The Mystical Cave Antipolo was the next stop on our Rizal road trip. Was it as “mystical” as the name suggests or is it just another cheap, tourist draw card that offers little but charges a lot?… Read on to find out…
Mystical Cave Antipolo
One great location to visit and reflect during Lenten season is the Mystical Cave Antipolo City, Rizal. This 8-level deep cave attracts both tourists and devotees because of the holy figures and biblical images naturally formed or carved into its walls. This also draws the interests of researchers because of its stalagmites and stalactites formations.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”
Mystical Cave Antipolo
After visiting Pinto Arts Museum, our next stop in Rizal was the Mystical Cave..
From Antipolo City, we rode a jeep to the drop-off point at the Country band Town Heights subdivision. From there, we walked for approximately 10 minutes before finding the tricycle terminal that takes you to mystical cave.
When we went it was a rainy day. I never expected the ‘rough road’ to be that seriously jagged. We were bouncing and bumping in the tricycle we were riding. My hair was like nylon fibers breaking a non-durable comb into pieces. It was fun though.. Seriously, I was laughing the whole time with my 3 friends. The driver was giving us a dumbfounded look and he asked me “what’s so funny”? I said, “This crazy ride, Kuya making me look like a witch. look at my hair”. The driver laughed with us and gave us discounts.. Normal trip costs Php 120.00 but we only pay Php 60.00… cool
Mystical Cave could be reached by climbing a long and quite uneven, rock staircase. It was a rainy day as mentioned so we need to deal with sloppy mud stairs – Be careful, they do get slippery. I was trying to count and verify the number of steps but, unfortunately, due to a few slides and trips I forgot the counting to focus on not falling. But i asked the tour guides and she said it is more or less 200 steps.
It was truly exhausting but not really eerie as the place is not really deserted. You can spot various houses along the way. When we reached the top, there are some kubo houses where you can wait and rest for a while. We were warmly welcomed by Joan, our tour guide.
First thing i look for is the toilet. LOL! They have the type of CR you would expect along a hike but hey, at least they have one. Haha!
Since we were tired climbing the stairs, we rest for at least 15 minutes before going inside the cave…
The first thing I will noticed int the steel gate is the name attributed to Mystical cave – Inday Nelly Deles.
I was a little bit disappointed because safety measures were not being applied since they didn’t provide us with helmets or vests to protect us from the various sharp rock formations that often protrude into the path.
The cave is huge, and quite impressive. Naturally it’s a bit humid inside, but comfortably cool. Bats don’t settle there, so there’s no odor of guano. It’s actually little birds locally called “Balinsasayaw” (Philippine Swiftlet) that live there, and they’re harmless and hardly seen. It’d be nice to have the cave to yourselves, it takes a lot to congest it. Fascinating formations of Stalactites and Stalagmites are everywhere, and sections of the cave are lit with electric bulbs, so you can see them well even without the aid of flashlights. Flashlights would be useful to light the path you’re walking on for safer footing- so it’s suggested that you bring your own.
Stalagmites starting to form. Whether you’re a believer or not, you’d understand why many make pilgrimages here especially during holy week. There’s even a section there that they call the cathedral, which would surprise you after going through an entrance just big enough for one person stooping down to enter.
Mystical Cave Antipolo
The tour guide started her well-memorized lines of interesting facts and stories about Mystical Cave. Using her flashlight, she pointed out formations of stalagmites and stalactites as she sprang into her highly creative interpretations of each formation..
She would say, “This is the Holy Family…” and I was like, “Wow! Uhm… Where is it?” She would then say that I needed to be standing at the perfect angle in order to see the mystical images. I was able to see and capture a few of them. Let me know if you can see them in the pictures…
She then directed us to a place where a 60-foot deep wishing well is found. It was dark at this point… Pitch black almost. Two of my friends are afraid of the dark so I tease them saying, “OMG Ate, don’t push me or I will kill you”. They just laughed. Tour guide is so nice to keep me alive despite of my naughtiness..
They said that some rock formation are miraculous. We were all encouraged to touch them and ask for our petition. There is an area called Wishing rock which is said to grant wishes. There is a certain rock formation dedicated for people who want to have babies. There is a formation is called “Buddha” not because of its actual form but because of the shadows it projects on the wall which resembles the Buddha
Mystical Cave is truly an interesting destination in Antipolo but I also have mixed thoughts about it. Much like the Calinawan, the place has become a popular spot for movie makers. It has been the location for different movie and tv series like Encantadia, Pedro Penduko, Dyesebel, Marina and more. With that, you know that the place was already fabricated. I even spotted vandals and some paint marks on some of the areas which is really disappointing.
Things You should Know before going to Mystical Cave
►The entrance fee to Mystical Cave is worth Php 50 per head
►Although there’s already an electrical lighting inside, it would be ideal to bring a flash light so you can get a better view of those rock formation or you can use your phone’s flashlight if you want to.
►It could be muddy inside so better wear proper shoes.
►Take note that helmets are not provided in the tour and it seems like there is no sources nearby
►The tour guide could be a kid but like I said, she could be very knowledgeable.
►Comfort rooms are available outside the cave
►Small store can be found outside selling drinks and snacks
►If you have enough time, you can hike the top of the cave to witness the white crosses (too bad, we don’t have enough time because it rains)
How To Go To Mystical Cave Antipolo
►Antipolo is accessible by jeepney or FX taxi, with terminals in Metro Manila including one in Araneta Center Cubao and Valero Street behind RCBC Plaza in Makati. This will drop you off to Antipolo’s Town Proper. From the town proper, you can ride Cogeo bound jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off in Cogeo Market.
►From there, ride another jeepney bound to Paenaan and ask the driver to drop you to the site that can take you to the quarry site. From there, you can spot the signage of Mystical Cave. From there, you can actually hike it. If you’re lucky enough you can hire a tricycle that can take you in the cave but if not, you might consider going back to Padilla where you can hire a tricycle that could bring you directly to the place.
Where to Stay in Antipolo
Antipolo has so many great places to offer that you guys can explore and a day tour may not be enough to discover them all.