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Travel: DOT supports Rizal tourism circuit on food, faith, art, adventure and nature

RIZAL, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Tourism (DOT) banks on the Green Corridor Initiative (GCI) in Rizal as one of its key strategies to hasten tourism recovery in the new normal.

This, after Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday (March 10) visited Rizal to help address the needs of the local executives and industry stakeholders. Puyat also expressed support for the proposed tourism circuit called Rizal Faith, Food, Art, Adventure and Nature (FFAAN) Experience under the GCI.

Mayor Calderon, Secretary Puyat, and Margaret Duavit get a glimpse of Botong Francisco’s creative life through his descendant Carlos “Totong” Francisco II

“The GCI is a domestic tourism program for tourism recovery in the new normal, designed to encourage more travelers to visit the multi-faceted province of Rizal, a place that abounds with nature, adventure, arts and culture, and, of course, food,” Puyat added.


Among the activities and sites experienced by the tourism chief include pottery demonstration at the Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery in Antipolo; tour in the ancestral home of National Artist for Visual Arts Carlos “Botong” Francisco in Angono; a portrait session with the local artists of Nemiranda Art Gallery in Angono; the Balaw–Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery in Angono; St. Clement Parish Church in Angono, and Blanco Family Museum in Angono.

Rizal’s tagline “Cradle of Philippine Art” holds true at the Blanco Family Museum, where the family showcases their personal and collective masterpieces to the community

Like the other circuits under GCI, the FFAAN Experience in Rizal can be tailor-made to fit one’s preference, as long as the activities and attractions are in Antipolo, where pilgrimage sites can be found; in Angono or the “Art Capital of the Philippines; in Taytay or the “Woodworks and Garments Capital,” and in Cainta, where native rice cakes such as bibingka and kalamay are top favorites.

A quaint art corner at the Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery

Puyat has earlier visited some establishments in Rizal, including the Burrow Cafe at Antipolo Beehouse, Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, and the ArtSector Gallery and Cafe in Binangonan.

(L-R): Antipolo City Tourism Officer Marino Bacani, Noel Blanco, Secretary Puyat, Jose Glenn P. Blanco, and Michael P. Blanco against a variety of artworks in the museum

“It was just a small but eye-opening sampling of what Rizal really has to offer,” she said.

Rizal is the top contributor of the 2020 overnight tourism arrivals, sharing 395,364 or 36 percent of the total number of the region’s total tourism arrivals. The province is also the top contributor of the 2020 same day tourism arrivals, sharing 7,200,454 or 60 percent of the total number of the region’s total tourism arrivals.

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