|The rugged 2020 Isuzu D-Max Boondock explores the playground of Antipolo, Rizal.|
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.
|Mount Purro Nature Reserve is a getaway not far from Manila.|
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.|
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.
|Charming dining area.|
|Swimming pool amidst nature.|
|Tucked away in nature.|
|Sumptuous meals prepared by resort owners, Toto and Baby Malvar.|
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.|
|The Motourismo team after an adventure in the trails of Off-Road ATV Tours, together with their employees.|
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.