Rica’s Resort, Antipolo Rizal

If you want to stay overnight, you can rent your own private house at Rica’s Resort that is less a kilometer away from the Mystical Cave.

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Rica’s Resort has 2 private houses for rent. Each has their own small swimming pool for kids and adults, kitchen with free use of stove, long tables and chairs and comes with free videoke. There are 2 large rooms at the second floor with available mattresses.

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Rates ranges from P5,000-P7,000 depending on the season but we were able to rent it for P3,500 only.

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How to get:
From Antipolo Church, ride a jeep bound for Antipolo Hills Subdivision (terminal is at the back of 711). From Antipolo Hills drop off terminal, ride tricycle going to Rica’s Resort.


Mystical Cave, Antipolo Rizal

Another tourist spot, a kilometer away from our abode is the Mystical Cave.

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Unlike the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church and Hinulugang Taktak Falls, this cave is not a well known tourist spot in Antipolo. But many pilgrims flock this area during Holy Week to pray and reflect.

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You need to climb several steps to reach the entrance of the cave. Once inside, you will be welcomed by a huge open space and while roaming, you can see several images from the stalactites and stalagmites.

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You cannot enter the cave on your own, you need to register first then a guide will lead your way.

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with our guide (the boy in yellow)

How to get:
From Antipolo Church, ride a jeep bound for Antipolo Hills Subdivision (terminal is at the back of 711). From Antipolo Hills drop off terminal, ride tricycle going to Mystical Cave.


Hinulugang Taktak Falls, Antipolo Rizal

Hinulugang Taktak is another top tourist spot in Antipolo aside from the Cathedral of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

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Popularized by the song lyrics “Tayo na sa Antipolo at duo’y maligo tayo, sa batis na kung tawagin ay Hinulugang Taktak,” the fall is 12 meter in height and cascading wide. It is where people from Manila and nearest provinces from previous generation came to bathe. But over the years, the fall became polluted because of the informal settlers at the top of the mountain and made the fall no longer suited for swimming. This prompted the local government to construct a large pool near the fall where people can swim while still enjoying the view of Hinulugang Taktak.

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There are also cottages where visitors can settle and have picnics but we were not able to explore the place at the time of our visit because the park is being rehabilitated.

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Came February this year, the park is now open to public. So check out the improved and clean Hinulugang Taktak Falls.

How to get:
From Antipolo Church, tricycles are readily available going to Hinulugang Taktak.


The Wedding Gatecrashers in Tagaytay…Sort of

It’s been awhile since I last visited Tagaytay City. If not only for my brother-in-law’s family who attended a wedding and that my cousin who came from US wanted to see Taal Volcano, I would not have another opportunity to see the little Baguio of South Luzon.

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So, I and my cousin hitched the ride to Tagaytay City with my in-laws family. Our first stop is The Lake Hotel where the bride-to-be and the whole entourage were checked-in.

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The hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired hotel that has an infinity pool overlooking the majestic Taal Volcano. They also have function rooms for any type of events including the wedding reception of my brother-in-law’s cousin.

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The Lake Hotel
Address: Km.58, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway Brgy. Maharlika East, Tagaytay City
Tel. No: (+632) 584-4470; +63-917-593-9431; (+632) 725-7243; +63-917-593 9429; (046) 413 4680

I and my cousin may have started our tour around Tagaytay but since I haven’t been to the Chapel on the Hill (where the wedding ceremony took place) we tagged along the rest of the group.

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True to its name, the chapel is situated on a hill in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas with 360 view of Tagaytay City through its glass wall panels. One unique feature of the chapel is the circular floor panel called “The Labyrinth” which is labeled as “The Journey to inner Peace.”

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Chapel on the Hill
Address: Don Bosco Spiritual Center, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
Tel. No. +6327435614 (Manila)

After the ceremony we requested them to drop us to Mushroom Burger Restaurant where we had our lunch and then afterwards we rode a jeep and went to Sky Ranch.

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The newest amusement park that has rides for kids and adults. Entrance fee is P50.00 and other pay-per-ride attractions that range from P50.00-P150.00. The main attraction Sky Eye, is considered the tallest Ferris wheel in the Philippines. It is open daily from 8AM-10PM.

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Sky Ranch
Address: Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay City
Tel. No. (02) 857-0100 loc 1653.

While roaming around Sky Ranch my sister called us up and said that we can join them at the reception since there are plenty of seats available. I was hesitant at first because I was just wearing a shirt and short (my typical outfit when I travel) but thinking of the free lunch buffet eventually made me say yes.

We also got our souvenir and photobooth session :)

We also got our souvenir and photobooth session :)


Minalungao National Park, Nueva Ecija

Tired of the beach and would like to try a different type of body water to bathe this summer season? Why not check Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija.

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Tucked in a remote district of General Tinio or commonly known as Papaya in Nueva Ecija, this area is under the protective care of the local government since 1967. Entrance fee is P20 per head and parking fee is P50 per vehicle. There are cottages for rent at P200 but you can enjoy cruising on a raft or floating cottages for P500-P1,500.

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Picture yourself taking a dip in a charming, calm and radiant river while enjoying the view of unique rock formations on both sides. Imagine listening to the birds hums echoing the area while inhaling the fresh water scent, giving you that peaceful sensation. You’ll experience it all here.

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And if you’re an adventure seeker, there are several activities that may satisfy your passion. A cave that you can easily explore, limestone where you can trek, cliff diving on a large rock at the center of the river and a huge cross on top of the mountain where you can offer a prayer by walking less than a thousand steps. You need not worry of “how to” and “where to” because there are local guides who are willing to assist you, just don’t forget to give something in return.

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Commuting from Manila is quite easy, ride buses bound for Cabanatuan (except the one plying the route of SCTEX) and hop off Bucana in Gapan Nueva Ecija (landmark is the Gapan rotunda). From there, ride a tricycle to Minalungao National Park. Bus fare is 150 from Cubao while tricycle fare ranges from 500-700 maximum of 5 passengers. Bringing your own car is quite difficult as there are limited signages going to the place in addition to the long, winding and mostly rough road.

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For our trip, I and my travel hubby rode the bus from Cubao bound for Cabanatuan, and hop off Bucana Gapan where my colleagues who came from Pampanga were waiting for us. From the Rotunda, turn right and straight ahead until you reach Papaya Public Market (you can have your last-minute shop here since there are limited stores in Minalungao). From the market, drive straight ahead until you see an Ukay-ukay store to your right (please be cautious because the stall is quite small and not easily recognized). Turn right then straight ahead until you reach the park (here is where most of the road is not yet paved). If lost, you can always ask for the directions from the locals.

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There is an ongoing improvement inside the park and the local government has started its effort to promote the place as one of the top tourist destination in Nueva Ecija. Even if with the development, I just hope that they will still preserve the purity and stillness of another God’s wonderful masterpiece.

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