Digo’s Hills. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario using Oppo Reno7.

The first time I got to explore Bulacan’s Doña Remedios Trinidad was during the height of the pandemic last year, when my friends and I were looking for an outdoor activity that is safe and fun.

DRT, as the place is more popularly known, was a perfect choice. Often referred to as the province’s “Last Frontier,” DRT offers tourists awesome hiking trails, complete with panoramic views of the municipality.

I recently got to go back as part of the NLEX Lakbay Norte, a media familiarization tour that aims to promote safe and fun travel by showcasing destinations and cultural highlights in the North. 

For me, the highlight of our DRT visit this time around was the Talbak coffee, a homegrown brew of the municipality. As a coffee lover, I had a field day during our first stop—at Digo’s Hills—located at Barangay Talbak, which had an awesome view of the Sierra Madre Mountains. We had brunch there, Filipino-style, with lots of veggies in the menu. Talbak coffee, with the right amount of kick and a magnificent aroma, is available for only P20, unlimited refills. Yum!

Tila Pilon Hills Cafe. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario using OPPO Reno7.

After a hearty meal, we were treated to an exciting and heart-stopping show when a 16-year-old motorcycle rider showcased his skills in a challenging off-road track adjacent the restaurant.

Not far from Digo’s Hills was our next destination, the Tila Pilon Hills. Dubbed as the “Chocolate Hills of Bulacan,” Tila Pilon is an easy day hike for beginners, with its gradual ascents and descents for over half a kilometer. 

Despite the heat of the sun bearing down on us, we got through the hike, thanks to the cool breeze. A memorable part of the Tila Pilon Hills hike is the 180-step hike to a hill, which gives guests a 360-degree view of the surrounding once they reach the top. It’s quite challenging, but worth the effort.

After the hour-long hike, we headed back to the Tila Pilon Hills Cafe by Kape Provincia with ice-cold coffee drinks, sandwiches, pasta, all-day breakfast meals, and blue ternate cold tea. 

Pong Guyz Bulalohan. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario using OPPO Reno7.

The rest of our trip to Bulacan was pretty chill. We visited the Sta. Monica Church in Angat, one of the oldest churches in the province. With a Baroque architecture, the murals in the Church’s ceiling is its most remarkable feature. Completed in over two decades, the murals depict religious events, but with a local flair.

Another historical site is the Kakarong De Sili Shrine in Pandi, which commemorates the bloodiest revolution that took place in Bulacan. The bronze-colored shrine is located where more than 3,000 Katipunero revolutionaries died. Likewise, it is on this site where the Republic of Real de Kakarong de Sili of 1896 was established.

All along our Bulacan trip, we were kept hydrated with our Hydro Flask tumblers, complete with a JanSport PH tumbler bag. They’re my new favorite travel buddy.

PS: My Hydro Flask kept my Talbak coffee hot until we got back to Manila. Now, that’s a tumbler that works.

Hydro Flask. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario using OPPO Reno7.