The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered most of us physically and mentally drained. Luckily, the vast lands in Rizal are lush with beautiful farms and nature parks to help breathe life back into your tired spirit.
Some local government units within Rizal may still not allow leisure travel for those coming outside the province, so it’s best to check prior. Make sure to follow health protocols to ensure your safety.
Here are some places you can visit to bask in nature:
SunFlora Farm in Jala-Jala
Sunflowers are often thought of as a symbol of positivity and happiness. SunFlora Farm has a vast field of sunflowers that will surely bring you joy at first sight.
Located in Jala-Jala, SunFlora Farm is a place where flowers are the star. Though sunflowers are the main attraction, the farm also grows a variety of other plants, such as lettuce and marigold.
If you want to decorate your garden with your own sunflowers, the farm sells giant sunflowers, native black sunflowers, and native stripes seeds, at P25 per pack.
Protocols to be followed: The farm requires face masks and face shields, frequent disinfection, and the presentation of a health clearance and travel pass. Those below 18 and above 65 years old are not allowed. Guests can only stay inside the farm for an hour to avoid crowding.
Palaya Eco-Natural Farm in Tanay
Located in Tanay, Palaya Eco-Natural Farm is home to over 36,000 pitaya or dragon fruit posts planted on its vast fields. Native to Central and South America, the dragon fruit has several health benefits – it’s a good source of iron and magnesium, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and promotes the growth of good bacteria in your body.
Palaya Eco-Natural Farm aims to be the largest dragon fruit plantation in the Philippines, but these are not the only things they grow. The 68-hectare farm also has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
The farm has tons of outdoor activities you can enjoy if you want to be one with nature. You can go hiking, river swimming, horseback riding, or simply enjoy the cool breeze as you admire the gorgeous mountain views.
Open from 8 am to 5 pm, Palaya Eco-Natural Farm has an entrance fee of P200 per person and charges P100 for horseback riding. The farm also has cottages you can rent for varying prices. You may check their website and Facebook page for more information.
Protocols to be followed: The farm requires wearing of face masks and does not allow senior citizens and persons 14 years old and younger.
Vaikuntha Forest Farm in Tanay
Tucked in one of the last remaining rainforests in Tanay, the farm is a bit of a challenge to reach because of its rough terrain that becomes muddy during the wet season. If you get past that, then you’ll enjoy a quick escape to an off-grid lifestyle.
From the plants they grow to the services that they provide, Vaikuntha Forest Farm is all about being organic and eco-friendly. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life to enjoy activities such as river swimming, trekking, gardening, doing yoga, and forest bathing, then this farm may just be what you’re looking for.
Eco-lodges go at varying prices, but if you really want to be one with nature, you may opt to stay at the farm with your own tent for P300. The farm also charges P700 for their day tour. For more information, you may check their Facebook page.
Protocols to be followed: If you’re ready to book a reservation, Vaikuntha Forest Farm will send a list of requirements and health protocols mandated by the Tanay municipality and their barangay. This is because the list of requirements alters from time to time.
3 Springs Mountain Park in Tanay
Longing for a place to relax and unwind after facing the screens of your gadgets all day long? This park, located in the mountains of Tanay, has a spectacular view and lush trees to keep you company.
Accredited by the Department of Tourism, 3 Springs Mountain Park is a private park where you can enjoy different activities in their spacious areas and facilities such as tree-planting, overnight camping, and a park tour.
Open on Thursdays to Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm, 3 Springs Mountain Park charges P400 per person for their Day Tour, P1,000 to P1,800 for their overnight camping, and P500 for their tree-planting package. You may check their website and Facebook page for more information.
Protocols to be followed: The park follows the minimum public health safety protocols such as wearing of face masks and social distancing. The park requires a valid ID and booking confirmation for guests aged 18-65 years old. Those over 65 can still be allowed if they have been vaccinated.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve in Antipolo
Hidden in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Antipolo is Mount Purro Nature Reserve, a family-run eco-park that advocates for a simpler and more authentic experience with nature by disconnecting from the modern world.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve started as a reforestation effort to help the indigenous Dumagat tribes who live in the mountains. What started as a simple bahay kubo where loved ones bonded with each other is now an eco-park where you can hike forest trails, trek through the river, join a community bonfire, and even interact with the Dumagats.
Protocols to be followed: The park requires basic safety measures such as wearing of face masks and face shields and practicing social distancing. Upon arrival, guests will be checked for their temperature and those with a temperature higher than 37.5 celsius will not be allowed. Persons who are below 18 and above 64 years old are also not permitted inside.
Phillip’s Sanctuary in Antipolo
If you want to test your stamina with outdoor courses, then Phillip’s Sanctuary has got you covered. This agroforestry farm and team building resort is found in the lush lands of Antipolo.
Phillip’s Sanctuary started as a neglected land full of tree stumps and void of wildlife. However, after five long years of tree planting and restoration efforts by the owners, the land has transformed into the beautiful resort it is today. You can tour around the sanctuary, complete obstacle courses, and engage in other outdoor activities.
If you wish to book a reservation, Phillip’s Sanctuary charges P3,500 for their Day Trip that covers up to 10 persons. They also charge an additional fee of P200 per person for their team building courses. You can also rent their cabins and cottages if you wish to stay overnight. You may check their website and Facebook page for more information.
Protocols to be followed: The resort does not require any prior clearance and follows the minimum public health safety protocols such as wearing of face masks and social distancing. Depending on the restrictions imposed in the LGU, they allow children inside, but they advise families to come on weekdays as there are less visitors. – Rappler.com
John Patrick Magno Ranara is a Rappler intern.
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