Famed as the "Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines”, Antipolo City sprawls to the east of Manila on the slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Its elevated position offers sweeping views across the metropolis below, while the Antipolo Cathedral draws devotees from near and far in reverence of its 17th-century statue of the Virgin Mary.
Things to do
Admire the pink-hued exterior of the Antipolo Cathedral, which was rebuilt following Allied bombing destroyed the original during World War II. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims on the eves of Good Friday and May 1, with Filipino Catholics trekking from across the region to offer flowers to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Outside the cathedral are vendors selling roasted cashews, which are a local specialty.
Interested in Filipino art? Head to the Pinto Art Museum to browse its contemporary paintings and sculptures, which occupy several Mission-style buildings and a beautifully manicured tropical garden. Many of the works explore cultural identity and national history within genres that range from surrealism to expressionism and conceptual art. The gallery offers panoramic views across Manila and there’s an on-site cafe where you can relax over lunch.
A short drive from the city centre is Hinulugang Taktak, a protected natural area that’s renowned for its waterfalls. Embark on a trek through the tropical forest to see its picturesque cascades before continuing to the Mystical Cave. This seven-floor show cave is spectacularly decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations.
Antipolo City is just under an hour’s drive from the heart of Manila and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has flight connections across the globe. Colourful jeepneys access all corners of the city and tricycle “taxis” are readily available for short journeys.