The city of Antipolo in the province of Rizal is popular for being a pilgrimage site in the Philippines. In fact, it is dubbed as the “Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines.” Enshrined in the Antipolo Church is the Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage which was brought from Mexico in 1626.
Other than being a pilgrimage site, there is also several historic and natural sites that are worth a visit in the city. Among these include:
- Antipolo Cathedral
This is home to a very renowned icon, the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The church is located in the city’s town proper. Every month of May, Antipolo becomes a center of activity due to visitors and locals paying homage to the miraculous Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
- Boso-Boso Church
This is a remnant of a centuries-old church that was destroyed during the Second World War. If you love history and remnants of the past, you will appreciate a visit to this church. It is a remnant of the Spanish era that dominated the Philippines for more than 300 years.
The church was constructed in 1700 under the Jesuits. However, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1800. In 1930, the church was abandoned when the town was moved to a different location. In 1945, the church was destroyed by a fire. Finally, in 1995, it was restored back to its original design.
- Hinulugang Taktak
A waterfall that was designated as a National park by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Hinulugang Taktak means “where the bell was dropped.” The history behind the name is that – during the 16th century – people from the town were bothered by a church bell producing very harsh and unbearable loud sounds when it was rung during the Angelus. The townspeople demanded from the local priest that the bell be taken down. Due to the complaint, the priest has the bell dropped in a river nearby.
The waterfalls have suffered from pollution and eutrophication, but measures have been undertaken to restore it back to its original state.
- Mystical Cave
The cave is called mystical because of the several religious images seen inside the caves. These religious images are stalactite and stalagmite formations that resemble religious icons. The cave is a multi-level one, but only the first level can be visited without the need for permission.
- Pinto Art Museum
This is a museum gallery that showcases paintings and sculptures of local artists.
- Via Dolorosa
Another pilgrim site in Antipolo and was formerly known as “The White Cross.” It is a grotto-lke hill that features a very large image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
Getting to Antipolo
Antipolo is just 25 km away from Manila, which is around an hour of travel by car. However, if you choose public transport, here are ways to get to the city:
- By train. Take the LRT-2 line that will take you from Recto to Santolan Station. From there, take a jeepney or an FX taxi to take you to the town proper.
- By jeep or FX taxi. Take a jeep or FX taxi in the following locations: Araneta Center Cubao (Manila), Valero Street (behind RCBC Plaza in Makati), and Crossings Department Store in Shangri-la Plaza.
Antipolo is situated in a higher elevation than Metro Manila which gives it a really good view of the metropolis, which is a sight to behold at night. There are also a couple of interesting food choices in the city, the most popular being the locally grown mangoes and cashes. Another interesting gastronomic choice you can try is suman, which is a local delicacy made from glutinous rice.