5 Noteworthy Experiences to try in Antipolo City

Tayo na sa Antipolo 2019

Tayo na sa Antipolo © Jaypee Maristaza
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Tayo na sa Antipolo 2019

Antipolo City — Known as a catholic pilgrimage site, Antipolo is one of the famous tourist destinations in the Philippines. Just an hour away from Manila by car or public transportation, it is a favorite among urban dwellers who want a quick escape from the noise of the city. It was my first time visiting Antipolo during the Antipolo Media Tour 2019 last August. We were able to discover some interesting places and as well as experience unique adventures.

Tayo na sa Antipolo 2019 © Jaypee Maristaza
Tayo na sa Antipolo 2019 © Jaypee Maristaza

So if you’re heading to Antipolo and need some ideas on how to experience the best things this town has to offer, here are some of my suggestions.

Mount Purro Nature Reserve

Our first stop, Mount Purro Nature Reserve, invites guests of all ages to soak in the power of nature.

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The map of Mount Purro Nature Reserve. To get everyone know where to go, what to do, etc. This welcomes you upon entering. © Jaypee Maristaza
The map of Mount Purro Nature Reserve. To get everyone know where to go, what to do, etc. This welcomes you upon entering. © Jaypee Maristaza

Mount Purro Nature Reserve is managed personally by a family, Toto, Mrs. Baby, and their son, Toton. The place is designed to cater to both children and young at heart. Indoor and outdoor activities, such as game room, billiards, board games, an entertainment room where guests can watch TV or movies, etc. There are also outdoor activities to do like bonfire-making, swimming in the pool or the river, trekking, hiking, among others.

When we were there, the rain was pouring non-stop yet it didn’t stop us from checking out the surroundings.

Signs in the reception area. Everything you want to know. © Jaypee Maristaza
Signs in the reception area. Everything you want to know. © Jaypee Maristaza
Loli’s Kitchen is where you can dine on sumptuous Filipino foods. © Jaypee Maristaza
Loli’s Kitchen is where you can dine on sumptuous Filipino foods. © Jaypee Maristaza

Mount Purro Reserve also offers accommodation for those who want to spend the night and fully enjoy their facilities. You don’t have to worry about mosquitoes because all rooms have been covered with insect screen net. Furthermore, the place is quiet and peaceful.

Indeed, Mount Purro Mount Reserve is a perfect getaway not only for families and couples but also individuals who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the dazzling city and be surrounded by nature.

What else to love about Mount Purro Nature Reserve?

Personally, here are the things that I love about Mount Purro Nature Reserve:

  • Loli’s Kitchen – This is where they cook delicious and Filipino foods using only fresh and organic ingredients. All their fresh produce are being delivered by the Dumagat Tribe.
  • No WIFI and air-conditioned room – Yep, you read that right. It was the owners’ personal decision not to include WiFi so guests can fully enjoy, relax and disconnect.
  • 100% kid-friendly – Their facilities are best for families, putting in great consideration the enjoyment of the kids.

They offer special promos and packages like a Day Tour that includes hiking, swimming, some tailored activities, as well as food.

Adults: Php 950 per person
Children (3-7 y/o): Php 550 per person (M-F)

For more information, please check their official website and social media accounts at Mount Purro Nature Reserve.

Our picture taking with Mrs. Baby, one of the owners of Mount Purro Reserve Nature. She personally interacted with us, chatted and shared so many interesting things about Mount Purro. Such a graceful woman, indeed. © Jaypee Maristaza
Our picture taking with Mrs. Baby, one of the owners of Mount Purro Reserve Nature. She personally interacted with us, chatted and shared so many interesting things about Mount Purro. Such a graceful woman, indeed. © Jaypee Maristaza
Yey! Feast time! We’re all so excited for the prepared lunch buffet at Loli’s Kitchen! © Jaypee Maristaza
Yey! Feast time! We’re all so excited for the prepared lunch buffet at Loli’s Kitchen! © Jaypee Maristaza
One of the accommodations at Mount Purro we got to tour. Isn’t that look very homey? © Jaypee Maristaza
One of the accommodations at Mount Purro we got to tour. Isn’t that look very homey? © Jaypee Maristaza

Santiago Brewery and Malthouse

One of our main activities was a day tour to the Santiago Brewery and Malthouse. I find this part quite fascinating as I have never been to any breweries prior to this. Mr. James Gatlabayan, owner of Santiago Brewery and Malthouse gave us a tour where we learned the process of crafting beers, from how the equipment works, how he personally sources and creates the ingredients, to the actual beer-making procedures.

Santiago’s welcome sign. © Jaypee Maristaza
Santiago’s welcome sign. © Jaypee Maristaza

“Craft beer differentiates itself from ‘Macro’ Beer like San Miguel and Budweiser by being, small and independently owned, and by using traditional brewing methods with emphasis on unique flavors and high quality,” Mr. Gatlabayan said.

The four types of beer Santiago Malt and Brewery have. Ipu-Ipo, Buhawi, Habagat and Amihan. Aren’t the names so familiar to us? © Jaypee Maristaza
The four types of beer Santiago Malt and Brewery have. Ipu-Ipo, Buhawi, Habagat and Amihan. Aren’t the names so familiar to us? © Jaypee Maristaza

The idea to make his own beers began after a visit to a new brewpub in Baguio in 2014. However, he met some challenges along the way particularly on getting the ingredients needed for beer creation; malt, hops, and yeast. He did some research from which he learned that malt, the base ingredient of beer, is basically germinated grains. Thus, he decided to develop his own malt, while the other two ingredients, hops and yeast he was able to source from a small hobby store in Makati.

Mr. James is happily pouring his craft beers for us to taste! We can’t wait! © Jaypee Maristaza
Mr. James is happily pouring his craft beers for us to taste! We can’t wait! © Jaypee Maristaza

After creating his own malt, he built his own DIY brewing kit using parts that are available from nearby hardware and kitchen stores. He then proceeded into making the beer, his first homebrew ended up with over 8.3% of alcohol by volume (abv).

“This meant that I was able to succeed in making alcohol from the malts I made,” Mr. Gatlabayan shared.

And then our picture taking with Mr. James, we all look happy here holding the fine creation of Mr. James craft beer! © Jaypee Maristaza
And then our picture taking with Mr. James, we all look happy here holding the fine creation of Mr. James craft beer! © Jaypee Maristaza

What started out as a hobby became a profitable business. Initially, he became a supplier of malts to aspiring homebrewers. Eventually, he joined bazaars where he allowed people to have a taste of his craft beers. Due to the favorable feedback he received, he turned his beer-brewing hobby into a full-blown business.

It is where craft beers pour from. This is also used in some special events or ocassions. © Jaypee Maristaza
It is where craft beers pour from. This is also used in some special events or ocassions. © Jaypee Maristaza

Of course, we didn’t miss the chance to have a taste of his craft beers, which were named after Filipino weather conditions, Amihan, Habagat, Ipu Ipu, and Buhawi. When asked why he chose these names, he shared that these weather phenomenons usually coincided in those times that he was processing his beers.

My personal favorite is Amihan, it has a light taste with just the right amount of alcohol for light drinkers like me.

Mr. James telling us how he creates craft beer. He’s holding a glass of malt, one of the main ingredients in making beers. © Jaypee Maristaza
Mr. James telling us how he creates craft beer. He’s holding a glass of malt, one of the main ingredients in making beers. © Jaypee Maristaza

Santiago Brewery and Malthouse prides itself for being the only brewery in the country that exclusively uses its own locally malted grains for brewing its beers. Their Taproom will be open to the public soon via reservation.

For more information, you may contact Santiago Brewery and Malthouse on their Facebook official page.

Obra ni Juan

We were welcomed by Clark Wittich and his family upon arriving at Obra ni Juan’s showroom. I was fascinated by the beautiful apparels that were on display, particularly this one dress made from linen and cotton fabric. I loved it so much I wish I could take it home, unfortunately, the dress is not for sale (but they promised to let me know once they make another one).

Finished men aparel’s products of Obra ni Juan © Jaypee Maristaza
Finished men aparel’s products of Obra ni Juan © Jaypee Maristaza

Obra ni Juan is dedicated to creating simple yet elegant men’s apparel made of linen and cotton, comfortable to wear in all seasons. Their creations and pieces are carefully crafted, designed by hand printing making it impossible to imitate. I volunteered to try how the sewing works, which I definitely enjoyed.

Touring around the factory and watching the smiley, happy workers! © Jaypee Maristaza
Touring around the factory and watching the smiley, happy workers! © Jaypee Maristaza

In 1997, Obra ni Juan was just a small sewing shop (patahian) with only 10 employees. Fast forward to today, they now have at least 100 employees, many of which have been with the company most of their lives.

And I did try to do the painting part! It seems easy but not really! Actually, it’s artistic! © Jaypee Maristaza
And I did try to do the painting part! It seems easy but not really! Actually, it’s artistic! © Jaypee Maristaza

As the short tour progressed, I was able to have a chit chat with Mrs. Delzy to whom I share some similarities like the fact that we are both married to Germans. I found this out while I was inquiring if they have European-size apparels. Soon we were lost in fun conversation in German. What a very lovely woman!

Agh, can’t get enough! © Jaypee Maristaza
Agh, can’t get enough! © Jaypee Maristaza

Why include Obra ni Juan in your itinerary? Obra ni Juan does not accommodate walk-in guests to their warehouse/factory, nevertheless, they accept appointment or reservation. Everyone is welcome to their showroom, you just need to schedule your visit.

And after the tour, our favorite part, taking pictures and recognition of Obra ni Juan for welcoming us in their amazing factory/ warehouse! © Jaypee Maristaza
And after the tour, our favorite part, taking pictures and recognition of Obra ni Juan for welcoming us in their amazing factory/ warehouse! © Jaypee Maristaza

Obra ni Juan’s apparels are timeless and exquisite; an epitome of high-quality Filipino craftsmanship.

Luljettas Hanging Gardens and Spa

In the peaceful part of Antipolo lies the Luljettas Hanging Gardens and Spa. It was quite late and the rain was pouring heavily when we arrived, but our moods significantly improved when we were given a warm welcome by the smiling staff of the spa. We were directed to our rooms, each one equipped with a very comfortable soft bed.

How cute are those colorful hanging upside down umbrellas? © Jaypee Maristaza
How cute are those colorful hanging upside down umbrellas? © Jaypee Maristaza
One of the most famous infinity pools to try and enjoy at Luljetta’s. © Jaypee Maristaza
One of the most famous infinity pools to try and enjoy at Luljetta’s. © Jaypee Maristaza

Luljettas Hanging gardens and spa has exemplary amenities, such as the infinity swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, fish spa, etc.

Even when there’s downpour, Luljetta’s service is ready to take you on your next spot! © Jaypee Maristaza
Even when there’s downpour, Luljetta’s service is ready to take you on your next spot! © Jaypee Maristaza

Together with Marian and Carla, we enjoyed each facility especially the infinity pool. I recommend to anyone who is planning to visit Antipolo to try Luljettas’s services. It is truly one of the best options for a perfect holiday getaway. In fact, I plan to bring my mom next month for her 66th birthday.

Marian and I making ourselves comy with the foot reflex. You should try, too! © Jaypee Maristaza
Marian and I making ourselves comfy with the foot reflex. You should try, too! © Jaypee Maristaza

You can also try their foot reflex which is 500php for 30minutes. Marian and I did try, of course! It was super relaxing!

And the mega yummy suman with mango and caramel twist! We ate this after our foot reflex! Totally needed! © Jaypee Maristaza
And the mega yummy suman with mango and caramel twist! We ate this after our foot reflex! Totally needed! © Jaypee Maristaza

When you visit Luljetta’s you wouldn’t want to leave, and when you do, you’d definitely love to keep coming back.

Its more fun at Luljettas! © Jaypee Maristaza
Its more fun at Luljettas! © Jaypee Maristaza

What else to know about Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens & Spa?

  • They cater to special events such as weddings, birthdays, etc.

Check Rates and Availability

For more information, you may visit Luljettas Hanging Gardens & Spa at their official website and social media accounts.

Cafe Inday

Cafe Inday is an art cafe established by the late artist/ mom Elsie “ Inday” Reyes-Cadapan. It is currently managed by Inday’s daughter, Magel. Using art as a relief from an illness in which she suffered from for 13 years, ___ began collecting antique and art items over the years. These are all on display in the cafe that they sometimes sell on auctions for fundraising.

Eye catching pieces of arts in all corners of Inday Cafe. © Jaypee Maristaza
Eye-catching pieces of arts in all corners of Inday Cafe. © Jaypee Maristaza

We were personally welcomed by Mrs. Magel at Inday Cafe. I could already feel the uniqueness of the cafe once I stepped in. Artistic creations are everywhere, some were made from old pieces that some people may perceive as useless. Mrs. Magel showed us her entire house full of art pieces, some are still in the process of making.

Arts everywhere. © Jaypee Maristaza
Arts everywhere. © Jaypee Maristaza

I got to pick mine for free, as a token by Mrs. Magel. And just like Mrs ** of Obra ni Juan, Mrs. Magel also has an aunt who is currently living in Germany. She told me that she’d like to introduce me to her once I move there. After the tour, we were treated to some local snacks like suman.

Here’s more. If you’re curious about the meaning behind, you can approach Mrs. Magel. © Jaypee Maristaza
Here’s more. If you’re curious about the meaning behind, you can approach Mrs. Magel. © Jaypee Maristaza
This one, too. Can you guess what it is? © Jaypee Maristaza
This one, too. Can you guess what it is? © Jaypee Maristaza

Anyone can visit Inday Cafe upon reservation.

A visit to the cafe will take you to an art haven, as well as gastronomic adventure. Each art piece of art will inspire you. Ms. Liz is a chef and loves making special dishes for her guests at Inday Cafe, each time, with an unknown menu to surprise the guests. She promises though that whatever she prepares, she will make sure that people will love it.

Of course, our favorite part! Picture picture! Don’t we all look satisfied here? :) © Jaypee Maristaza
Of course, our favorite part! Picture picture! Don’t we all look satisfied here? 🙂 © Jaypee Maristaza

Food price starts 650- 850 per person at least a minimum of 4 guests.

Inday’s Cafe has up and coming exhibit on September 14, 2019.

For more information, contact Inday cafe on their official facebook account at Inday Cafe.

Thank you to all our sponsors for this worthwhile trip: Mr. James Gatlabayan of Santiago Brewery, Mrs. Baby of Mount Purro Nature Reserve, Mr. Mon of Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa, Mr. Clark Wittich of Obra ni Juan and Mrs. Magel of Cafe Inday .

Antipolo is a beautiful place waiting to be discovered and with this guide, you’re good to go. I hope you and your loved ones will enjoy Antipolo as much as we did.

Watch our Tayo na sa Antipolo 2019 Youtube Video

All photos credit to Jaypee Maristaza

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels and Resorts in Antipolo City, Philippines via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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