Photo Source: Luljetta’s Place
Based in Manila and itching for a change of scenery? Ditch the long travel time and head over to Antipolo, which is only a couple of hours away. Here are seven destinations that’ll keep you busy for a day (or more):
Pinto Art Museum
Photo Source: Sassy Manila
One of the most well-known destinations in Antipolo, the Pinto Art Museum stands serenely in the mountains, its classic Mediterranean architecture fitting in well with the lush greenery all around its 1.3-hectare compound. Resembling a resort, its interiors are characterized by wide space and white walls, housing six contemporary art galleries from the personal collection of Dr. Joven Cuanang.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
Photo Source: Luljetta’s Place
Spas in Antipolo have an edge because of the breathtaking view that it offers from certain spots. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is perched on a mountain ridge, and visitors can avail of a retreat, where they can explore all of the spa’s facilities in five hours. Its highlights are the Hydro-Massage pool, where jets of water knead your muscles, a picturesque Infinity pool, and the Dr. Fish Spa, where tiny fish nip away at your body’s dead cells.
Eggs for Breakfast
Photo Source: Kiara Padua
Address: Velada Estate, 21 Don Juan Street, Villa Cecilia Subdivision, Barangay Mambugan, Lower Antipolo, Rizal
Get your all-day breakfast fix from this cafe set amidst a garden in Velada Estate, a popular wedding venue. Quotes set in artistic typography and quirky knick-knacks hang from the walls, and customers are treated to a refreshing view of the garden, thanks to wide-glass windows. Popular breakfast options are the One Pan Breakfast (which suits two people and features English breakfast favorites), Eggs Benedict, and French Toast.
Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery
Photo Source: Lanella Abueva-Fernando Studio Pottery
Address: The Courtyard of Maia Alta Antipolo Rizal, Sapang Buho, Antipolo, Rizal
One of the first movers locally to fuse food and pottery in one place, Crescent Moon Cafe is a peaceful haven that eschews the typical background music and study table format of cafes for pottery displays, zen touches like a koi pond, and multicolored wall hangings. It hosts classes on pottery and art regularly, and menu specialties are Alagaw Salad, which consists of mint leaves, mangga’t suman, and chicken in Thai yellow curry.
Secret Garden of Doris
Photo Source: Edgar Portalan BITES
Address: 8B Sitio Malanim, Brgy. Dela Paz Along Sumulong Highway, Antipolo, Philippines
This hidden gem is more farm than garden, and it has a cozy, personalized feel because the founder, Doris Irog, is often available to guide visitors around and tell her story over a cup of tea and Antipolo’s famous suman. An Agriculture Advisor and Communicator, she started out by planting a tree for every birthday, and now she owns a 1.5-hectare farm that advocates for container gardening and nature conservation.
Photo Source: Pinoy Blog Watch
Address: Nuestra Señora de la Annunciata Parish Church, Antipolo, Rizal
Arguably the oldest structure in Antipolo, Boso-Boso Church retains a surreal, archaic atmosphere with wild vines growing around it and its stone-and-brick structure slightly eroded by time. While it was erected by the Jesuits in the 17th century, it was razed down by fire during World War II and was only rebuilt in 1995. Many describe it as ruins, but Sunday services are regularly held inside, with a small parish office adjoining it.
Casa Santa Museum
Photo Source: Tourist Portal PH
As far as museums go, Casa Santa is quite eclectic: evoking the spirit of the holiday season all year round, it features more than 4,000 Santa Claus-themed memorabilia, including candles, figurines, statues, and mugs. The building itself is a family house turned log cabin, and it’s in full Christmas regalia, with a live Santa Claus that you can take photos with and a brick fireplace, a miniature snowy village, and soft, warm lighting to complete the mood.