A secluded place at the boundary of Antipolo City and San Mateo in Rizal is starting to get the attention of bikers and motorists because of its similarity to Baguio City with its rows of tall pine trees lined up along the road side.
Coined by video bloggers as “Little Baguio in Antipolo City”, the more than 2-kilometer road in Sitio Sapinit, Barangay San Juan is becoming a favourite picnic ground for groups and a place to have a quiet moment for lovers, especially during weekends.
This reporter was able to witness several families or groups enjoying their picnic on the grass while under the shade of the tall pine trees during a visit on a weekend.
Some motorbike enthusiasts were also seen doing selfies and groupies with the pine trees in the background.
A resident who lives near a snack corner, some 500 meters away from the picnic area, told Manila Bulletin that the place gets crowded with visitors, mostly on motorbikes and in cars during Saturdays and Sundays.
The place has also become a venue for prenuptial video and photo sessions especially during weekdays when there are less number of visitors.
According to some video blogs, the “Little Baguio” was temporarily closed to the public during the strict implementation of quarantine classification in Antipolo City.
As the quarantine protocols relax, the security guards manning the entrance to the privately owned place have allowed entry of a limited number of visitors at a time to ensure that health protocols are still followed.
The entrance to “Little Baguio” is free but be prepared to shell out a few pesos when the security guards at the entrance gate flag down your vehicle and tell you that the “area is a private place, etc.” as if insinuating that you have to give something to them upon your exit. Those security guards, although intimidating at first, are however friendly as they will even say “enjoy” as your vehicle leaves the guards’ post.
For motorists, the area can be reached by private vehicles by driving some 13 kilometers from SM City Masinag on Marcos Highway then turn left before reaching the arch that says “YOU ARE ENTERING Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape”.
Drive further and upon reaching Loyola Memorial Cemetery on your left, go towards Sapinit Road for around 3 kilometers.
You will know that you are near the place if you have passed by ATV Adventures Rizal on your left and the Pintong Bukawe in San Mateo on the right.
You can always ask for directions from residents whose houses are just by the roadside to make sure that you are heading toward the right direction.
Visitors planning to go on a picnic should bring their own food as there are only a handful of open eateries or food kiosks around the area especially during early morning or late in the afternoon.
Everyone should also practice the “Clean As You Go” policy to maintain the cleanliness in the area.