May 2015, Maytime Festivals are all over the country and same with Antipolo City, Rizal, Philippines.
Last Saturday, 9 May 2015, the much awaited SUMAKAH Festival Grand Parade were held successfully with the participation of the barangays, schools, civic groups and more.
All 16 barangays had proudly joined the procession as they follow their respective floats. The creativity and bayanihan of Antipoleños were tested as they had put so much effort on their floats to win the contest and therefore, Bagong Nayon were victorious and were again the champion. San Jose, Inarawan, San Luis and Cupang were first, second, third and fourth runner ups respectively.
Following the floats were exhibitions of different schools who participated in the SUMAKAH Street Dancing Competition in their colorful costumes together with their lively bands (Drum and Lyre Corps). Then, the champion were the San Jose National High School. Antipolo National High School — Second Place, San Isidro National High School — Third Place.
The Antipolo Hinulugang Taktak Falls and National Park (Protected Landscape) is once again open for public visits. It was reopened last February 13, 2015.
Hinulugang Taktak is a waterfall found in Antipolo City of Rizal Province. The waterfall area has been designated as a National Park by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
It’s been a week after the opening when I visited the area and I am impressed with the improvements after an almost a year that it was closed.
“Maipagmamalaki nating mga Antipolenyo na maibalik sa dating ganda ang tinaguriang pinaka-popular na tourist spot sa lungsod at inaasahan natin ang pagdagsa ng mga turista para makita ang Hinulugang Taktak,” — Mayor Jun Ynares
Remarkable Improvements of Hinulugang Taktak
The most important change that I appreciate most is the Hinulugang Taktak Falls flowing water and the river banks. I do not see garbages anymore. Seems like the filter above and the continuous cleaning is doing well. Although, the efforts may not be enough to totally filter it into crystal clear, it is good enough for the start. It would really need more labor and funding to filter the water of the river.
The first notable change would be the parking space before the entrance. The line of sari-sari stores were already removed. I presume those people were transfered to a better place.
I remember, we use to eat on those huts after a tiresome travel from Metro Manila, before we proceed to Hinulugang Taktak Falls below.
Without those huts, sari-sari stores, and eatery, you may need to drop by at the Bayan (Gitna / Center of Antipolo — Near the Antipolo Cathedral) to find some place to eat or better yet bring snacks or foods. Or, the New Public Market of Antipolo City is now only 5 minutes walk from Hinulugang Taktak. You may ask the hospitable people of Antipolo City for directions.
An early Merry Christmas is celebrated in Antipolo City. A 25 feet tall christmas tree were lighted by the Hon. Mayor Jun Ynares III last November 4, 2014 to start the Christmas Celebration in Antipolo City.
Simultaneously, other municipalities of Rizal Province also lighted their own christmas trees.
After switching the lights of the christmas tree, a surprising and spectacular fireworks display were also held and the crowd got even happier.
“Ang liwanag ay simbolo ng pagasa, sa hirap ng buhay, kahit papano ang ganitong simpleng selebrasyon ay nakapagdudulot ng saya sa aming mga kababayan… kaya, isang paraan ng pagbati sa kanila ng Merry Christmas!” — Mayor Jun Ynares III
Translation: “Light symbolizes hope, through hardness of life, in little ways, simple celebration like this gives happiness to our fellow-citizens… this is a way of greeting them a Merry Christmas!” — Mayor Jun Ynares III
The tree is made of recycled materials like plastic bottles, wrappers and etc. The combined colors of different materials make the tree very eye-catching even during the day.
A day before Mother’s Day, 10 May 2014, The Araw ni Inay — Tuli, Bunot, Bukol, & Blood Donation Mission gifted by Familia Mariñas & Friends for Antipoleños were a total success. The mission were also aided by groups of volunteers.
Tuli — Circumcision
Bunot — Dental Checkup and tooth extraction
Bukol — Benign Tumor check up and or surgery
Dugo ko Alay ko sa PGH — Blood donation for the Philippine General Hospital
The mission were dedicated to the late Mrs. Cristina “Inang Tinay” in honor of her kindness as a mother of the family and as a mother of the Antipoleños. Familia Mariñas has always been humble and giving as they always consider extending their help to the people of Antipolo City.
In behalf of all the beneficiaries of the surgical and dental mission, we sincerely thank and very much appreciate your constant kindness! — Happy Mother’s Day!
The Mission in Action
The mission took place at Cristimar Village, Basketball Court, Antipolo City and I was able to bring two of my nephews for circumcision. After the circumcision, a free medicine were also given (20 caps antibiotics, 10 caps pain relievers, a small bottle of betadine), enough until the wound gets well.
It is really a gift for us since circumcision may cost no less than a thousand pesos per individual as the same with tooth extraction.
Antipolo City has always been a target of local tourists specially during summer because of its moderate climate and accessibility. The abundance of trees contributes much to the fair temperature of the city which the visitors always wanted to experience. Other than the quality of air and climate of the city, I have listed several activities to do while in Antipolo City.
Thanks God there are still fruit bearing trees to climb in Antipolo City.
1. Visiting the Antipolo Cathedral — A model of the Blessed Virgin Mary is preserved in this church. It is most known as the Virgin of Antipolo or Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Travelers visit and pray here for good luck or safer travel and often comes back to give thanks after.
During Holy Week, particularly on Maundy Thursday, from afternoon onwards, thousands of devotees from Metro Manila and other neighboring towns participate the ‘Alay Lakad’ towards the Antipolo Cathedral and towards the White Cross as their penitence in observing the holiness of these days. (More story after the Holy Week)
2. Hinulugang Taktak National Park — Visit in Antipolo City is more complete if you at least view the waterfalls on this historic place. The place was converted into National Park under the administration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR in coordination with the Department of Tourism DOT and the provincial government of Rizal. The park amenities include a swimming pools and cottages. (Unfortunately, the park may not be available this summer 2014 because of major improvement).
3. Resorts Experience — There are more than 50 affordable resorts in Antipolo City. Every resort has a unique quality to meet your desired vacation. Antipolo Resorts, Hotels and Exclusive Guest Houses are well improved and now ready for Summer Fun. For Guest Houses with Private Pools be sure to call and have your reservations first.
4. Sumulong Park Summer Events — The Antipolo City, government and non-government organizations work on several summer events usually held in this park. The park is located in front of the City Hall and the Antipolo Cathedral. Always watch out and events will be published on this website prior to the dates. For visitors of Antipolo City, consider an itinerary on this park and you may be lucky to encounter any of the Summer Fun Activities.
5. Exercise at Ynares Center Parking Space — Your vacations will be healthier if you will at least do a little exercise. Before going through your other activities, spare a time in this parking area and have a jogging or stretching as you breath the priceless unpolluted air of Antipolo City. From 6:00 am, visitors may also be able to join a group in dance exercises in several routines like zumba or other ballroom dance steps.
7. Pasalubong Center — The place is currently located beside the Victory Mall where you can buy kasoy, suman, yema and Etc. Antipoleños is always proud of their unique suman (a steamed glutinous rice with coconut milk wrapped with palm leaves). Kasoy (cashew nuts) can be bought cheaper in Antipolo.
8. Palengke Visit — It is a great experience to know Antipolo City deeper and one best place is the Public Market where you can interact on Antipolo’s common people. Fresh Vegetables from the farms of Antipolo and neighboring towns may be bought here. Pasalubong can also be purchased at the facade of the market.
9. Nightlife in Antipolo City — Most resorts of the city are open all days and all nights during summer seasons. During your stay, find time in visiting any of the bars and restaurants located mostly along Sumulong Highway where you can overlook the sparkling lights of Metro Manila. Some famous bars and restaurants are also along the circumferential road.
“It’s almost graduation and I could not even encourage or ask my son to pursue his college because I might not be able to afford… Paki-explain…” — Joey
Joey is a tricycle driver. He had just acquired a repossessed tricycle unit under “boundary-hulog” or amortized payment-to-own scheme. Although he is already the third owner-to-be of this repo unit, he must still have to pay 150 pesos per day within a period of 3 years.
He is roaming the city from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm to at least take home an average of 500 pesos, assuming that his tricycle will not malfunction on its everyday run. He could only rest while waiting for unpredicted commuters anywhere on the streets.
Joey has four children of ages 7, 13, 15 and 18. To fully take care of the children, he cannot allow his wife to look for a job just to help him earn money for the family. He avoids unnecessary vices and focussed himself in making a living which made me observe his kind of life.
His eldest son is already in third year college and with an average budget of 150 pesos for travel fare going to his school in Manila. His monthly water and power bills cost 1700 pesos. To sum up, he needs 250 pesos for his childs fare, bills and other miscellaneous expenses everyday. The 250 pesos left from his earning is hardly enough for the family’s food allowance.
Presently, with his tricycle, he is bringing and fetching his other three kids to a public school here in Antipolo saving him 60 pesos per day. He also keeps on grabbing part time jobs that rarely come to at least lighten their financial needs.
Back to his graduating child. Unfortunately, the kid must wait for his brother to finish his college first before he could enroll, unless he will find his own way or work for his college. Tuition fees is not much problem compared to the travel allowance and miscellaneous expenses he may need.
The Spirit of Antipoleño.
However hard life for Joey may be, he keeps holding on his faith and hoping that someday he will be blessed. Despite of all his sacrifices, he could still smile and face his everyday struggles. He is happy. He may be financially unstable but I could conclude that he has an ideal family.
This post is dedicated to all Antipoleños who honestly and righteously works for their family, particularly those who works for daily income.