Location: Marikina and Antipolo, Philippines

Whenever Vina and I don’t have the luxury of time (or money) to go on an out-of-town beach trip or travel somewhere far, we take day trips. It’s a great way for us to spend quality time together and really get to know each other. Unlike going to the mall wherein we would always be so distracted by a season sale or a new restaurant, this time we decided to ditch the mall and go on a day trip to Marikina and Antipolo. These two places aren’t really on top of mind when you would think of going on a day trip–but give it a shot, you’ll be surprised at how fast Marikina and Antipolo are catching up.

Going to Vina’s place is an out-of-town trip on its own already as she lives in Cavite (down south) and I live in Quezon City (up north). Talk about long distance relationship. Haha! Kidding aside, we have only been to Tagaytay (twice) and Maginhawa. After spending the night researching on all the cool spots to check out in Marikina and Antipolo, we started the day early, eager to explore a different side of the city. Here are four (4) cool spots worth checking out in Marikina and Antipolo. Enjoy.


We started the day with a hearty brunch at Rustic Mornings in Marikina. Vina and I just randomly discovered this restaurant on Instagram (like a true millennial). Upon seeing the beautiful interiors and mouth-watering food, we knew we had to make it our first stop. Rustic Mornings is a sort of like a secret garden restaurant tucked away in homey Marikina. It’s a sanctuary for heartwarming breakfast food with a beautiful ambiance with a lot of random, quirky finds. The food did not disappoint either. We enjoyed our waffles, hot pancakes, burritos and bagnet (yes, we over-ordered lol) while enjoying the cozy ambience of the restaurant. It’s a feast for your eyes and stomach.

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Rustic Mornings is open everyday, 8am to 4pm. Located at 11 I. Mendoza, Street, Marikina City.

Our next stop was The Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal. Vina and I were so full from brunch, so it was only fitting to walk around and get lost in this beautiful space. We saw a lot of Instagrammers/bloggers post about this place so we were pretty excited to visit it, but at the same time hesitant for the simple reason that it might be too overrated. But we gave it a shot and we were blown away with how huge the place is and how beautiful the artworks are.

Pinto Art Museum is located inside a private subdivision in Antipolo. I love the fact that all the artworks are kept in open-air villas surrounded by huge gardens. Here, the artworks are not just hanged on walls, but coexists with the beautiful interiors of the museum. Everywhere we looked, there seemed to be doorways and hallways waiting to be discovered. There is also a restaurant inside. Too bad we were too stuffed to try any of the dishes. Well, we can always come back, right? I love every single detail in the museum, from the beds scattered around the gardens, to the art installations that tickles your curiosity. Pinto Art Museum is a visual treat and we can’t wait to be back. We should have more museums like this!

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Pinto Art Museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 6pm. Located at 1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Road, Antipolo Rizal.

Next stop: a little rest and relaxation at Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa. It is the first and only hanging gardens and spa in the country. Set in a mountain resort in Antipolo City, Rizal Province, Luljetta’s has a commanding view of the majestic Laguna De Bay and Manila skyline. I really felt like I was far away from home. One of the main attractions of Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa are its hydrotherapy pools. Sit or lie on your stomach and get a soothing massage from one of the pool’s rainshowers. Vina and I also tried the fish spa. I was so ticklish, it was painful to watch. Haha! After enjoying our time in the infinity pool and jacuzzi, we were hungry again so we tried their healthy and organic dishes. I liked the carbonara and dessert best. We enjoyed a hearty merienda while watching the sunset. It was the most perfect day.

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Luljetta’s Hanging Garden and Spa is by reservation basis only, open from Monday to Friday and Sunday at 10am to 9pm, and 10am to 11pm on Saturdays. Located at the Loreland Farm Resort, Barangay San Roque, Antipolo Rizal.

We ended our little road trip with a dinner date at 14 Four Cafe. We were still full from merienda so we ordered coffee and dessert. 14 Four Cafe is a  furniture showroom that transforms into a cafe on weekends, secretly hidden in Taytay, Rizal. The place is small but cozy and intimate. We enjoyed our little date night and happy that we got a good spot inside the cafe. Sadly my camera died so I can only show you guys this photo. Whoops. I guess you have to go and see for yourself? Nevertheless, Vina and I had the most amazing time.

14 Four Cafe is open on weekends, 10am to 10pm. Located at 144 Magnolia Lane, Gregoria Heights Subdivision, Bgy San Isidro 1920 Taytay, Rizal.
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