Fiesta sa Antipolo!

9:00 AM

The city of Antipolo parties during the entire month of May in celebration of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. And this year, I thankfully managed to join in on the celebrations even if it was on its last few days.

Unknown to many, my mother and I used to do the “alay-lakad” during May Day Eve. Though unlike the other devotees who start at the Quiapo Church, my mother and I would cut the pilgrimage short and start at “junction” in Cainta.  During those four hours, we would be walking alongside couples, families, throngs of teenagers and even elders. Most of them would be carrying their own statues of the Nazareno or the virgin, together with water jugs and boom boxes or pedalling their way up the mountain.  Sometimes, a father would pass by us, pushing a stroller where his toddler would be sleeping.

I started walking with my mother as a freshman in high school. She, on the other hand, started going on alay-lakad in the 80s and did so often with her sisters. During those years that we walked together, I’ve seen how commerce slowly rose up to the mountains which I must say was a pretty slow yet steady rise. The sprawling properties and acres of forests gave way to subdivisions and four storey apartments, sticking out from nowhere. (Clearly, these people seem not to understand the concept of zoning. ) And roadside eateries now had to contend with more popular joints originally from the city.

But now that my mother’s gone, I don’t have anyone to walk with and I figured I couldn’t go at it alone. So instead, I try to go up the mountains during the month of May and say hello to Our Lady.

The facade of the Antipolo church clues you in on what it has in store - a lot of clean lines. 
Just like in most old churches, Angels stand near the entrance holding up a bowl of holy water. 
The Antipolo church is as not as huge as it may seem but the dome certainly gives it a certain grandness. 
I love how seemingly modern yet elegant this church is. Too bad they don't build churches like this anymore.
This mall used to be a shed where the pasalubong hawkers and eateries. Now, it's a mall that houses
starbucks, McDonald's, and National Book Store.
Evidently, this Victory Mall is the city's project. 

Startbucks Coffee are now serving their popular brews to both locals and pilgrims.
The mall has depth and has a lot of space for stores. 
Have lunch or merienda at one of the eateries in the plaza. 
The ubiquitous green mangoes. It's cut in such a way so it's easy to eat. 
Hawkers line the street selling all sorts of things from suman to cashew to footwear. 

This guy was hawking Video City membership. Evidently, it's still relevant here in the Antipolo.
Here's a cornucopia of great pasalubong ideas.  

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