Sunday, November 8, 2020

Tayo na sa Antipolo with the Isuzu D-Max Boondock 2020 Edition | Motourismo

The rugged 2020 Isuzu D-Max Boondock explores the playground of Antipolo, Rizal.


Inspired by a 1920s folk song, this phrase is arguably the most enduring invitation to visit this mountain resort east of Manila, which continues to tickle generations of travelers.

Perched at 152 meters above sea level, it is a smaller version of Baguio because of the cooler climate and scenic zigzag roads. It is synonymous to suman and kasuy, the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Shrine, Hinulugang Taktak, and Boso-Boso Church.


Beyond these familiar tourism icons, Antipolo also pride in its cozy spas, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, farm-and garden-inspired resorts, and nature spots. 

It is also an exciting getaway for road trippers, motorcycle riders, bikers, and outdoor lovers for adrenaline-pumping adventures. 


Mount Purro Nature Reserve is a getaway not far from Manila.


But despite its proximity, it is a frontier destination to many travelers who look far and away for their getaways.

It is this curiosity which drove us to and revisit and rediscover metro’s next-door neighbor we thought we knew so well through the decades. And with its uphill terrain, we drove a badass pickup truck cut out for the boondocks—Isuzu’s D-Max Boondock 2020 edition.


Testing the toughness of the 2020 Isuzu D-Max Boondock.


Powered by the Isuzu 4JJ1-TCX 3.0L Blue Power engine,this sleek new vehicle is perfect for the off-the-grid mountain hideaways where only motor tourist aficionados dare to go. With a maximum power of 177PSand 380 N-m maximum torque, this Euro 4 compliant handsome beast proved that it is indeed tough enough for anything, while providing you with the comfort and features of a sedan.


For this road trip, we zeroed in on the upland villages of Boso-Boso and Calawis in the far end of Antipolo whose meandering Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon (Marilaque) Highway is such a driving delight and visual treat along the undulating mountains.


Nuestra Señora de la Annunciata Church


Our first stop was the famed Nuestra Señora de la Annunciata Church the core of the Boso-Boso parish dating back to the 1700s. The current structure was built in the late 1800s and sports a baroque architecture which is a throwback to the Spanish period.


Historic Bosoboso town and its church.

Mount Purro Nature Reserve


A few minutes away through a narrow feeder road was our main objective, Mount Purro Nature Reserve (MPNR), sprawling upland camp site. Tucked in the bosom of the Sierra Madreranges, it is part of the 26,000-hectare Upper Marikina Watershed which supplies water to the metropolis and mitigates typhoons.


This no-frills nature resort boasts of sheer beauty which cannot be replicated—towering hardwood trees, diverse flora and fauna, and a host of natural endowments.


Charming dining area.


Swimming pool amidst nature.


Tucked away in nature.



Sumptuous meals prepared by resort owners, Toto and Baby Malvar.


According to resort owner and environmental advocate Toto Malvar, guests are disconnected from the trappings of cellphones and the internet, they will be reconnected to nature and to the Creator. He said that the Mt. Purro sojourn is summed up in the acronym GNP (God, Nature, People)—which every guest will surely experience in their brief stay.

Must-do activities are the 4-km Laudato Si Hiking Trail, interactions with the Dumagat indigenous tribe as they demonstrate basic jungle survival skills, and feasting on delicious all-time favorites at the thebahaykubo-style Loli’s Kitchen.

Families can bond at the Asian Lounge, the cozy Martha Stewart gazebos, Nature Playscape, and log benches scattered all over, whilethe more daring ones can try the high-element ropes course and rappel from the water tank and catwalk between coconut trees.


Off-Road ATV Park

Just over a kilometer away is the 5-hectare Off-Road ATV Park, a new playground for all-terrain vehicles where we werethe first media guests and warmly welcomed with a fruit feast and pabaon of bananas, dragon fruits and pomelo. The ATV park is ideal for all skills level where newbies can drive within the fenced mountain slopes, while veterans can set out to the further up Apya River and Bunsuran Falls.


The Isuzu D-Max Boondock and the ATVs ready to take on the adventure.


Our host Mia Rose Apquiz demonstrates to us how to ride the ATV.


As if taunting Isuzu’s D-Max Boondock’s prowess, it began to rain hard creating puddles all over the potholed Calawis barangay road. We gladly obliged to nature’s temptation and drove through the muddied boondocks along with the ATV park guides, and did some “singing in the rain” as the pickup effortlessly negotiated the bumps, craters, and the raging river.


The Motourismo team after an adventure in the trails of Off-Road ATV Tours, together with their employees.


Before we knew it, dusk was beginning to crawl and it was time to return to the ATV base and prepare heading back home. We realized that that we’re just scratchingthe surface on Antipolo’s off-the-beaten path, and a return visit to is almost a certainty.


This early, we have set our sights on our next adventure targets in the vicinity—Phillip’s Sanctuary or Pestaño’s Farm, Flor’s Garden and Ed’s Farm, and Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens Spa, to name a few.

Almost a century after it hit the airwaves, the “Tayo na sa Antipolo” invitation still stands—beckoning each one to visit or revisit the place for family fun, farm, adventure, and everything in between.

Watch video in this link.


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