233 – The Monching Visits: Pililla Wind Farm

Who would have thought that structures originally built for renewable energy would become tourist attractions themselves?

Mention wind farms in the Philippines, and most probably – the one in Bangui, Ilocos Norte would definitely come to mind. Thankfully, people need not go up north to see renewable energy windmills. The town of Pililla in Rizal, located east of Metro Manila, is host to one. I had the chance to visit the famous Pililla Wind Farm two years ago, during the 2018 Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) long weekend in April.

Pililla’s high elevation and wide, open spaces make it the perfect location for such a wind farm. The wind farm also provides a good view of Laguna de Bay and Talim Island. The twisting asphalt roads going to Pililla town pose a challenge for both bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts, who are then rewarded with a scenic view afterwards. This asphalted road is part of the Marikina-Infanta Highway or MARILAQUE (Marikina, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon) Highway, named after the areas the highway traverses. The accessibility provided by the highway makes Pililla a budget-friendly weekend destination, alongside other far-flung towns in Rizal and neighboring Laguna.

Now, onto the windmills themselves. The Pililla Wind Farm can produce 54 megawatts of electricity per year, which is enough electricity for around 60,000 households. Electricity from the wind farm is directly transmitted to the Luzon grid, making it an important contributor of much-needed energy. The wind farm came about as a joint venture of both the local government of Pililla and Equis Energy (now Vena Energy). You might notice that I’ve had some pictures at the Equis Energy sign before the actual windmills. This is because during that time, a close friend of mine worked at the company before leaving to find better opportunities. It’s akin to a shout-out to him from me.

The Pililla Wind Farm attracts as many as 130,000 visitors weekly, more so during the Holy Week. This ranges from weekend warriors and road-tripping families, to students on educational tours. A lot of Pililla’s residents have capitalized on the potential revenues brought about by the tourism in the area. The visitor’s center in the area has information panels discussing the windmills and renewable energy, and also sells souvenirs like T-shirts, keychains, stickers, refrigerator magnets, and more. A few dining establishments serving bulalo (beef shank and bone marrow soup) have popped up in the farm’s vicinity, mirroring that of the ones in Tagaytay facing Taal Volcano.

As of this moment, there are plans to expand the wind farm up to the nearby town of Mabitac, Laguna. The Sierra Madre mountain range passes by the eastern portion of Laguna, providing high vantage points for building additional windmills. Additional windmills, in turn, equate to more megawatts of renewable electricity produced and less carbon emitted in the atmosphere. All in all, I definitely recommend the Pililla Wind Farm as a good attraction to visit without the need to drive far.

Until the next post!

14 thoughts on “233 – The Monching Visits: Pililla Wind Farm

  1. That looks like a nice breezy place. I hope everything gets ok soon so we can all get over the pandemic and move on with our lives and go out and enjoy and just be alive. Once everything is okay, I think I will also visit that place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is! 😀 You can literally feel the wind on your face at that elevation, coupled with a good view of Laguna de Bay!

      If you’re coming from the south – best to take C5, then Ortigas Avenue (at Tiendesitas) towards Manila East Road. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I heard about this wind farm and was actually planning to drive up Rizal to check them not until the community quarantine… well, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Also, you made me crave for Rodic’s 😭😅 Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best time to visit the wind farm would be on weekends. 🙂 Bikers and single riders also frequent Pililla to enjoy the view, so dapat maingat rin sa drive.

      As for the tapa…we only had that pagdating na sa Manila – good thing there was a branch along Congressional where we stopped by!

      Likewise! 🙂

      Like

    • It is prudent, then, to encourage both countryside developments (specifically in the highland areas) and PPP (public-private partnership) in the renewable energy sector.

      I mentioned in the post that Bangui in Ilocos Norte also has these windmills; its proximity to the sea and wide, open fields made it a viable location for building a renewable energy farm.

      If you ask me though, the Philippines (in general) would definitely benefit from having additional tidal farms similar to the ones in Scotland. We’re surrounded by water, so might as well make use of those to generate power away from fossil fuels!

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      • Ah yes, saw the ones from Ilocos Norte, and I think from Boracay as well. Alternatively sources of energy are definitely a must, especially after this crisis that highlights the importance of treating this planet right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not to mention that fossil fuels are finite; sooner or later, the coal mines won’t yield anything and the oil wells will run dry. (Hopefully, not in this lifetime just yet.)

        Like

    • Thank you haha! 😀 Married for 29 years, with two kids, and Mom survived cancer — still going strong!

      More like the other way around, if you ask me. People say I got my looks from my mother (whose family tends to be stocky), whilst my 21-year-old younger brother takes from Dad; his side of the family has rather thin and lanky builds.

      Like

    • I’m sorry to hear of your experience. 😦

      Unfortunately, the entire province of Rizal (including Pililla) is still under GCQ – so I understand the guard’s hesitation. Still, shooing people away is not the best manner of telling visitors to turn back.

      I hope you guys come back there when this Covid-19 fiasco ends. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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