||THE PROVINCE OF RIZAL|
Capital : Angono
Area : 1,303.8 sq. km
Population : 975,850
Cities : Antipolo
No. of Towns : 15
Rizal lies immediately east of Metro Manila. It is bounded on the north by Bulacan, on the east by Laguna
and Quezon, and on the south by Laguan de Bay. It has no existing provincial capital but the seat of its
government is in Pasig, which currently forms part of Metro Manila.
After the fall of Manila in 1571, Captain Juan de Salcedo proceeded along the Pasig River and overran
Cainta and Taytay, already thriving settlements. Soon, the Spaniards founded one town after another
which eventually formed the military district of Morong. In 1898, Antipolo became the capital of Morong;
in 1899, this was transferred to Tanay.
On June 11, 1901, the first Philippine Commission passed Act No. 310 which united parts of the old
province of Manila and the district of Morong to form a new province named after Jose P. Rizal, the
country's national hero - although he was from Laguna. Rizal Province originally consisted of 26
municipalities - 14 from Manila and 12 from Morong. In 1975, the newly-created Metro Manila
incorporated 12 towns of Rizal, including Pasig, the capital .
Todays, world-class artist and painters continue to be spawned by Angono and Binangonan, close to the very sites where the petroglyphs were unearthed. However farfetched, it is easy to assume that the predisposition toward visual arts and the indigenous creativity of the people raised within the lakeshore communities, is a priceless inheritance for countless of generations. Some of the art luminaries spawned by the province are Vicente Manansala, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Nemiranda, and the Jose Blanco family of painters. In this regards, not to be missed in the Rizal tourist itinerary are the Blanco, Nemiranda and other private artists' galleries and the Angono Artists' Village.
Hinulugang Taktak is a popular mountain resort, but the waterfalls are said to be
no longer as pretty as before.
The neighboring towns of Antipolo΄s also have a old, impressive churches.
St. Jerome Church in Morong was built in 1615 by Chinese craftsmen, as evidenced by two chinese craftsmen, as evidence by two Chinese lion sculptures at the entrance to the steep driveway, a stone and mortar church which has a three-stroy facade, and an octagonal bell tower whose cross is illuminated at night and can be seen from the surrounding countryside.
Baras Church, completed in 1686, has an altar and lecterns that are stone artifacts unearthed from beneath the church.
Tanay Church, rebuilt in 1783 with stones from the town΄s quarry, has five altars with
rococo design and Stations of the Cross made of wooden sculptures.
These and other towns have their share of natural attractions.
Morong has Ugong Falls, Tanay has Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave. Montalban΄s Wawa Dam,
at the foot of the Sierra Madre, is surrounded by limestone hills.
Talim Island in Binangonan extends 16 kilometers into Laguna de Bay.
Binangonan is also the hometown of national artist Vicente Manansala; a shrine there preserves his orginal paintings and paraphernalia.
Angono, the next town north, has an Artist Village that is home to local artists and musicians.
Jose Blanco and his family of painters live in this town, where they maintain
a gallery housing their original paintings.
Angono is also known for its religious celebrations. the Carabao Festival held on May 15 in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint for farmers, features a procession of carabao-pulled carts decorated with flowers and bunting, a carabao race across ricefields, and a priest blessing the kneeling beasts.
San Clemente Festival, held on November 23 in honor of the patron saint of fishermen, is highlighted by a fluvial procession in Laguna Lake. Druing the entire Holy Week, the town observes rites that are also held in other Catholic towns - the Cenaculo or passion paly, the Santo Entierro procession on Good Friday, the reunion of the Risen Christ with the Virgin Mother on easter Sunday΄s "Salubong" - but those held in Angono are not only colorful and elaborate but closely follow traditional practices