A trip to Antipolo's popular tourist spots

6:21:00 AM

I'ts not my first time to visit Antipolo but I never thought that there are a lot of tourist destinations and a lot of things to do in that area besides the resorts and bar/restaurants. Well, I've heard about the Hinulugang Taktak because of the song "Tayo na sa Antipolo" that we sang when I was still in Elementary but I've never been to that place yet. Luckily, I was able to be part of an Antipolo getaway for Pinoy Blogger group members sponsored by Cafe Lupe Hostel and Restaurant and Tag Media c/o Ms. Grace. The said getaway was scheduled last July 2-3 but due to bad weather the event was moved to July 9-10. Although rain is still pouring every once in a while, the Antipolo getaway pushed through!

Antipolo City is part of the province of Rizal and it is considered as the largest city among the Calabarzon Region. It is very popular to tourists as the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines because of the presence of the Virgin of Antipolo or the Marian Image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. It is enshrined at the Antipolo Cathedral which was the first stop of our trip.

We went to the back of the altar and a long line of people was seen entering the area where the "kissing/touching of the mantle" takes place. It is believed that doing this will give your blessings for safe travels. Be reminded that taking photos are not allowed in the sacred area.

Another reason why people travel to Antipolo Cathedral is because of the booths outside which caters to blessing of different sacred items and even cars. You can also book for your house blessings as well. 

After the mass, look around the market to get Antipolo delicacies like the Cashew Nuts with different flavors and Suman with latik or Coco Jam:

Next stop is the Hinulugang Taktak. I've heard of this waterfalls back when I was still in elementary because we used to sing the song "Tayo na sa Antipolo" but years after, news broke out that it was too dirty to take a dip or even submerge your feet into the water. Efforts are being done to try and revive the cleanliness that Hinulugang Taktak had before. 

Upon entering the park, you just need to register on a logbook to visit the falls, NO ENTRANCE FEE will be charged to visitors. Be careful while going down the super long stairs because it can be slippery especially when it rained. There are cottages all over the place where you can take a break but make sure to never leave your trash as there are garbage cans found in every area. 

The management taking care of the Hinulugang Taktak falls is doing their best to restore its cleanliness but it's still not advisable to go into the water. So for those who wants to swim, a pool is available at the park which can be used free of charge. 

After a tiring climb up the long flight of stairs going back to our van, we then headed to our hostel for the weekend. To know more about this restaurant turned bed and breakfast, check out my blog review of Cafe Lupe Hostel and Restaurant

Once we've arrived, lunch was served:

Once everyone's tummy were filled with the delicious dishes prepared by Cafe Lupe, we then continued our Antipolo adventure at the Mystical Cave.

If you are planning to visit the Mystical Cave, our guide informed us that from the Antipolo Church, you can rent a tricycle to bring you to Mystical Cave and back to the Church for only P300.00. Once you are at the Mystical Cave, you need to climb up the steps which can be very slippery due to the rain and moss so be extra careful. Then prior to entering the cave, you need to pay P40.00 per head so that a local guide can accompany you throughout your cave tour. Make sure to bring a camera that shoots great photos in the dark. Too bad, I only have a camera phone with me:

Our guide showed us the stalagmites and stalactites that formed naturally made images such as hearts, thrones, wings, holy family, Jesus, door to heaven, buddha and even a bath tub! Unfortunately I can't capture great photos that can do justice to what we were really seeing inside the cave. 

Special thanks to sir Rey of www.boyraket2.blogspot.com for being our model

The cave is considered to be a sacred place where people light candles in specific forms with a specific color of candle to pray for love, money, career, health, etc. The place has also been a venue for different Filipino movies/series such as Asian Treasures, Dyesebel, Marina, etc. Special masses can also take place in an area inside the cave. There's just a few things that I want to remind those who will be visiting Mystical Cave or any other cave anytime soon:

1. There will be crystals everywhere but make sure you don't step on them or try to steal even a little piece because it will eventually "die" and become an ordinary stalagmite/stalactite as what the guide told us. 

2. Never place your candles near any forms to prevent it from getting burnt as it will turn black and will ruin the image.

3. Droplets of water is everywhere so be extra careful to prevent an accidents to occur.

4. Lastly, just always listen to your guide and enjoy exploring and appreciating the wonders of nature. 

After an hour, we managed to reach the end of the cave and return safely outside. For the more adventurous people, there is still a lot to explore in the cave wherein you have to climb down a deeper part of the cave. Just ask the guide and he will lead you to that area. It's already to scary for beginners like us so we didn't avail that tour. If I remember it correctly, you have to pay P150/300 per person to check out that part of the cave.

photo grabbed from The Open Notes
Beside the entrance of the Mystical Cave are steeper steps that you can climb to get a great view of the city and 3 wooden cross which is also a place where people usually visit during holy week. Unfortunately due to the rainy weather, we didn't try to hike our way to the top. Our descend was quite difficult because the steps are really wet after the rain and the moss made it even harder to step on. Thanks to our brave and well-balanced men for helping us go down safely.

We were supposed to visit the Mt. Purro Nature Reserve but because of the bad weather, we headed back to Cafe Lupe, freshened up a bit, had dinner and tried their Onea KTV Room. 

Rent of their Karaoke room is quite affordable which you will also see on my Cafe Lupe article. Had to stop at around 2am and went back to our comfy rooms:

We really had an awesome time on our 2 day adventure even though we weren't able to visit all the places on our itinerary. There are still a lot of tourist spots to check out at Antipolo if only we had more time to explore the city minus the rain. Here's a list of places you might be interested to check out as well when you are in the area:

  • Visit Pinto Art Museum
  • Hiking at Mt. Purro Nature Reserve
  • Drop by at the Boso-Boso Church/Nuestra Señora de la Annunciata Parish
  • Explore Via Dolorosa White Cross and see the Stations of the Cross
  • Choose one of the many resorts found in this city and dip into their pool 
Will definitely go back and check out all the other must-see places in Antipolo. It can be very tiring but with everything that you will be seeing and experiencing, those aching bodies and sweat will be worth it. Again, thanks to Ms. Grace of Tag Media and Cafe Lupe Hostel and Restaurant for sponsoring our Antipolo Bloggers Getaway! We had so much fun and I'll be treasuring this one of a kind experience. 

photo grabbed from www.orleepasion.com

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