Welcome to Antipolo City
History · Trekking Antipolo



If you have read about the Lorelei, those mythical nymphs whose enchanting songs lured ships and sailors to their deaths, then you will know the charm and allure of this beautiful town. It is home to the wondrous Hinulugang Taktak, enchanting waterfalls immortalized in the folksong "Tayo na sa Antipolo, at doon maligo tayo".

So the popular ditty composed by German San Jose in 1929 goes singing its quaint invite of bucolic pleasure of days past. Today, Antipolo can easily be reached by several roads, in commute or in private, in as little as three quarters of an hour-traffic permitting.

Antipolo rest on a high plateau surrounded by hills on all sides. A century ago, Antipolo existed as a municipality of Morong. There were no roads connecting the municipality of Morong; there were only trails. There were only carts for the cart trails and hammocks for the winding mountain paths. The trip which one planned would plan as an expedition lasting not in a matter of hours, but of days and nights. In the epilogue of Rizal's novel, "Noli Me Tangere", as Capitan Tiago sinks into depression and opium addiction, his rival for heavenly graces and Church-ordered indulgences. Doña Patrocinio revels in her victory since Capitan Tiago no longer goes to Antipolo and orders masses. Thus, the pilgrimage to Antipolo in those days, was a trip not likely undertaken. The journey to Antipolo took the nature of a medieval pilgrimage with all the customary hazards and risks. Likewise, it was no nonetheless romantic and was believed to be soul saving.

To prepare for this journey, the traveler took with him a sufficient amount of money, some provisions of food and drink, prayer books and beads, and certainly several changes of clothing. Then, one went to the landing stage near the Bridge of Spain (parallel and to the east of the present Jones Bridge) and there contracted passage on one of the numerous boats that plied the Pasig River; which is navigable throughout the year. These boats presented a festive appearance, were mainly decorated, and carried their own musicians. When an adequate number of passengers had signed for the trip, the boat was out on its way and paddled down the river. Sailing was at an incredibly slow pace, taking several days. Outside Manila, along the river banks were restaurants. Customary stops at these places relieved the monotony of the trip and refreshed the travelers.

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Finally, the boat docked at Taguig or Taytay or Angono. From the boat, the pilgrim transferred to either a hammock or, for the well-to-do, a palanquin. The palanquin was an enclosed contraption with a chair inside, very ornate in appearance embellished with carvings and in some cases, draped in velvets. This was carried on the shoulders of two or four men. Both the hammock and the palanquin accommodated only a single passenger. The former, which was swung on the shoulder of two men, was standard transportation. The palanquin was then regal and fashionable vehicle of travel through the mountain pathways. The hammock and the palanquin were the only conveyances possible on the irregular mountain trails that traversed small villages before one arrived at the shrine of Antipolo. Of course, horseback and walking were other alternatives open to the pilgrims. The hardships of the long journey had their compensations. Once arrived in Antipolo, the pilgrim felt a sense of relation and physical lift. He had survived the arduous pilgrimage to the Brown Virgin and she led him and guarded him on the tortuous way. The air was cool and soft and fragrant - sampaguitas and gardenias scented the brisk mountain wind. The rippling leaves and the crackle of bamboos in the high winds mixed with the cacophony of birdcalls to provide music for the soul. Rippling brooks leaped from dark boulder to dark boulder inviting to bathe in their cool caress.