With its close proximity to the city and hodgepodge of interesting sights, spots, and activities, Antipolo, Rizal has become a favorite escape for those looking for a quick respite. The city, known for being the “Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines”, is now bursting with interesting hotspots that can cater to the varied tastes of weekend warriors. Whether it’s food, art, culture, or nature – you name it, Antipolo’s got it. Planning for a quick trip to this gem of a place soon? Here’s a one-day itinerary to guide you through your adventure.
Breakfast: Eggs for Breakfast
Address: Velada Estate, 21 Don Juan Street, Villa Cecilia Subdivision, Lower Antipolo, Mambugan, Lower, Antipolo
There’s no better way to start your trip than having the perfect meal for breakfast. Over the past few years, Antipolo has become famous for its amazing roster of culinary finds – Eggs for Breakfast being a perfect example of one. A rustic, garden-themed cafe found in Lower Antipolo’s Villa Cecilia Subdivision, the cafe gives a wonderful take on breakfast dishes like omelettes, french toasts, and tapas. Their Eggs Benedict are as delicious as they are perfect for the ‘gram, and their sausages and local longganisas are definite must-tries as well. The place also has amazing interiors, so it’s a double-win for everyone.
Art: Pinto Art Museum
Address: 1 Sierra Madre St, Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
If you’re keeping up with travel ‘grams, then you’ve probably already come across snaps of Pinto Art Museum, a Mediterranean-style art space housing some of the best contemporary works by known and upcoming local artists. The place, which was originally a rest house owned by neurologist Joven R. Cuanang, has become a must-visit spot for art lovers because of its thought-inducing artworks, installations, and sculptures. Pinto Art Museum showcases amazing interiors and exteriors that will look perfect on your feed. The place even offers the traditional ‘mambabatok’ way of tattooing – the ancient tattoo art that the world-renowned Whang-Od is known for. The museum serves as the studio of Den Wigan, an artist trained by his grandfather who lived in the same Kalinga village as Whang-Od’s.
History: Antipolo Cathedral
Address: Dela Paz St, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
One of the must-visits in Antipolo is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, also known as the Antipolo Cathedral. The church, which was founded in 1632 by Reverend Juan de Salazar, attracts millions of pilgrims during the “Pagdalaw ng Ina sa Anak” season when a motorcade bearing the Marian Image travels from the cathedral to Quiapo Church, the home of the Black Nazarene. Another historical tidbit on why you should visit: when he was a little boy, National hero Jose Rizal went on a pilgrimage to the church with his father to fulfill a vow his mother – Teodoro Alonzo – made when she and Rizal survived his birth.
Nature: Hinulugang Taktak
Address: Taktak Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Legend has it that Hinulugang Taktak got its name because a bell was dropped on its waters after villagers complained about it being too loud. This 12-meter high waterfall used to be open to the public but was closed after its waters and surrounding area were slowly destroyed by the influx of tourists. The waterfall, which is probably the second most popular landmark in Rizal next to Antipolo Church, is now a national park which visitors can drop by if they want to get closer to nature. You can chill on the view deck or several of the gazebos there should you decide to visit.
Afternoon Snack: The Crescent Moon Café
Address: Sapang Buho Rd., Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo City
With its colorful walls, hearty food, and numerous activities, Crescent Moon Café is the perfect place to chill in the afternoon after your morning activities. The cafe’s restaurant offers a variety of Southeast Asian dishes and a buffet spread made only with the freshest ingredients. Drop by to try its in-house alagao salad and homemade suman that can refresh you after your tour. Besides from its open-air restaurant, Crescent Moon is also an art space of sorts where visitors can participate in various creative workshops. There is the Glass Bar, the café’s designated watering hole and venue for art sessions, and owner Lanelle Abueva-Fernando’s pottery studio where visitors can shop for ceramic pieces.
Hiking: Mystical Cave
Address: 25 Masinag Marcos Highway, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Burn off that filling meal you had at Crescent Moon by hiking to the Mystical Cave, a natural wonder known for its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. The cave, which is being maintained by Inday Nelly after she discovered it in the 1970s, is popular for its rock forms that are said to bear the images of religious names like Jesus, The Virgin Mary, The Pieta, and St. Peter. Devotees believe that the water and rocks of the cave can also help heal sick people. Many tourists visit it during the Lenten season and Holy Week, with some even staying there for the night.
Dinner: Tahanan Bistro
Address: 22 Loresville Drive, Lores Farm Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Lalawigan ng Rizal
Wind down for the day by grabbing dinner at Tahanan Bistro, a casual fine-dining restaurant on the hills of Antipolo that offers wonderful garden views and a picturesque landscape of Laguna de Bay. The place has a simple, sophisticated menu inspired by the many produce and flavors found in different regions of the country that changes three times every year. The restaurant offers affordable set menus that are creatively named after mountains – a perfect nod to its recognition of local culture.