It was passed 2pm and its getting really cloudy. It also started to drizzle and I thought we couldn’t make it to our next destination but despite of the gloomy weather, we decided to proceed anyway. We went to the so-called Mystical Cave, a very intriguing and seemingly enchanting destination in Antipolo. It was actually my second time to explore a cave (the first one was the Calinawan Cave of Tanay).Mystical Cave is located in Puting bato and is not easily accessible via public transport. We actually went there with our van but the way going to Mystical Cave is merely deserted. You can see nothing but tall grass, trees, mountain view and rough roads. I just don’t know if I will have enough courage to hit this place alone. Not to mention that you will constantly encounter huge trucks passing by.The entrance to Mystical cave. Unlike in Calinawan Cave where you have to go down to explore, Mystical Cave could be reached by passing through a long and uneven rock stairways.If my count was right, it is more or less 200 big steps before reaching the actual location (except for another 15 or 20 small steps going to the gate of Mystical Cave)It was truly exhausting but not really eerie as the place is not really deserted. You can spot various houses along the way. The picture above shows a house elevated several feet from the ground.Went we reached the top, we were warmly welcomed by a lady who owns a little store (selling snacks and drinks). I forgot to get her name though but it seems like they are also the one who handle the visitors going to the cave. Surprisingly, we were guided by a 12 year old girl who despite of her young age , is already knowledgeable about the cave and the navigation inside.
So Why Mystical Cave?
The cave will not earn such name for no reason. It is called mystical cave because of the mystical story behind its discovery and also some miraculous events that occurred in the place and also because of the holy images resssembled by the stalagmites and stalactites formation inside. Once you reached the gate (yes a steel gate), the first thing you will notice is the name attributed to Mystical cave ~ Inday Nelly Deles.
Who is Inday Nelly Deles
We didn’t get a chance to meet her or maybe she’s the lady who welcomed us (i’m not sure) but I wish I could have chat with her much longer. According to history, Inday Nelly Deles is the first one to discover the cave in 1970. What makes it more interesting is the story behind it. When Inday Nelly was just 7 years old, she used to visions of this cave in her dreams. She was from Ilo-ilo but her feet takes her all the way to Antipolo where she discovered the cave. When she found the cave, there was just a small hole opening (sized of a coin) and with the use of an explosive (gelignite), it resulted to an entrance through the cave which is 8 levels deep (Calinawan Cave only has 5). Since then, the cave has become a destination not just for those who seek for adventure but also for those seeking for spiritual enlightenment since there are many religious elements attributed to the place, making Mystical Cave another popular pilgrim sites in Antipolo (You can also check Via Dolorosa in Pinagmisan Hills)
What’s Inside the Mystical Cave
As we enter the cave, we were welcomed by stunning stalagmites and stalactites formation. Take note that Mystical Cave has eight levels but only the first level is accessible to visitors. Surprisingly, safety measures were not being applied since they didn’t provide us any helmet to protect us from these sharp rock formation but unlike in Calinawan, the stalagmites here are way too far from the ground. In addition to that, they let us being toured by a kid haha.
The first thing i noticed and somehow disappointed me is that the place is already “artificialized“. The first level of the cave is already illuminated by artificial lights. You can spot one bulb from one corner to another.
In fairness to that little girl , she know her spiel too well and she was able to answer all our questions during the tour. If Calinawan has these witty names like “arthritis” and “sexy“, most rock formation in Mystical Cave is merely named after events depicted in the bible.Can you spot the image of Jesus Christ in this rock formation?Here’s stalactite formation resembling the image of Saint Anthony of PaduaThe cave features both sharp and extremely smooth ceiling. Another rock formation in the cave which resembles another biblical event. It depicts the “Pieta“Sorry for my blurry shots… I think i took so much photos from Pinto Art and Casa Santa and my Digicam went out of Battery… my Smartphone on the other hand was less than 15% already which stopped me from taking flash. I could have bring a strong flash light thoughThis formation is called “Buddha” not because of its actual form but because of the shadows it projects on the wall which resembles the BuddhaThis is one of my favorite parts, this huge rock formation with little stalactites on the side is called “The Mount of Calvary“, in the bible, it’s where the Crucifixion of Christ took place.This one depicts the “Visitation“A spacious area inside the Mystical Cave. This could be the Cathedral where masses are sometimes being held.Here’s another interesting formation depicting the image of “God The Son“. The image depicts the image of Christ holding the key to heaven.They said that the rock formation are miraculous. We were all encouraged to touch them and ask for our petition. There is an area called Wishing rock which is said to grant wishes. There is a certain rock formation dedicated for people who want to have babies. This one is called The Bath tub. They said that the illness of those who bathe in here will be cured. The water dripping here (only when it rains) will fill the tub-like formation, allowing people to bathe. This one is called “The Dressing Room“One of the creepiest parts of the cave is this huge pit. There is a formation called “Candle” because it resembles such. It is so deep that according to our little tour guide, is not really accessible because of the limited oxygen below. There is no barricades here so be careful with your steps. There is also another portion in this cave that features a huge hole that is said to be 60 ft deep. Stalagmites starting to form. Underneath the stalagmites, you’ll spot bottles and pails because according to our Tour guide, locals used to catch water from the cave and drink it.
This is another interesting formation inside the cave which is called “The Sound of Bell” and as what the term suggests, it produces a bell-like sound when being tapped or knocked (visitors are allowed to do so).Here you can see the formation glitters in the dark.Mystical Cave is truly an interesting destination in Antipolo but I also have a mixed thoughts about it. Much like the Calinawan, the place has become a popular spot for movie makers. It has been the location for different movie and tv series like Encantadia, Pedro Penduko, Dyesebel, Marina and more. With that, you know that the place was already fabricated. I even spotted vandals and some paint marks on some of the areas which is really disappointing.
I also noticed that they are doing some construction inside. Unlike Calinawan, in order to get out of the cave, you have to go back from where you came from.
Things You should Know before going to Mystical Cave
►The entrance fee to Mystical Cave is worth Php40 per head
►Although there’s already an elecrtrical lighting inside, it would be ideal to bring a flash light so you can get a better view of those rock formation.
►It could be muddy inside so better wear proper shoes.
►Take note that helmets are not provided in the tour and it seems like there is no sources nearby
►The tour guide could be a kid but like I said, she could be very knowledgeable.
►Comfort rooms are available outside the cave
►Small store can be found outside selling drinks and snacks
►If you have enough time, you can hike the top of the cave to witness the white crosses
How to Get to Mystical Cave
►Antipolo is accessible by jeepney or FX taxi, with terminals in Metro Manila including one in Araneta Center Cubao and Valero Street behind RCBC Plaza in Makati. This will drop you off to Antipolo’s Town Proper. From the town proper, you can ride Cogeo bound jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off in Cogeo Market.
►From there, ride another jeepney bound to Paenaan and ask the driver to drop you to the site that can take you to the quarry site. From there, you can spot the signage of Mystical Cave. From there, you can actually hike it. If you’re lucky enough you can hire a tricycle that can take you in the cave but if not, you might consider going back to Padilla where you can hire a tricycle that could bring you directly to the place.
Where to Stay in Antipolo
For those who are looking for a nice place to stay in Antipolo whether you are in a tight budget or not, you might consider this list of hotels and resorts in Antipolo as compiled by TravelBook (with discounted rates too). Again, Antipolo has so many great places to offer that you guys can explore and a day tour may not be enough to discover them all.
After exploring the cave, we finally headed to our next and final destination! We concluded our Antipolo tour by heading to Cloud 9 Resort. Here, we took our early dinner before going back to Manila and also experienced the 360 Point View where we have to cross a hanging bridge. We also witnessed a stunning view of Antipolo skyline and I will share you my experience in my next entry.
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Feel free to watch the Video Summary of my Biyaheng Antipolo below and please don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks
In case you missed our previous entries, feel free to visit the links below
►Biyaheng Antipolo (Prologue)
►Hinulugang Taktak Falls
►Pinto Art Musuem
►25 Artworks That You Should Not Miss in Pinto Art Museum
►Jardin De Miramar
►Casa Santa Museum
►Cloud 9 Hotel and Resorts
►Things To Buy When Visiting Antipolo