• ANDREA BAUTISTA YNARES AND HER RIZAL

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    Although Andrea Bautista Ynares originally comes from Cavite, where she is part of prominent showbiz and political clan, marriage to then fiancée and now Governor Junjun Ynares brought her to Rizal, a place she has grown to love and now considers home.

    Andrea started to discover the province during her courtship days with her husband, and “when Jun and I decided to build a family, Rizal grew in me”.

    It was not difficult to love the province named after our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, as it retains much of its natural beauty – waterfalls, natural springs, rock formations, and a breathtaking view of the Sierra Madre Mountains and Laguna de Bay.  Religious shrines that date back to the Spanish colonial period as well as the province’s strong artistic tradition add to its charm.  Moreover, Rizalenyos “enrich the values my own family keeps like humility and simplicity.”

    When she became First Lady of Rizal, Andrea discovered how her past experiences complemented her new role.  While working in the news and public affairs department of a major network, she was inspired by stories of how ordinary people could do extraordinary deeds.  As Executive Producer of the family owned Imus Films, she learned the importance of producing movies that keep a lot people happy and entertained. Moreover, her work in the Senate for her father, former Senator Ramon Revilla, Sr., exposed her to public service.

    Today, as Rizal’s First Lady, Andrea assists her husband in his public service and tourism initiatives, and is active in programs for women and children.  Here, she takes us around her Rizal and her SM.

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    “Rizal is an endearing and charming province, and there is nothing like its people.  Rizalenyos are warm, conservative, and artistic town folks, many of whom are simple, loving, hospitable, and truly delightful.  They are people with a lot of respect and honor.”

    Rizal First Lady at the My City, My SM launch at SM City Taytay with Rizal Governor Jun-Jun Ynares, well-known artist Nemiranda, SM Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon, and Mrs. Joan Gacula, wife of Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula.

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    “If I would bring visitors around Rizal, I take them to the breathtaking Parish in the Sky, where the Christ the King Parish, which is said to be one of the oldest churches in Rizal is located on top of a hill.  This is a wonderful place to commune with God.”

    Governor Jun-Jun and Andrea with daughter Cassandra Danielle and Rebecca Victoria in front of the Christ the King Parish in Muzon, Taytay, Rizal.  Also known as the Parish in the Sky, it is located on top of a hill with an awesome 360- degree panoramic view.

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    “The Petroglyphs in Angono are a must for Rizal visitors.  The site is famous for its rock engravings that date back to 3000 BC, and has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under UNESCO.”

    Discovered by National Artist Carlos ‘Botong” Francisco in 1965, the Pertroglyphs in Angono are said to date back to 3000 BC.  Consisting of 127 drawings of human and animal figures, and is the most ancient prehistoric work of Philippine art.  Archaeological finds of fragments of earthenware, obsidian flakes, and shells have also been found in the area.  Presidential Decree 260 declared the Petroglyphs as a National Cultural Treasure.

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    “The Baras Church is another tourist attraction I would like to bring visitors to.”

    Considered one of the oldest churches in the area, the Baras Church was completed in 1686.  One will be amazed by its stark simplicity – the altar and lanterns are stone artifacts, unearthed beneath the church. The dark adobe from which it is made heightens this impression of sparseness, but its unique beauty is drawn checkerboard pattern of stone, brick, and mortar, a clear reminder of the era in which the church was made.

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    “The Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant cum gallery in Angono is a must-stop for foodies.  While their specialty is Burong Balaw Balaw or fermented shrimp, they also have a wonderful variety of freshwater fish.  This is where Jun Jun and I used to date during our courtship years, and now that we have a family, we still enjoy the restaurant’s warmth and good Filipino food with our daughters.”

    Andrea at Balaw Balaw, a charming restaurant cum art gallery owned by the late Perdigon Vocalan is popular among local and foreign tourists alike.  It offers a hearty welcome to guests as well as its homegrown food offerings.

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    “In Rizal, the cities and towns are each unique in their culture and heritage.  Taytay has long been famous for its garments and woodworks, Teresa is known for its marble works, Jalajala is our province’s dairy capital.  Foodies will love fish from Binangonan and kakanin from Cainta.  And there’s so much more.”

    A showcase of some of Rizal’s best:  garments and woodworks from Taytay, marble from Teresa, dairy products from Jalajala, freshwater fishes from Binangonan, and delicious kakanin from Cainta.

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    “The opening of SM City Taytay has brought Rizalenyos a new city to explore.  Knowing that an SM Mall is nearby gives you a sense of security and confidence with the knowledge that you have all you need within your reach.

    SM also has been very helpful in providing venues for our art and tourism centered projects, as well as community efforts.”

    SM City Taytay has brought great shopping, leisure, and entertainment to the east Metro area.

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    “Malling in SM is like leisurely walking in your favorite village or park.  All shops, facilities, and services are within range.  I especially like shopping in Watsons, because of its fast service.  This is very important to busy people with fast paced, multi-tasking lives.”

    Andrea makes a beauty stop at the Watsons store in SM City Taytay.