Tayo na Antipolo! (Let’s go to Antipolo)
The Philippines is Asia’s largest Catholic Nation, and one of the most popular pilgrimage places in the country is Antipolo. Some devout Catholics would trek from Quiapo all the way to Antipolo during a procession and that is 67 km by foot! New cars are also blessed to keep the passengers and the cars safe at all times.
But aside from being a pilgrimage city, there are so many things to do here. Whether you’re up for some nature hiking, food tripping, or simply buying your favorite cashew nuts, when you’re looking for an escape from chaotic Manila and you don’t want to go too far Antipolo is one of the best places to visit.
Distance from Manila
If you live somewhere near Mandaluyong, there are jeepney and van transfers to Antipolo which costs just PHP27.00 for the jeepney ride and PHP70.00 for the van ride. The trip lasts for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how crazy the traffic is.
Once we arrived in Antipolo, since there were lots of us in the trip, we just rented a jeepney which was cheaper, and we just paid PHP100 each for the whole day. Not the most comfortable though.
First Stop! Hinulugang Taktak
Hinulugang Taktak is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Philippines. And in Antipolo it’s one of the best tourist spots to go to. This is such a refreshing sight. But beyond it’s beauty, this waterfall is actually polluted so the city does not allow swimming or drinking the water from the falls.
Since we’re not allowed to swim or drink the water, we just absorbed all the wonderful energy from the place and then moved on ot our next destination.
Since we all know that Antipolo is a pilgrimage city we decided to visit one of the famous pilgrimage sites in Antipolo. The Via Dolorosa. The place was quaint, and even if no one told you to keep quiet, you just felt it in the air that you needed to behave.
There is no entrance fee so you could just enter inside. But beware it’s actually a mountain and it had like a gazillion steps to the top. Quite tiring but all the large holy statues of saints was definitely worth seeing.
They did not allow picture taking of the huge statues inside. But you can see them all once you visit. Avoid visiting on holy week because there will be LOTS of people here.
Whenever you go travelling, anywhere in the world, I highly recommend visiting the markets. They may not be so clean, and there could be pick pockets lurking everywhere but this is definitely one of the places where you can feel and enjoy the food culture of a place. Since we were a bit hungry, we decided to stuff our backpacks with cheap rice cakes, fruits, and other snacks before we headed on to the trek.
The Mystical Cave
Since we’re all geared up for the hike, we headed out to the first stop – The Mystical Cave. The cave isn’t that deep, you’ll get to see a lot of religious shaped stalactites and stalagmites inside. There will be no rappelling or swimming or diving here, and you’ll be inside for just 30 minutes.
But the cave is located on top of a mountain, so again, expect a lot of climbing and walking.
The White Cross
After the caves, we hiked up again since we wanted to see the famous white cross. It is literally a cross on the top of a mountain. Once you get to the top, it felt like we were on top of the world! But we also got to see the ugly effects of illegal logging, what a waste.
After a long and tiring day, we badly something good to eat. So we asked around and the locals said that “Kamayan” was one of the most popular restaurants in Antipolo. The food was cheap but so delicious. So we went there, to find out that the restaurant had no spoons or forks and all you have to use are your bare hands. yikes!
So when you’re bored and you just want to get out of the city, drop by Antipolo!