5 iconic Filipino food

5 iconic Filipino food

Know about these tummy fillers that are at the core of the Philippine culinary scene. Did you know why food from Pampanga have so much semblance to Spanish cooking? Why buying heirloom rice is more than just being healthy? And how lechon is life to Cebuanos?

Kapampangan food: Spanish roots + exotic eats

Although many destinations claim to be the Philippines’ food capital, Pampanga remains to be an active contender.

Photo by Edgar Allan Zeta-Yap

Pampanga’s dining scene is wide and all-encompassing. There you can go on a seafood journey in Guagua, tease your palate with Candaba’s burong isda and burong hipon
(fermented fish and shrimp), sample rice-based delicacies like tamalis and suman in Bacolor, or munch on Angeles City’s sisig (crisp grilled then chopped pork head) along with beer.

According to Poch Jorolan, a local and owner of the famous Everybody’s Café, Pampanga owes its status as the country’s culinary capital to the influences of foreign invaders who set foot in the province.

When the encomienda system was implemented in Pampanga during the Spanish colonization era, the rich encomienderos hired the Kapampangans as house helpers. At that time, a Kapampangan helper had to work with an encomiendero’s resident chef, inevitably passing on to the former Spanish cooking knowhow.

Photo by Poch Jorolan

But because Kapampangans tend to rely on whatever resources were available in the area, they tweaked what they learned; thus, bringhe became the localized paella, and morcon the Kapampangan version of embutido.

Another Kapampangan food signature is its exotic dishes. Since Pampanga is a landlocked province with no access to the seas, Kapampangans make do with what they have in their plantations. Farmers had to rely on what’s on hand. Frogs are plentiful—and tasty thus it became the chicken they deep fry or for cooking their adobo or sinigang.

Poch says mole crickets thrive in rice fields so farmers have no trouble collecting them. When the rice field is plowed in time for the planting season, they’d surface from the soil. “There’s only one good way to cook camaru, and that’s adobo-style; but we like to sauté it first in tomatoes and onions. It’s very crunchy but tastes like a real adobo,” he shares.

Bicolano Food: The coconut milk and chili love affair

There’s no point in arguing that the best spicy and coconut milk-infused cuisines in the country are in Bicol because it seems that nature has prompted this southern Luzon region to perfect such dishes in time.

Photos by Jocas See

Sili, specifically the small but brutally hot labuyo or bird’s eye chili, and coconut cream are the heart and soul of Bicolano cooking. It’s not a proper Bicolano meal if these two ingredients are missing. However, the degrees to which these two main ingredients are used vary per province, and Albay locals are known for preparing the spiciest and creamiest flavors.

“There is no definite explanation as to why Bicolanos love spicy flavors but the elders attribute it to the cold temperature that the inhabitants would frequently experience for they live close to Mayon Volcano,” shares Renato “BM” Jao, project head of Culinaria Albay. “They needed something with strong flavor to awaken their senses in cold mornings.” The pleasure of adding chili in cooking has been passed on from generation to generation until it became the norm.

Albay’s rich volcanic soil is also good for cultivating sili and vegetables. And since Bicol is rich in coconut trees, gata (coconut milk) is always combined with sili when cooking. For the best pinangat, Camalig is the town to visit while laing is the hallmark cuisine of Legazpi City. These two are both cooked in coconut milk with siling labuyo. The only difference is that the latter contains minced gabi leaves and mixed with meat, while the former are chopped meat and spices wrapped in gabi leaf strips. In neighboring province Sorsogon, laing is cooked
with gabi roots and minced leaves.

BM notes that Bicolano cooking is hardly influenced by foreign invaders.

“Gata and sili are included in the four pillars that make up Bicol’s cuisine, making the region unique,” quips BM.

Philippine coffee: 4-in-1

High-grade coffee cherries. Photo by Martin San Diego

Filipinos have long been in love with coffee. Philippine Coffee Board president Chit Juan says “there are two accounts as to how coffee was introduced to our country. The first record claims that it was brought to Lipa, Batangas in the 1700s by the Spanish friars whereas the other account traces the coffee root to the American period. It was believed that the American missionaries brought coffee to Benguet, that the 100-year-old coffee trees were said to be first planted by these Americans. In South Sulu, there’s an account that says coffee came from Indonesia or Malaysia.”

Freshly-picked coffee cherries from a coffee farm in Lipa City, Batangas. Photo by Martin San Diego

Due to the varied influences and its geographical location, the Philippines is among the few countries that produce all four coffee varieties—Arabica, Liberica, Excelsa, and Robusta. Chit says that our country has the ideal climate and appropriate elevation to grow these varieties.
Arabica only grows in higher elevation such as Benguet, Mt. Apo in Davao, Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon, while the other three should be planted in low-lying areas like Batangas and Cavite.

The start of the drying process. Photo by Martin San Diego

In terms of coffee-drinking habits, Chit believes we picked it up from the Spanish colonizers given that they stayed here for over 300 years. But it’s the Americans who gave us the
convenience of having it in the form of instant or soluble coffee.

When asked how coffee became a Filipino’s start-of-day affair, Chit says that back in the days, fishermen and farmers had a habit of drinking coffee to fuel them up before sailing
out to the sea or farm before sunrise. “It’s frequently consumed with pan de sal, a bread introduced to us by the Spaniards.”

Heirloom rice: A grain of culture

Possibly that one thing a regular Filipino household will never ever not have is rice. As big as its demand is the irony of the fact that fewer people know of how patronizing its organic version is key in keeping an important culture and way of life alive.

Photo by Christian Lucas Sangoyo

“Heirloom rice is the general description of the rice varieties that have been handed down by our forefathers to the succeeding generations,” sustainable food proponent Chit Juan says. “These native seeds are preserved by way of continuously growing them. Farmers who cultivate heirloom variety would store a portion of the seeds once the harvest season begins
and plant it in the next season.”

As opposed to the modern varieties, heirloom rice is grown organically. In some provinces, ducks are left on paddy fields to prey on pests that threaten the rice crops.

Bundling up the sundried rice. Photo by Ferds Decena

In Ifugao province in North Luzon, upland farmers who plant rice on their terraced rice paddies use zero modern mechanisms. They follow old farming traditions inherited from their ancestors. It is for this reason that they only harvest once a year, which is why their rice variety is called tinawon, which means “yearly” in their vernacular. Farmers know how
much they should plant to feed their family for a whole year given that heirloom rice is primarily cultivated for household consumption.

At one of the last strongholds of heirloom rice—Ifugao. Photo by Ferds Decena

Chit shares that the only time that they’re able to buy heirloom rice for her sustainable-centered ECHOstore is when these farmers have excess in their harvest. But to her, heirloom
rice is more than just sustenance. She says “it represents a culture, a tradition, and the organic way of life that we once had before all these fertilizers, pesticides, and modern mechanisms were introduced to us. The only way to keep these heirloom varieties is to promote their preservation and consumption so that the farmers would continuously cultivate them in a sustainable manner.”

Lechon: The scene stealer

No feast is complete without this. Photo by Christian Lucas Sangoyo

To many Filipinos, a festivity may not be that festive if there’s no lechon, whole pig roast on a spit over charcoal. It’s often the centerpiece to many major celebrations—birthdays, fiestas, noche buenas, even politicos’ winnings.

The Filipinos were already roasting pigs even way before the Spaniards first set foot on Philippine soil in 1521. The story has it that explorer Ferdinand Magellan, whose arrival in
the Philippines marked the Spanish occupation era, would partake of this scrumptious delicacy.

Photo by Christian Lucas Sangoyo

Cebu in the Visayas is renowned for lechon. According to Cebuano Joel Binamira, the man behind Market Manila blog, the difference between Cebu’s lechon and those from Luzon
is that the former’s is stuffed with aromatic ingredients, while the latter’s is typically cooked unstuffed, hence the popularity of liver gravy as a classic accompaniment.

Today, many commercial lechon makers employ shortcuts like adding copious amounts of MSG rather than natural aromatics in the stomach and brushing the skin with soy sauce
instead of a more traditional bath in coconut water. Visayans typically enjoy their lechon with a dip of vinegar while folks from Luzon prefer a liver-based sauce.

Eating lechon is a way of life for Cebuanos. “Every Sunday, it’s common to see lechon being sold on street corners,” shares Joel.

In Negros Island, batuan (a local sour fruit), fresh banana leaves, rock salt and lemongrass are key ingredients for stuffing, while it’s green chilies with coconut oil and milk in Bicol.

In the sleepy town of Jovellar in Albay, there’s an annual parade—part of the town’s Quipia Festival—showcasing roast pigs dressed in quirky costumes—a tribute to the localities’ business of raising backyard pigs.

Who are the Ivatans?

Who are the Ivatans?

Batanes is an island of superlatives but its natural wonders are only a portion of what it has to offer for its people called the Ivatans are what make it even more beautiful, and the chance to immerse with them the one to give meaning to your Batanes holiday.

Our featured Ivatans with model Jayanne Aldanese in Uyugan, a village in Batanes that looks like it’s from a fairytale book.

We draw attention to three Ivatans who show us their way of life, their quirks, and why to them Batanes will always be their home. More so, they give us a glimpse of the Ivatan character—respectful and kindhearted, family-drawn, God-loving, holistic, creative. The list goes on. We follow each of them for a day.

Here’s our tale.

The faithful laborer

Tess Vargas Castillejos is a retiree who is now living the life that she’s always dreamed of

When Tess Vargas Castillejos retired from her post as Department of Trade and Industry Batanes provincial caretaker in 2012, she made the big leap, switching into a full organic lifestyle. She’s turned to organic farming and gardening, which makes her feel connected and happy.

Tess has been famous for cultivating clitoria ternatea—a perennial evergreen climber that produces blue flower—and being the first in Batanes to turn this blue flower into tea. She’s also making waves as a farm-to-table entrepreneur, cooking and serving meals right at her
centuries-old home. Her ingredients for cooking are straight from her farm.

Up at the crack of dawn

Tess looks exceptionally energetic for someone who only had 30 minutes of sleep—visiting friends came over for dinner and stayed until past midnight. She wakes up at 3am to prepare for her lector duties at the Sto. Domingo Parish of the Immaculate Conception Church, where daily masses start at 5am.

She gets up pretty early to start her day.

Like many Ivatans, Tess is a devout Catholic and one can tell by the religious items in her home. After the dawn mass, she heads back home for breakfast. Today, it’s chayi (local lychee) salad, lunyis (pork slowly cooked in salt and garlic and fried in its own fat), mashed
sweet potato and a mug of coffee.

Tess’s lack of sleep barely registers as she happily chats about her plants. It brings her joy knowing that whatever she cultivates will benefit the environment and her neighbors for she likes sharing her harvest.

Gather them blue flowers

Tess’s babies

Every day, Tess walks to her 897sqm farm, which she and her two staff tend. It’s where you’ll see rows and rows of bushes peppered with blue flowers. She’d pick the mature ones.

Tess and her flower pickers are able to collect seven to eight kilos of flowers a day, and such amount can be attributed to the growing demand for her tea.

Tess’s love affair with blue flowers started when her late husband, who used to gift her with blue orchids, passed away. In his passing, she found a way to cope with her loss through
gardening, and found the blue flowers most fascinating.

In no time, her organic blue tea became an instant hit especially for tourists, fetching at Php3,000 (USD60) per kilo of the tea-ready dried version.

Hearty noontime meal

Harvesting eight kilos of flowers is tedious so Tess usually finishes at noontime. There are days when she eats packed lunch at her farm when her early morning check requires more farm work like clearing pathways, pruning the shrubs or spreading organic fertilizer.

Today, the task is only to pick blue flowers and produce to cook for lunch.

Back at home, Tess whips up a healthy homemade meal—beef broth with blue flowers, green rice, cucumber sesame salad and the leftover from breakfast. Dessert is boiled cardava topped with mango cream made from scratch. All these are served in beautiful plates—part of her chinaware collection. After the hearty meal, she serves us palek (Ivatan wine), which she concocts too.

Afternoon siesta, and more labor of love

Tess tends to her freshly-picked blue flowers

After lunch, Tess takes out her babies—the newly harvested blue flowers—and spreads them out on an improvised bed. This is her version of curing so that the flowers do not entirely lose their color once she places them under the sun. The process of drying blue flowers includes overnight curing, sun drying until the petals are crisp, and winnowing to remove small dirt and small particles.

In between, customers stop by to pick up their orders. A couple swings by to discuss with her their wedding’s catering arrangement as Tess also caters for intimate events. She opens her home to host private dinners but with three days’ notice.

Finally, Tess gets some shuteye.

At 4pm, she gets up, takes the sundried blue flowers back into the house, and spends the rest of the afternoon packing the winnowed flowers.

Capping the day’s work

She spends most of her afternoons picking flowers

At night, Tess’s routine includes saying a short novena prayer, preparing dinner, and watching TV or meditating in her garden. At dinner, she gives us a taste of her magic by serving us
slow-cooked beef, blue rice, green rice, crispy adobong pata (pork thigh cooked adobo-style then crisp-fried) and squash soup. Dessert is millet pudding topped with cream and orange slices and it’s the yummiest that you’d have.

The well-rooted adventurer

Carlotta Borromeo-Charbonney is a well-traveled Ivatan who now lives in Switzerland with her family. She never forgets home

When she was young, Carlotta Borromeo-Charbonney, Bing to family and friends, had learned to live independently especially when she went to college in Manila—hundreds of miles away from home. But when she got married, even her adventure-loving self still had to adjust to six years of traveling to different parts of the world due to her husband’s line of work. She met all kinds of people, experienced different cultures, and had a fair share of rough times that came with living from country to country. When they settled down in Switzerland was when she decided it’s time to come home to Batanes every year no matter what. Batanes is home and there’s not a single place quite as special as it.

No two days are alike

Bing loves spontaneity and does not want to confine herself to plans. Whenever she’s home in Batanes, there’s never a routine that she sticks to. There are days she wakes up late because of a previous night out or she’s up really early excited to explore the island.

Close to the summit of Mt. Matarem

Today, she’s off to an early start, waking up at 6am to prepare to hike Mt. Matarem. She boils saba banana, buys hot pandesal (local bun) and brews her coffee. On ordinary days, a steaming mug of coffee is enough for her morning fill but today is an exception for she’s set
to climb the second highest peak in the island albeit not her first time to do so. She’s already summited Mt. Matarem thrice in the past years but the promise of great views from the summit always calls for one more.

Quiet island life

Bing with the love of her life—her mom

On the road, Bing talks about why she would always come back home to Batanes every year. She says it’s the warmth of her fellow Ivatans, the joy of being able to decompress and relax, and the much, much simpler way of life—a stark contrast to her life in Switzerland.

She likes to refer to herself as an island girl who will always be captivated by beautiful sunrises and sunsets, rolling green hills, the crisp mountain air. As a child, she would spend her weekends on the beach with her friends or have picnics in their farm. They would cook
root crops, climb mabolo trees to eat fruits or pick alunot (local plum).

Growing up on an island, which was once isolated with no electric supply, means they rarely got to taste ice cream. She recalls how, as a student, she would travel by foot from one town to another because transportation was almost nonexistent.

Going off grid

When she finally reaches the jump-off point, Bing gleefully walks along the first part of the trail that opens into a pastureland that leads to a section where you’ll think fairies may magically appear. She pauses to take in the view of wild trees. This part is dense with greenery, and flora and fauna. Aside from the surreal views, Mt. Matarem also gives her a chance to switch off from the world and immerse herself in the beauty of nature. As soon as she summits, she marvels at the island’s fragile beauty, making her fall in love with Batanes even more.

Ancient settlement, revisited

Sun’s up at Idjang

After a fulfilling hike, Bing grabs a quick lunch in preparation for her next activity: hiking up her favorite spot in idjang this afternoon. Bing’s grandparents own an idjang—her aunt inherited it later on— in the southeastern side of Basco, an ancient hilltop fortress once used by her ancestors to protect themselves from tribal wars and Japanese invaders. It’s one of the places where she has fond memories of growing up.

From up until where the van can manage, she takes a 10-minute hike on a trail leading to the mountain fortress. She reaches the base of the idjang—the spot they were allowed to go play and have a picnic as kids for the top of it were deemed sacred grounds.

Dinner for keeps

Bing caps her day with a nice dinner with her mother and sisters. Her mother, who is already in her nineties, regales with stories about their life during the Japanese occupation era.

One of Bing’s goals is to write her mother’s memoir thinking that it would be her way of paying tribute to how her mother gave so much to secure her future.

After dinner, Bing gets a text invite for a get-together As expected, she’s not one to pass.

Young at Art

John Lorenz ‘Vorz’ Portez is a quiet presence and one of the youngest in Batanes’ thriving art scene

John Lorenz “Vorz” Portez is a soft-spoken 20-year-old acrylic painter who dreams of following the footsteps of Austrian artist Voka and Ivatan artist Randalf Dilla. He likes exploring colors thoroughly, oftentimes resulting in dynamic, spontaneous and bold strokes
reflecting in his works. He calls his art spontaneous realism and is fond of showing the depth of human emotions through portraits of Ivatan elders.

A young artist’s mornings

Vorz in his element at his home studio

Vorz wakes up towards noon and he has his reasons. After having his morning cup and the light is better is when he picks up his brush and canvas.

The Portez’s family room is Vorz’s makeshift studio. Noontime is quietest so it’s when Vorz starts painting. But his creative energy peaks at night when everything comes to a standstill.
Solitude, to Vorz, is integral in his creative journey.

As a full-time painter, Vorz enjoys doing his artwork at a leisurely pace—one thing that he’s unable to do when he was in school. He went to college for two years and stopped given that the course he took—drafting—lured him away from painting.

His project for today is Mahatao lighthouse. The lighthouses in Batan Island are also among his favorite subjects because he sees them as a metaphor of hope, light and home. In his current collection are 15 paintings of lighthouses in different interpretations.

Pride and little big dreams

The work Vorz is most proud of is his winning piece entitled Abus Pandan A Saray (Walang Katumbas na Tiwala) that shows a young Ivatan taking off the blindfold of his elder in the hope of guiding the latter through the changes that are taking place in the island. This artwork is put on display at Galerie Du Tulaan at Fundacion Pacita.

Drawing inspiration from an old Uyugan house

Vorz dreams of opening his own exhibit one day at the Ayala Museum in Makati, like the other members of Yaru nu Artes Ivatan (Bayanihan of Ivatan Artists), a collective of local artists which he’s a part of.

Daily inspiration

Although a great part of his day is spent painting at their new home in Basco, Vorz still goes out in some afternoons for a breath of fresh air.

The Tayid Lighthouse—the subject of the day’s painting lessons

Back in the days when they were still renting a house in Mahatao, his break from painting would be to hang out with friends. And when he wanted a moment of solitude, he would go to the Mahatao lighthouse, White Beach, or trek Mahuruhon to gather his thoughts and conceptualize for his next piece.

His constant companions were a sketchbook and a pen. He would sketch movements, landscapes, life, ideas, and things that catch his attention in one of his many strolls.

One of his favorite stops for inspiration today is White Beach. His attempt is to capture the tumbling of the waves in his sketchbook.

With his Yaru nu Artes co-artists

His next stop will be the old Ivatan house in Uyugan, which has always fascinated him. He revels in the traditional pattern of the house but points out that the now cemented facade was once made of stone. The house has always been his inspiration whenever he wants to artistically render Batanes’ old stone houses.

When the weather is good, he would go to the Basco lighthouse after feeding their pigs. From the lighthouse’s view deck, he’d watch the interplay of sunset colors, which he would later on translate into acrylic on canvas.

Life outside art

Vorz with his dogs in their Mahatao home

Life outside art means taking care of his eight dogs and tending the backyard pigs his family raises in Chanarian. He would go to their old house in Mahatao daily to feed and play with his dogs because he couldn’t bring them to their new home in Basco. At home, he helps out in chores as any son would. After dinner, as soon as everybody retires to bed, he’d go back to the company of his brush and canvas and paint the night away.

Words: Photos by Ferds Decena

Up close and personal with celebrated Manila bartender David Ong

Up close and personal with celebrated Manila bartender David Ong

David bartends at his very own Oto music bar. Photo by Locale Magazine

We spent some time chatting with the man behind the only Philippine bar to make it in Asia’s 50 Best Bars by William Reed Business Media, and Edsa Beverage Design Studio, this year, on things like stories on his hip Makati music-bar, Manila restaurants and chefs he adores, and his go-to comfort food places.

We wanted a space where we could hang out and listen to good music thus the concept of Oto came up.It’s designed for a great listening experience, complete with turntables, speakers, vinyl records, amplifiers and a curated playlist.

Poblacion in Makati is a young neighborhood, thriving with small businesses, and we wanted to add to its diversity by serving proper coffee, good cocktails and music.

The food and beverage at Oto are intended to be experience-driven and conversation-driven. We try to adjust to what our guests want so they’ll get the best drink possible.

Oto’s menu is made of things that reminded me of my childhood or family. We have this drink called #ReligionBlack named after my sister Tina’s Isntagram handle @religionblack. Our Hey Brian, a Wild Turkey bourbon infused with grapefruit juice and tamarind syrup, is named after a regular customer.

My rule of thumb for cocktails is to make it complex yet simple and relatable enough once you taste it.

I am a very easy drinker although I have my preferences and am open to trying new things. When I drink, I’m open to what the bartenders would want to serve me. I still go for classic cocktails whether it’s an old fashioned, mojito, or a whisky sour. I don’t like eating while drinking.

Resto-bars in Manila that I like:
Toyo Eatery
12/10
Rambla

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery’s Mac and Cheese


My go to restaurants in Manila:
Toyo Eatery
Mecha Uma
Wild our Cafe + Bakery
Cafe Juanita
Sarsa

On regular days, I eat at:
Tokyo Tokyo
Bacolod Chicken Inasal
KFC for their chicken with a full cup of gravy, my comfort food
Hen Lin for siomai
Food Channel for shawarma

Chefs I admire are Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery and Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma. Chef Jordy whips Filipino-inspired cuisine at Toyo Eatery, where his staff of chefs and cooks are Filipino. Chef Bruce is ingredient-focused—I always leave his restaurant mindblown as he always does things out of the box.

I never really liked clubbing but if I’m in that kind of situation, I always end up being the guy with a bottle making people drink, observing everyone, and caring for those who can’t manage.

If I weren’t a barista or entrepreneur, I would probably be a banker or a hotelier.

Who is David Ong?
David Ong is the co-owner of music lounge-cum-bar Oto, e Curator Co ee and Cocktails, the only Philippine bar to make it in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars by William Reed Business Media, and Edsa Beverage Design Studio.

Interview by Jonalyn Fortuno

48 hours in awesome Antipolo

48 hours in awesome Antipolo

Looking for an escape near Manila that’s only minutes’ drive away? We bring you Antipolo, the land that’s put together into one the best of many worlds—breathtaking sceneries, trendy hangouts, creative spaces, and your perfect R&R. Experience the awesome city in only two days with this itinerary.

Day1, 8am


One of Antipolo’s not-so-hidden-gems is Hinulugang Taktak, which literally translates to “where the bell dropped,” and it’s sheer beauty. This beauty is about 21.5m tall and about 25.8m wide, and at its foreground is a landscaped picnic area with a pavilion—great spot for taking snaps.

Day1, 12pm

The crowd favorite: Beef Salpicao

 

A few blocks away from Hinulugang Taktak is Bistro at Le Blanc Hotel where you can enjoy unique Filipino-Asian fusion of dishes, and the restaurant’s star dish, the rib eye salpicao.
Facebook.com/The-Bistro-at-LeBlanc-1458714327516116/

Day 1, 1pm

Pinto Art Museum, a tricycle ride away from the Antipolo Municpal Office Building, has become one of today’s most sought after galleries in the country. Its main lure is the design of the gallery itself, which takes inspiration from the Cycladic Architecture. A lot of contemporary artists have hold exhibits at Pinto, and some of the notable ones like respected painter Bendicto Cabrera. To complete the Pinto experience is its unparalleled location—at the edge of a mountain.
1 Sierra Madre St, Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal

Day 1, 7pm

The pool at the edge of Cafe Lupe makes for a wonderful dip

 

Imagine feasting on sumptuous kare-kare (peanut stew) and nachos while taking in views of the breathtaking cityscape at night with all the city light lit up. Well, you can actually make it happen by booking a stay at Café Lupe, a bed and breakfast with an infinity pool, KTV rooms, table tennis facility, a 70s inspired lobby, and countryside style restaurant.
Facebook.com/cafelupeantipolo

Day 2, 8am

Luljetta has one too many gardens and this is one of the nicer ones

Pops of color are a mainstay at Luljetta’s rooms

 

An overnight stay at Luljuetta’s Place will get you waking up to views of the metropolitan skyline for the resort sits literally on the edge of a mountain. Luljuetta’s main attractions are its pools surrounded by lush greens and flowering plants, and its outdoor spa. If you want to have a most pleasant breakfast, order their daing na bangus (milkfish) and signature garlic rice and have it at their garden.
Sitio Loreland, Barangay San Roque 1930 Antipolo, Rizal

Day2, 12pm

A dance number at 11Circle food park. Why not?

 

If you can’t decide where to have lunch for the last few hours of your stay in Antipolo, might as well head to 11Circle, a food park with a smorgasbord of booths selling dishes from around the world. Here you’ll find a samgyupsal (Korean specialty) stall, a ramen stall, and stalls that offer American and Filipino favorites.
Facebook.com/11circleantipolo/

Day 2pm

Beautiful place of worship, hands down

 

Cap your Antipolo adventure the most peaceful of ways by stopping by the Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary, a solemn place of worship in Antipolo’s more quieter side along the main highway.  Inside it feels like you’re covered by a giant web of white panels and glass that let the trees from the outside meld with the inside and the natural light to seep in. Very unlike your typical heritage churches the Philippines is famous for, but equally impressive.
Daang Bakal Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal

The basics
Book Bienvenido Travel and Tours operates. Contact operator Ramon Marinas at +630977 821 3075, tel +63695 1965, email ramon.marinas@bienvenidotours.com, Bienvenidotours.com.

Get there:
SkyJet flies daily from Batanes, Coron in Palawan, and Siargao to Manila. Book a SkyJet flight now.

From NAIA Terminal 4, take a cab or book a Grab ride to Ayala Avenue in Makati (RCBC building) where there are Antipolo-bound UV commuter vans.

Story and photos by Kat Magsino

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