Angono Petroglyphs & The Arts Town of the Philippines
Typhoon was brewing up north, and heavy clouds started towering the skies here in the east. Reports on local news said that CALABARZON was under signal no. 1, and rains are to be expected. There was nothing to do except to pay the bills. Suddenly, a road trip crossed my mind but I don’t have enough gas money to go very far, and the weather was unpredictable. I decided to go look for something new but spend a little as much as possible. And a small town in Rizal called Angono could be the perfect spot.
Angono is famous for art works gaining the nickname, “Arts Town of the Philippines”, but today I’m after an artwork not painted on canvas, not carved in wood, but engraved on a rock. These carvings are called Petroglyphs which came from Greek words, petros meaning stone, and glyphein meaning carvings. And somewhere along the Sierra Madre mountain range, a petroglyph was found by National Artist, Carlos Francisco in 1965. These carvings were called, Angono Petroglyphs.
Drove to Angono Petroglyphs.
Many jeepneys from Shaw Boulevard lead to Angono, or Binangonan, however going to the Petroglyphs can be quite difficult, or expensive, so bringing a vehicle or traveling in a big group would be advisable. Instead of driving alone, I drove to the Arts town.
If driving, take the Manila East Road (turn right from Ortigas Extension road when you reach Tikling, that is the Manila East Road) until you reach a fork. Take the road to the left heading to Binangonan for taking the road to the right leads to the town proper. Following road signs going to Thunderbird resort would be your best landmarks. From the highway turn left to Col. Guido Road which is a steep uphill ascent with sharp curves and blind corners, so slow down and be careful approaching turns. You will reach a wide road, Eastridge Avenue, which means you’re in the right track. After passing a short tunnel, watch out for a big cave/tunnel mouth to your right, that’s the jump off point. You can park your car there. (There is an Angono Petroglyphs sign but faces the road coming from Antipolo)
Take the road to Binangonan if going to the Petroglyphs, turning right leads to the town proper.
Be careful of sharp curves and blind corners.
Marker to the entrance of Angono Petroglyphs.
Horror scenes from movies gave me the creeps as I walk alone in a pitch black 110-meter tunnel. Adding to the horrors were cold winds brushing my skin as if someone blew. I should’ve brought a small flashlight. At the end of the tunnel was a short trail leading to the archeological site and small museum. A wooden viewing deck was built facing the petroglyphs to avoid further vandalism of the age-old discovery.
Tunnel entrance to the Petroglyphs.
End of tunnel.
Entrance of the site, “waiting shed”, and the museum on the end.
Petroglyph viewing deck
Wooden fences prevent further vandalism of ancient carvings.
Different figures resembling human figures, lizards, and frogs amazed me but in the contrary, the aching site of vandalism by stupid tourist who does not value historical treasures such as these were quite annoying. The carbon dating revealed that these carvings were made during 3000 BC, and still exist thanks to those who care. Guzman, the security guard that time was kind enough to give information about the petroglyphs. According to him, the site has no entrance fee.
Carved figures of people and animals.
Stone steps leading to the museum.
After some small talk with Guzman, I went back to the car and headed down for a stroll around the Art town. The vast overlooking view of green mountains and plains below, the city from afar, and the famous Laguna Lake was really breath taking and my hands were itching to take a snap shot of it so I have to search for a good vantage point and take a quick stop. Winds were blowing really hard as I made my way up to higher ground, and when I reached the top, the majestic view simply took my breath away.
Passing a road tunnel.
Breath taking view from a viewing deck in Eastridge
Small one-way streets are all over town so I asked directions from the hospitable locals directions to Saint Clement’s Parish Church. As I cruise along the streets, in contrary to the engraved masterpiece up in the mountains, beautiful bas relief on several walls caught my attention – this probably why the town was called an art town. I just love the way they decorated the town making me wish someday to have some on my wall.
Facade of Saint Clement’s Parish Church in Angono
“Malay Migration” by E. Moreno (I’m not sure of the exact title)
Bas relief on street walls. “History of Manila: The Filipino Struggles Through History”
The Art Town living up to its name.
Angono’s arts and culture are numerous they can’t be seen, experienced, or tasted in half day. Several art galleries of well known artist reside in town. Unfortunately, I was not able to visit them due to my rush research earlier this morning. Definitely, I’ll be back on the 23rd of November for the famous Higantes Festival, and hopefully have the guts to try the exotic dishes of Balaw Balaw Restaurant.
Rizal province is my hometown. I’ve always look further without even bothering what treasures this province has to offer. Try going inside your own backyard, who knows what riches lie beneath under your nose. Angono’s Petroglyphs are my starting points as I discover more of Rizal Province, and become a more proud Rizaleño.
Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the trip:
1. There are jeepneys bound to Angono from Crossing in EDSA Shaw and from Araneta Center in Cubao. Binangonan bound jeepneys also pass by Angono.
2. Entrance in Angono Petroglyphs is FREE.
3. Walking around town is like roaming around a huge art gallery where different art works lie in every corner and street walls.
4. More photos in Jed’s Multiply
5. Enjoy and have a safe trip.
6. If you like these, you might also like:
- Biyaheng Rizal Province
- Calinawan Cave, Daranak Falls & Other Destinations in Tanay, Rizal
- Wawa Dam, Rodriguez, Rizal
- Taytay, Rizal
- Our Lady of of Peach & Good Voyage in Antipolo City, Rizal
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