Weekend Escape: Antipolo
Looking for something to do this long weekend? We found some hidden gems just minutes away from Manila.
(SPOT.ph) Thanks to the popular Philippine folk song, Antipolo will always be known as the town of the famous waterfall Hinulugang Taktak. But if you're heading 29 kilometers east of Manila with the romantic notion of a sleepy mountain town, you're in for quite the awakening. Antipolo, thanks to its proximity to the urban sprawl and good governance, has been enjoying a continuous rise these past years and has become a full-fledged city with a lot of places to eat, see, and of course, get a good view of Manila.
Ortigas Avenue Extension or Marcos Highway are the usual routes to Antipolo, which is also known as a pilgrimage site. Join the pilgrims and devotees of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage and hop on a bus, a jeepney or an FX shuttle at transport hubs located at EDSA Central or SM Megamall in Mandaluyong or at the Farmer's Market in Cubao, Quezon City. If you are nearer to the Central Business District, take an FX shuttle at the Gabriela Silang Car Park at the corner of Makati and Ayala Avenue and go on your merry way.
WHAT TO EAT
Go for Asian at CAFÉ DOZO
28 L. Sumulong Memorial Circle, Antipolo City
Tel. No. 630 -3171
Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 12 midnight
The lanterns hanging outside the restaurant, the graphic curtains on the wall, and the sturdy wooden furniture are signs that the place is Japanese. But flip through their menu and you’ll find that they also serve Korean food-which is actually a good thing. Café Dozo makes for a good compromise if you want a good bowl of gyoza and the person you’re with wants a serving of bibimbap.
Take comfort at TIOLO
2145 Circumferential Rd. Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City
Tel. No. 695 -9467
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Standing on its own along the busy circumferential road, Tiolo is easy to spot among the commercial complexes in the area. We love its minimalist interiors-wooden tables, chairs, and a row of cute droplights and their menu featuring the familiar comfort food like beef tapa and homemade longganisa or spaghetti with meatballs or ala puttanesca. Add the smiling servers and cool air-conditioning, and it’s a pretty good place to take a break and eat.
Enjoy some genteel charm at LOUISIANNAH'S COFFEE BAR AND BAKESHOPPE
Circumferential Road (beside Hapchan fronting Servitek Tirelandia)
Like any good-looking girl, Louisiannah's caught our attention because she was pretty. But she certainly won us over with her yummy baked goodies-especially her huge green tea muffin (P75) and free WiFi. It's such a sweet place to catch-up with the girls, finally finish that romance novel you've been reading forever, or simply do some homework. Most of the kids hanging out there certainly appeared to be doing that.
Gab with friends at TWITTEA
1-Cirq Building, Circumferential Road, Antipolo City (Right across Unciano Memorial Center)
Mobile No.: 0917-808-2717
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 midnight
The play on the name of the popular social media site suggests that this is a place where anyone can hang out with friends, all day long. With the bright airy interiors and low comfortable seats on top of having milk tea as good as the ones in the city, we think that sounds like a good plan.
Have some modern Pinoy cuisine at TIPULO
First Pacific Leadership Academy Km. 27 Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you want to have a good Filipino meal while surrounded by a lush environment, Tipulo is a good spot. Found within the compound of the First Pacific Leadership Academy, it’s quiet and secluded, almost giving you the feeling that you have the place all to yourself.
WHAT TO SEE
Photo from Pinto Art Museum’s Facebook page
Admire the art at PINTO ART MUSEUM
1 Sierra Madre St. Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City
Tel. No. 703 4453
Museum fee: P150, Students: P100
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Step through the doors of the Pinto Art Museum (PAM) and enter a haven for Philippine Arts and Culture. The former Pinto Art Gallery now features a one-hectare complex that houses PAM's Dr.Joven Cuanang's permanent collection as well as the works of award-winning in-house artists Jim Orencio and Antonio Leaño. Works of other artists grace the walls of the new hall as well.
Enjoy the great view at PADI'S POINT
Alpadi Compound, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City
Tel. No. 344-3028
They may have branched out into the lowlands but Padi's Point in Antipolo remains a landmark. The food is good; the music is great, and the sunset view is, as always, breathtaking. They also have one of the longest happy hour deals daily-from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
You can also get a good view of the city at CAFÉ LUPE
267-269 Comoda Ville Penthouse, Sitio Ruhat, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo
Tel. No. 682-1706, 682-8566
Open daily 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It's the good 'ol Café Lupe but this time, with a mesmerizing view of the metro. Their mainly Mexican menu still satisfies, but their best feature yet is the cushy upholstered seats that invite you to linger in the lookout area.
Check out the well-kept grounds at FIRST PACIFIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Km. 27 Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City
Tel. No. 632-8111
First Pacific Leadership Academy is a complex designed to be a venue for seminars and workshops, with the aim of helping companies and individuals advance in their fields. The buildings are modern but softened by their lush, quiet environment-a perfect environment to inspire just about anybody.
WHAT TO BUY (Choose from the hawkers right outside the Antipolo Church)
Chew on FLAVOURED CASHEWS
What's a trip to Antipolo without bringing home some cashews to go with your suman? But be forewarned, these are not your average cashews. The locals have upped the ante, offering some of them in flavoured variants. Which strikes your fancy-spicy, sweet, adobo? But if you like them plain, don't worry. They have plenty of those, too.
Grab a cool red ROOSTER
They’re actually toys for kids but they're so kitschy cute, we just couldn't resist! Buy it to keep the kids entertained, push it to get its wings flapping, but keep it for its Pinoy kitsch look.