I knew it was going to be a memorable and safe trip, because we started it right.
Early morning, we made a stop to Antipolo’s popular church, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, famed for its stories of faith and miracles. We explored, said our prayers, lit our candles as we started the day of experiencing the charm, that is Antipolo City. It was just nice to be there with Eloi and my high school friends.
It was a well-planned trip, like a yearly travel that my high school friends pledged to one another. Looking back all these years, we’ve been to Potipot Island, Club Punta Fuego, Subic, Laguna, Thailand and Cambodia. But this year, since some of the gang are starting to have their own kids, we decided to make it simple. At first, we all thought, “well, our travel is just in Antipolo.”
Little did we know that this town in Rizal could offer more. It was a complete jam-packed day for us.
Our first stop? The buzzling Art Haven, Pinto Art Museum.
Pinto Art Museum
Renting a Toyota Hi-Ace van for this travel turned out to be a good idea, because this Art Museum is located in the inner, heart of Antipolo, and not directly accessible by public transport.
We all know the meaning of Pinto, right? No, not Sam Pinto! LOL! I mean the door. And the moment you entered Pinto Art Museum’s door (or gate), it would give you a sense that this is not your usual Art place, the one you see at SM Malls.
When we were inside, our gut feeling was correct, we were welcomed by these intricate, unique art creations that stirred our minds and imagination. And we were not even inside the gallery yet!
Walking through the pathways surrounded by trees, then serenaded by relaxing music gave us the right vibe as we entered the best part of this place – the Art Galleries.
Like what we experienced, I think you’ll also be astounded by these paintings hanging on the walls of a well-planned structure. Everything was done in good taste. Naks!
Every piece communicates something, a message, a feeling that is personal to each individual viewing. There were some that felt light and happy, but most are sad, dark, you could almost feel the emotions overflowing to touch your senses.
Some were totally bizarre, you can’t help but look at them closer.
Sometimes, it would take a few minutes before I could tell myself “okay I got that (ikaw na artist!).” I don’t know if this also happens to everyone. Am I weird? LOL!
The last phase of the gallery was another surprise.
The pieces there were not just artistic, but reflected the harsh, brutal realities of corruption, politics, sex and many more!
My personal favorite is the artists’ way of expressing disbelief, humor and frustrations of the worsening corruption in this country. And being a graduate from PUP, this triggered the “activist” in me. LOL! Remembering the time when I was in college, lured by some activists at school to join a march against Erap. We were shouting “ Sobrang nang pahirap patalsikin si Erap.” And then we were bombarded with water! LOL!
I never joined those marches again, but I can still be a radical. Try me. :p
How to get there
It is located inside Grand Heights, private subdivision. It is better to go there from Ortigas. Ride a jeepney or FX going to Antipolo. There’s an FX terminal near SM Megamall Parking Area. The drop off point is the Ynares Center. From there, take a tricycle and tell the driver to take you to Grand Heights Subdivision. Just tell the guard that you’re going to visit Pinto Art Museum.
Address: 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo, Rizal – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Contact: 6971015
- P180 per head
- P150 for senior citizens and PWD
- P100 for students with proper school IDs
- Free for children below 3 years old
Important Reminder: No pets allowed inside. No food and no smoking.
Walking, marvelling at those art creations can be very starving. After being satisfied with the cultured vibe of Pinto, we decided to have an “eat all you can buffet” experience. And no, this is not the type of high-end restaurants you’re thinking of, it’s cheap and delicious, for only 125 pesos! (San kapa?)
My Pot Restaurant
It was lunchtime and we were damn hungry.
By the time we reached the location of My Pot Restaurant, it was kinda strange. We couldn’t locate it. A restaurant, carinderia or even a canteen has a signage, but we couldn’t find it. I thought maybe, My Pot, is so damn popular it doesn’t need a signage, you know the low-key restaurant but very popular?
When we went out of the van to ask the guard at the premises, he said My Pot has already transferred to a new location.
“Okay.” We weren’t informed. For the first time our researcher failed. LOL! And also, the blogger who was our reference for this must update his post.
The guard was kind enough to give us the direction. The new location was a bit more difficult to find, it’s not on the main road anymore. But once, we reached the resto, we all just wanted to run inside and eat! (PG) LOL!
For Php 125, you can eat anything and everything. With that affordable price, choosy kapa ba?
My Pot offers a wide array of Filipino food and desserts, like sinigang, menudo, kare-kare and a lot more Pinoy delicacies.
Oh by the way, you should try their crispy kangkong. It’s del-licious!
My Pot Restaurant New Address: Manuel L. Quezon Extension, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal. Near Antipolo Doctors Hospital.
A PG (patay gutom) shouldn’t go in this place or else you’ll overeat. LOL! We were so full we couldn’t move for a while. 🙂 Of course, we took our time, rested, before we head on to our next destination. It was time to relax and get pampered at Luljetta’s Hanging Garden.
Luljetta’s Hanging Garden Spa
We were at the receiving area of Luljetta’s, waiting for the staff to check our reservation when a girl dressed in a colored beach attire entered the scene and went straight to the front desk. She didn’t mind checking if there were people in line. She was confident but not that pretty, she said so many things but quite difficult to understand. I think she had braces on. Not sure. LOL!
She left the area getting what she wanted, to be assisted first even though there were people patiently waiting for their turn.
It was a sign. It was a sign that we were in a sosyal place of Luljetta’s Hanging Garden, where most pabebe people with braces connive (just kidding!), and the staff doesn’t respect punctuality.
It is located along a mountainside, that’s why it’s called hanging garden. But the best part is the stunning view of green hills and Laguna de Bay. Rates is a bit pricey but the chill vibe compensates it. It is perfect for people like us who want to experience some pampering once in a while.
We availed their Hanging Spa Retreat Package for Php 930 (exclusive of spa services) which gave us access to amenities such as two infinity pools, fish spa, sauna and Jacuzzi. We also availed foot spa and massage (not included in the package). For the updated rates, you may check out their website here.
One thing I enjoyed the most is their infinity pools overlooking the skyline of Metro Manila. It was cool and and refreshing.
We should have relaxed at their fish spa, but it turned out to be one heck of fun and laughter. The doctor fishes were huge, biggest I’ve ever seen. (Ga-tilapia to mga pre!). LOL!
How to get there
At the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard, take a jeepney going to Antipolo Church (Php 27). From the vicinity of the church, look for the tricycle terminal to bring you to Loreland Farm Resort where Luljetta’s Hanging Garden is located.
We ended our day with a relaxing foot spa at the garden’s gazebo. It was a nice treat. We all hopped on the van going home refreshed and satisfied. Whew! What a day in Antipolo.
I know we all have a friend who lives in Antipolo. It’s just an hour drive from Metro Manila. It’s so close yet when we talk about travel plans, we ignore it.
Well, traveling is not just about going to faraway places. All you need is to be in a different, strange location. And the irony is, sometimes we are stranger to our own city, our own town, our own country.
Antipolo is complete. Arts, Food and Relaxation. I think it’s about time we give Antipolo a second look, a chance. What are you waiting for? Plan you trip now.
Note: Thank you to my friend Gev Mallari for the beautiful photos. 🙂