Regina RICA stands for Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia and is located along Marcos Highway in Sitio Aguho, Sampaloc, Tanay Rizal.
Before I tell you how to get to Regina RICA, I think the questions that needs to be answered first are, WHAT exactly is Regina RICA and WHY would you go to Regina RICA?
Regina RICA started with Sr. Eppie Brasil, OP who founded the Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii way back in 1998. The Regina Rosarii Contemplative Association grew over the years and in 2009 they established the Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (Regina RICA) in Tanay, Rizal which quickly became a popular pilgrimage site.
The primary mission of Regina RICA and the Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii is to teach as many people as they can about contemplative prayer and the contemplative way of life. The sisters holds dear the words of Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner “In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all.”
As I mentioned earlier Regina RICA is now one of the most popular pilgrimage sites here in the Philippines. For those seeking to experience God, this is a wonderful place to start. Regina RICA, the sisters say, is a place of prayer, pilgrimage and peace.
It is not a park or a recreational activity area. Everyone are welcome to enter Regina RICA and there are no entrance fees to pay, however, each one is required to be on their best behavior when they are inside the sacred place. Attend to the pilgrims’ need for silence and respect the sanctity and cleanliness of the area.
There is also a dress code – short shorts and too revealing upper garments are not allowed. But don’t worry, if by accident you forgot about this rule, they have stores inside the place that sells long skirts and shawls so that you can still go around the area even if you are wearing inappropriate clothing.
Regina RICA is an up and down the hill kind of place. The centerpiece is an iconic 71-foot statue of the Our Lady on Top of the Hill.
Inside the statue is a place called SULOD. Also known as Regina RICA’s sanctuary of universal love and devotion. Keep in mind, that you can take pictures anywhere inside the whole facility except for inside the SULOD. I went to Regina RICA last April 18 (Good Friday), and there were a lot of pilgrims inside the place. A long line greeted me upon reaching the top of the hill all waiting to get their chance to enter the SULOD.
There are two ways to get to the SULOD and the Our Lady on Top of the Hill. You can either take Mary’s Sacred Trail which takes you to follow a brick pathway that leads directly to the icon or you can follow the Way of the Cross, 14 stations that leads you along a winding road all over the area leading you to the icon on top of the hill but touring you as well to Regina RICA’s other facilities such as the Organic Gardens, Regina RICA Chapel, San Jose Rotonda, Labyrinth, Candle Stands, Koi Pond, Flower Gardens, Kakahuyan and Sunflower Trail.
Regina RICA also have dozens of gazeebos, bahay kubo, tents, some animals, livestock and a couple of small restaurants.
The best way to experience Regina RICA is of course by foot just like a pilgrim, however there are also shuttle vans inside the facility that can take you from the gate to the chapel and all the way to the SULOD on top of the hill and back down again for only 5 pesos.
Okay, now that you have more or less a picture of what Regina RICA looks like, here’s how to get to the place:
I took the Cubao-Cogeo route last Good Friday. From Cubao to Tanay it took me about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get there. Total Transporation Expense: P110.00 (one way from Cubao to Tanay)
- Go to Aurora Boulevard, Gateway. Get a jeep or UV Express to Cogeo Market. (P35.00 for an FX ride)
- Go down at the Cogeo Town Plaza then go to City Mall of Antipolo (Market) to get a jeep to Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal. This will pass by Marcos Highway. (P61.00 for a Jeepney ride to Sampaloc, Tanay)
- When you reach Sampaloc, Tanay market. Get a tricycle to Regina RICA Sitio Aguho Street. It will bring you to the Regina RICA guard house. (P15.00 for a tricycle ride to Regina RICA)
There is also the Shaw route which I didn’t take.
- Go to Star Mall at EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard and get a van or jeep going to Tanay. This will bring you to Tanay town proper.
- Tell the driver to direct you to the parking area of the Tanay Sampaloc jeepneys.
- Get the Tanay Sampaloc Jeep and go down at the market place in Sampaloc, Tanay.
- Get a tricycle to Regina RICA Sitio Aguho Street . It will bring you inside the Regina RICA guard house
It is certain that it will be a challenging long trip for everyone but I also promise you that it will be worthwhile.
Regina RICA is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm everyday except on Tuesday. The place is closed every Tuesday.