Antipolo in Panorama

Saturday, August 20, 2016

celineism spread the impact

This is the fifth installment of the Spread The Impact series – a collection of travel narratives and guides to less-traveled places in the Philippines, with the aim to spread human impact to the environment as well as uplift the lives of communities through tourism.

Rizal – true to the National Hero whence it got its name – prides itself as the "province that has it all"; and for good reason, what with its collection of activities for just about every kind of adventurer. Its inherent variety springs from the towns that compose it; each sporting a character so defined and sure. But of all the towns, the City of Antipolo, no doubt, stands as the province's epitome. Its microcosm, if you will.

Read: DIY Hiking Guides to the Rizal Mountains

Antipolo lies just about 25 kilometers east of Metro Manila. It was converted from a municipality into a composite city on April 4, 1998 under Republic Act No. 8508. The "City in the Sky", with its elevation, enjoys a relatively cooler climate and a scenic view of the metropolis. Despite being considered as a highly urbanized city, Antipolo gives off just the right mix of urban-and-rural vibe. 

The landlocked city is bounded to the north by San Mateo and Rodriguez; to the east by Tanay; to the south by Angono, Taytay, and Teresa; and to the west by Cainta, and Marikina City. It's the most populous city in the CALABARZON region and the seventh in the country with more than 700,000 residents as of 2015.

Read: DIY Guide to Angono


Marvel at the City's Rich Religious Heritage
One of Antipolo's most well-known tourist destinations is the Antipolo Cathedral where a Marian image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is enshrined. Pilgrims flock to this site as part of the traditional "Alay Lakad" on the eves of Good Friday and May 1, with participants trekking from as far as the Quiapo Church.
our lady of peace and good voyage

antipolo cathedral

Begin your Antipolo adventure by attending a mass at this esteemed church, or if you're not into that, you could always appreciate the architecture and the history behind it.

Spend Some Quality Time with Nature (and your Loved Ones)
Hinilugang Taktak makes one half of the duo that is Antipolo's most popular spots (the Cathedral is the other). It has a National Park designation under the DENR, and is also a National Historical Shrine by virtue of Republic Act No. 6964. 
hinulugang taktak antipolo
This was a stolen shot. Holler if this is you. :D
hinulugang taktak
There are picnic huts around the park
hinulugang taktak antipolo
The park is co-managed by the DENR
The park had undergone major renovations, and while the waterfalls (and its waterways) is still a far cry from its former glory, the rehabilitation efforts had come a long way. Aside from the main waterfall attraction, there is also a pool and picnic sheds around the park. And oh, admission is free!

Read: 8 Adventurous Summer Destinations

Appreciate Art and its Social Revelance
Pinto Art Museum stands as Antipolo's grandest homage to art and culture. Owned by neurologist Dr. Joven Cuanang, the sprawling 1.2-hectare property is home to an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and astounding architecture.
pinto art museum antipolo

pinto art museum antipolo
Reminds you of Santorini, doesn't it?
tourist spots antipolo

what to do in antipolo

top tourist attractions in antipolo

antipolo travel guide

pinto art museum

pinto art museum
What a great reading space, no?
For first-timers, I highly suggest that you take the guided tour. If you're lucky, you may even happen upon Andy Orencio, one of the resident artists of the museum. He had lend his hand on one of the museum's most iconic pieces which is, in fact, a social commentary on the Philippine Zeitgeist. Meaningful conversations with this articulate man amidst walls of visual masterpieces make for a highly stimulating experience.
pinto art museum antipolo
This iconic painting
pinto art museum artist
Conversations with Andy Orencio will make your Pinto experience so much different

Read: Antipolo on a Motorcyle

Take an Arts and Craft Class
Lanelle Abueva-Francisco, famed artist/potter, established the Crescent Moon Cafe and Restaurant with "creative space" in mind, and in this aspect, she more than succeeded. The eccentric and gypsy-like feels of the area make it uber conducive to unleashing your inner artist. And with the help of Lanelle's daughter, Majalya, artistic expression now has a permanent place in Antipolo. 
crescent moon cafe  menu
The Cafe doesn't have a regular ala carte menu. They cook dishes based on what local ingredients are available for the day. But this dish featuring alagao leaves is a mainstay
crescent moon cafe antipolo
Their take on the Suman and Manga

Within the compound of Crescent Moon is the newly opened The Glass Bar. A structure made of mostly glass, it's described as a watering hole, and the creative space of Crescent Moon. Here, classes are available – from pottery to craft beer brewing lessons – for the taking by anyone who's looking to self-improve, or, you know, just de-stress. (Check out their Facebook page for more details.) Pluuus, you can purchase ceramic pottery here.
the glass bar antipolo

mahalia fernando
Ms. Lanelle Abueva-Fernando and her daughter Majalya
the glass bar antipolo
The walkway to the The Glass Bar
ceramic pottery antipolo
Ceramic pottery for sale
Get the Best 360-degree View of the Metro
If you want to reap the rewards of a high-elevation town but don't want to travel far, drive (or cycle) your way to Cloud 9. This establishment sits on the highest point of Antipolo. The place is popular for its Hanging Bridge, and,of course, its spectacular view. 
cloud 9 360

cloud 9 antipolo
That's Teddy Pelaez from Experience Travel & Living, Amber Smith Folkman form, and Ramon Mariñas of Bienvenido Tours
cloud 9 antipolo

Cloud 9 is also where the studio of local artist Otto Neri is located. So you can say hi and maybe have your portrait commissioned while taking in the scenery. Oh, Cloud 9 also serves great Pinoy meryenda!
otto neri

Relax Your Ails Away
After a day of traipsing around town, head to Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa for a relaxing massage or a chill time by their famous infinity pool. Immerse yourself in its serene ambiance amidst trees.
luljetta's hanging gardens antipolo
This is where you'll get your massage
luljetta's hanging gardens
Imagine this great view while you're having your massage!
luljetta's hanging gardens
Thanks, Yvette, for being my subject!
luljetta's hanging gardens and spa
The room we stayed in at Luljetta's Place
The place is within Loreland Farm Resort which in itself is also a great place to relax. You can bring your barkada or your family here – it's the perfect place to have your bonding!
loreland farm resort antipolo
Loreland Farm Resort's main attraction: the boat
loreland farm resort antipol
Don't you just want to jump in?


Indulge in Delicious Organic Fanfare
Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant is one of Antipolo's best kept gastronomic treasures. It's quaint, cozy, and the food is divine! It has been serving organic, freshly prepared meals for over three decades, and it's only getting better.
best places to eat in antipolo

vieux chalet antipolo menu
Fettucine Padilla 
best places to eat in antipolo
Farmer's Sandwich
Vieux Chalet also now offers rooms to those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Wake up to a view of the mountains while sipping on some chamomile tea and munching on some Farmer's Sandwich.
where to stay in antipolo
The color scheme is very Celineism!
where to stay in antipolo

Have Some Delightful Cake
And just when you thought your food choices in the town proper consist of nothing but fast food chains, here comes Cake Draft Cafe. Established by bestfriends Cath Sarmiento and Clyden San Pedro (talk about #friendshipgoals), this foodscape offers mouthwatering cakes as well as an array of affordable and delicious dishes.
cake draft cafe antipolo

cake draft cafe menu
Yummy chicken pesto 
cake draft cafe antipolo

cake draft cafe menu
Chef Cath Sarmiento, one half of Cake Draft Cafe's owners

My (and the media group's) top recommendations? The Calamansi Cheesecake, and the Belgian Brownies!
best places to eat in antipolo
The runaway winner: Calamansi Cheesecake
cake draft cafe antipolo
You have to try the Belgian Brownies too!

Stuff Your Face with Sinful Pinoy Dishes
Another homegrown brand that's making waves is Marison's. This food place has an unassuming facade but packs quite a punch when it comes to the food they serve – a quality it shares with its owners, I'm sure. It's not all talk; it walks the talk. 
marison's antipolo menu
Classy interiors
marison's antipolo
Marison's take on the Suman and Manga
best places to eat in antipolo
Mais con yelo ala Marison's
where to eat in antipolo
Those shrimps are already giving me a virtual heart attack
Their specialty? Kare-kare with kasoy butter instead of peanut. It is out of this world! I'm no fan of kare-kare –  I think it's too heavy and too bland – but Marison's take on this beloved Pinoy dish won me over. It has a bit of sweetness to it, and is definitely more flavorful than your usual kare-kare. Don't forget to also try the deep-friend kesong puti! It is heaven, I kid you not! 
best places to eat in antipolo
Deep-fried kesong puti!!!!!!!!
where to eat in antipolo
Kare-kare with kasoy butter
marison's antipolo review
Say goodbye to your diet!
Go on a SUMAKA Foodtrip and/or Shopping Spree
Suman (a dish made from glutinous rice), Mangga (our beloved mango), and Kasoy (cashew nuts) – these are the native delicacies of Antipolo. You can get your own stash a few steps from the Antipolo Cathedral where there's a market dedicated to selling just these goodies. 
pinoy pasalubong

kasoy for sale in rizal

No judging if you suddenly feel the need to go panic-buying here, especially with kasoy. I mean you'd be crazy not to! It's obviously ridiculously cheaper here compared to the metro!
kasoy for sale manila
At the time, kasoy is Php450/kilo


From Cubao Farmer's Market Jeepney Terminal, there are jeeps bound to Antipolo. There are also jeeps and commuter vans in Star Mall Mandaluyong as well as in SM Megamall and in Robinsons Galleria. You can also take the LRT 2 and get off at the Santolan terminal where there are plenty of PUVs going to Antipolo. Once in the vicinity, the destinations listed here are just a short tricycle ride away.


2 Days; 1 Night
Day 1
06:00 to 08:00 - Departure to Antipolo
08:00 to 09:00 - Antipolo Cathedral / Pasalubong Center
09:00 to 10:00 - Hinulugang Taktak National Park
10:00 to 11:00 - Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant
11:00  to 13:00 - Pinto Art Museum
13:00 to 15:00 - Crescent Moon Café & Pottery Studio
15:00 to 16:00 - Marison’s
16:00 to 18:00 - Check in at Luljetta’s Place Bed & Breakfast + Wash up
18:00 to 20:00 - Dinner at Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens Spa / Lights out

Day 2
07:00 to 08:00 - Breakfast
08:00 to 12:00 - Swim, Massage, Relax at Luljetta's Hanging Gardens
12:00 to 13:00 - Check Out
13:00 to 14:00 - Cake Draft Cafe
14:00 to 16:00 - Cloud 9
16:00 to 18:00 - Departure from Antipolo


Cubao vv. Antipolo (Php35 to Php50 x 2) = Php70 to Php100
Vieux Chalet Menu Price Range - Php225 to Php2,600
Cake Draft Cafe Menu Price Range - Php80 to Php900
Marison's Menu Price Range - Php90 to Php330
Crescent Moon Cafe Buffet Price - Tuesdays to Saturdays, Php450/pax; Sundays, Php550/pax

Entrance Fees
Hinulugang Taktak National Park - Free See below:
Pinto Art Museum - Regular, Php150; Student, Php75

Luljetta's Hanging Gardens - for rates, go here
Loreland Farm Resort - for rates, go here


Bienvenido Travel and Tours
Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa, Loreland Farm Resort
Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City
+63 2 695 1965 / +63 2 570 2532 / +63 917 544 4432 / +63 928 627 8897

National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Antipolo Cathedral)
P. Oliveros St. Brgy. Dela Paz Antipolo, Rizal
+63 2 571 7347

Hinulugang Taktak National Park
Brgy. Dela Paz, Sumulong Hi-way, Antipolo, Rizal
Mondays to Sundays; 8AM to 5PM

Pinto Art Museum
#1 Sierra Madre St. Grand Heights Antipolo, Rizal
Tuesdays to Sundays, 9AM to 6PM; Mondays, Closed

Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant
456 Taktak Road, Sitio Sampaguita, Brgy. Santa Cruz, Antipolo, Rizal
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays, 9AM to 10PM; Fridays and Saturdays, 8AM to 11PM; Wednesdays and Thursdays, Closed
+63 928 288 8584 / +63 2 697 0396

Cake Draft Cafe
4 P. Oliveros St. Brgy. Dela Paz Antipolo, Rizal
Mondays to Sundays, 10AM to 11PM
+63 2 706 1836

2/F Village Mall Antipolo Mille Luce, ML Quezon Ave Ext. Antipolo, Rizal
Mondays to Sundays; 10AM to 10PM
+63 2 964 8766

Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery / The Glass Bar
Sapang Buho Road, Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo, Rizal
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10AM to 4PM; Thursdays to Sundays, 9AM to 4PM; Mondays, Closed
+63 2 234 5724

Cloud 9
Sumulong Highway, Brgy. Santa Cruz, Antipolo, Rizal
Mondays to Sundays, 7AM to 2AM
+63 2 584 3014

Found this guide helpful? Check out the other installments of the Spread the Impact series! Don't forget to travel responsibly because We Travel, We Care!

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