Rizal

It lies on part of the Sierra Madre mountain range, putting it at a significantly higher altitude than Manila. This makes Antipolo a good place from which to view the metropolis. You’ll find a number of eateries and bars along the ridge overlooking Metro Manila.

Antipolo is also a Catholic pilgrimage site. The most popular attraction is the Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), also called the Virgin of Antipolo. The image enshrined in Antipolo Cathedral was brought over all the way from Mexico in 1626.

Southwest of Antipolo, you’ll find the town of Angono. “The art capital of the Philippines” has produced two National Artists — Carlos “Botong” Francisco for visual arts, and Lucio San Pedro for music. Walk along Doña Aurora Street, and you’ll see murals in their honor.

You can also check out galleries that display the work of local artists. At the Blanco Family Museum, you can view the paintings of Jose “Pitok” Blanco and his wife and seven children. Another gallery is the Nemiranda Art House, where you can view the work of Nemesio “Nemiranda” Miranda.

Another Angono attraction is the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs. These rock engravings date as far back 3000 BC, and are said to be the country’s oldest known artwork.

For yet another kind of artistic expression, there’s the Crescent Moon Café in Antipolo. The café features a menu that changes everyday, depending on available fresh ingredients. Off to one side of the property, there’s a small store where you can buy pottery sold by the kilo.

Nature lovers and adventure seekers will enjoy the Daranak Falls in Tanay, the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) and Pamitinan Cave.