Exploring the natural beauty of the Philippines needs not always be expensive and luxurious. For travelers seeking to enjoy sublime attractions that are easy on the pocket, visiting Antipolo will do. Since the city has a high elevation, we cannot expect beaches around. However, there are still plenty of scenic spots to visit in Antipolo.
Located just 25 kilometers east of Manila, Antipolo is an easy getaway from the hassles of urban living. With the growing interest to nature, the city is slowly but surely stamping its mark as one of the premier ecotourism destinations in the country. Antipolo, which covers an area of 306.10 square kilometers, is also considered as the "Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines." Swarm of people flock to the city to pay homage to the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
Choosing an accommodation that will fit your budget and interest is never a problem in Antipolo. There is a wide selection of resorts and hotels to choose from around the city, which is also a popular destination at night, as it has a scenic view of the metropolis. Here is a travel guide to some of the must-see attractions in Antipolo.
The Antipolo Cathedral is one of the most-frequented sites in the city. This place of worship houses the Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, which came from Mexico in 1626. The Antipolo Cathedral, a product of nationwide fundraising project in 1948, is also considered as an architectural masterpiece. It has a distinct dome roof on which stands a giant cross. The church also has vaulted ceilings and towering spires, setting it apart from other cathedrals in the country.
Hinulugang Taktak is always an identity of Antipolo. Located in Brgy. Dela Paz, this waterfall was declared a national park by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 1990. Hinulugang Taktak is featured on the popular folk song "Tayo na sa Antipolo" (Let's go to Antipolo). Legend has it that local folks during the Spanish era threw a giant bell that causes a disturbing noise during the noon Angelus into the stream. That's how Hinulugang Taktak got its name, "the place where the bell was dropped."
Inday Nelly Mystical Cave
Another natural wonder in Antipolo is the Mystical Cave. Owned by Inday Nelly Deles, the cave is also a famous pilgrimage site during Lenten Season. Inside the cave are stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations that resemble religious figures such as Jesus Christ, St. Peter, St. Bernadette, and the Virgin Mary. Deles said she dreamed of the cave when she was a young girl in Iloilo. This prompted her to search for the cave in various places across the country before finding it in Antipolo.
PACEM Ecology Park
Green is always in at PACEM Ecology Park in Antipolo. This sanctuary, which was set up by the Assumption Sisters, aims to raise public awareness on environment protection. A leading attraction at the park is a garden where hundreds of butterfly species roam freely. PACEM Ecology Park also has an aviary, an organic farm, a shell collection, a green house, and a snack center.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.