actually not enough to explore them all), we were taken to a nearby restaurant to take our lunch. After doing so, we went to our next destination and this is actually where the real adventure begins! We went to Calinawan Cave and it was my first every spelunking adventure!

By the way guys, In case you are planning to stay in Rizal for a day or two, you can check the list of affordable and “budgetarian” Hotels in the link below!

I can’t wait to share you my first caving experience and I will post them all in my next entry but for the mean time, if you have time , feel free to follow me at my accounts for more updates:

Facebook : It’s Me Bluedreamer!
Instagram :  @bluedreamer1227
Twitter : @bluedreamer_27

Here are the links to the rest of my Tanay escapade: Feel free to visit the links below
Pililla Wind Farm
Tanay Church (San Ildefonso de Toledo Parish)
The Parola of Tanay
Regina RICA
The Calinawan Cave
The Daranak Falls
► The Batlag Falls

40 thoughts on “A Day Trip In Tanay : The Regina RICA”

  1. Tara Pittman says:

    I am loving all that green. I live in the desert so would love to visit for all these plants

  2. Those are great pictures! I would love to go there.

  3. Wren says:

    These pictures are breathtaking! It looks like a beautiful place to visit.

  4. This place looks fantastic. Your photos do a great job and the Lady of The Most Holy Rosary is phenomenal.

  5. Amy Jones says:

    Such a beautiful location! I really want to go there

  6. Wow. 🙂 Nakapunta na ako ng Tanay pero hindi pa ako nagawi dito. Hope to drop by Tanay and visit this.

  7. Heather Gallagher says:

    Oh wow! The shrine is beautiful! I love it – was it hard to get to? I’m going to put it on my list!

  8. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s beautiful! I’ve never seen anything like it. I love that they’ve maintained her so well throughout the years. It was nice reading about her story.

  9. Christina Aliperti says:

    Everything looks so beautiful! I think the statue is very majestic and striking.

  10. Tiffany C says:

    Such beautiful scenery. I look forward to reading about your caving adventure.

  11. victoria says:

    Such a nice place to visit. Looks like I want to go there

  12. Mary Barham says:

    Oh my goodness…. what I would do to travel like this! Beautiful!!! I want to see it in person!

  13. Azlin Bloor says:

    Looks like a really wonderful place to go. I love the huge statue of Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary!

  14. What incredible religious monuments. I love the look of Tanay it looks like such a bountiful place to visit.

  15. Amber Myers says:

    This looks like a great area. What a fun trip!

  16. Tami Qualls says:

    Regina Rica is new to me. I have 3njoyed the view via your photos.

  17. Teresa Kunberger says:

    That place looks like a blast ! I would have so much fun as you did I am sure!

  18. Bill S says:

    Everything looks beautiful!!!! What an amazing place to visit and to explore, I love the history in places like this!

  19. Kecia says:

    I have never heard of this place. It looks so peaceful, I am sure it was a great addition to your trip!

  20. danavento says:

    It is a very nice place to visit and have a retreat. My family is so religious and they will be happy to visit this place.

  21. This sounds like an amazing place to visit! Love all the photos.

  22. Brandi H says:

    You posted some beautiful photos. It sounds like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  23. KT Nielsen says:

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever visit this place because I am not a Catholic myself but the place looks really nice. It also looks really serene, nestled in between lush greeneries. It’s a good place to reflect and meditate and say a prayer or two. Thanks for sharing (at least I can see the pictures from your post).

  24. Lux G. says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit here. Ang ganda!

  25. Berlin says:

    The image of Mama Mary is just so breathtaking. And the trail going there is equally beautiful. Would love to visit the place as well. Thank you for the share.

  26. Im not a Catholic but i do admire the solemnity of the place. Its like the one in Lucban Quezon where you need to climb up too. The greenery is just so relaxing! Lovely view to look at. Seems like a really perfect place to reflect..

  27. ROBERT LEE says:

    And Tanay continues to surprise me. So meron din palang ganyan sa Tanay. Seriously nagulat ako, pero it makes sense. That is 13+ hectares of land, tama no?

    Anyway, question, the columbary is exposed? As in that is outdoors no?

  28. Maria says:

    Woah. That’s a huge image of Mama Mary! This reminded me of a place back home. It’s Kawa-Kawa located in Ligao, Albay. Similar in some ways though. I am amazed by places like this because of the layout, environment and the images placed in the area. Hope to reach that some time soon!

  29. theresa says:

    Is it cold there? It looks like the place is giving a chilly weather despite the sunny day. The weather looks so great in your photos that a day trip in Tanay is great. I am thinking of going in a daytrip in Bataan but the fee was just expensive.

  30. mikka alaia says:

    you gotta say the photos show a bright sunny day. I’m guessing you had a spiritual experience as well besides the the usual travel and go feeling. kudos for the nice photos!

  31. Sarah Bailey says:

    This looks like such a beautiful place to visit. I would love to be able to go one day.

  32. You made me smile when I read about the Tikbalang on their wedding day.

    The place is truly peaceful though I’m not catholic, but I always admire the devotion of some to their pilgrimage. I like the place and as always you always pass the extraordinary sense of your photos. Photos were beautifully captured!

  33. Indrani says:

    The face looks so kind and loving! I wish to gaze at it in real!
    That is an interesting prayer activity to go in circles till the center. Very thoughtful of you to include the tips on transport.

  34. Laveena Sengar says:

    Wow. It looks like a great place to visit. I said really hear about it till I read this post. Beautiful work with the pictures. How is the weather out there? Also, what would be the best time to visit?

  35. ram kuizon says:

    After reading this instantly I remembered my mom, I think she would love to visit this massive and vast congregation. I don’t if you have heard or been to the Simala in Cebu Milton. But I think equally both are serene and is a conducive for reflection.
    I do hope this place won’t get too publicize and commercialize. That’s my two cents. Keep more blogs coming!

    http://www.truebluecebuano.wordpress.com

  36. jared's mum says:

    I have always wanted to see this place ever since I read about it in another blog. I have also been reading a lot of good stuff about Tanay and I have to admit, a trip to the place should be in order! I would love to visit all the lovely attractions with my boys one of these days!

  37. ASKSonnie says:

    I’m interested to try that labyrinth. Perhaps the experience can be replicated for corporate trainings too.

  38. These pictures look amazing–what camera did you use?
    I love the statuary, these look remarkable.
    The vibrancy of the photos definitely adds to the allure of the place.

  39. Anosa says:

    What an amazing place to visit, the green on the ground and the blue skies have me wanting to visit

  40. Nicole P. says:

    I came to tanay once, it was on our way to Pililia for the windmills in Rizal and Laguna. <3 This is one of those must check out places especially if we are celebrating holy week. Do you think weddings are allowed to be held here? I'm asking because there are certain churches where they don't allow weddings, and I'm curious. 🙂

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