Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spending Our First Wedding Anniversary with the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyps

After filling up our stomachs in Balaw-Balaw Restaurant, we started our way to the Petroglyphs. One staff was kind enough to give us a shortcut. Instead of going back to the main highway, he said we could take the barangay road along where the restaurant is located, turn right on the first corner, and then left upon reaching the end of the road. We did just that and upon turning left, we were already on Eastridge Avenue. The road directly brought us to our main destination. 

The Petroglyphs is located 210 feet above sea level on top of the Sierra Madre mountain range. We were worried that the car wouldn’t be able to sustain the drive up but he made it all the way without any glitch. We passed by a checkpoint, and the guard asked us our destination. We told them we would like to visit the Petroglyphs, and they were kind enough to tell the directions. We continued to drive along passing through Perlies Bar and Resto, Sunflower Subdivision and Eastridge Golf Club before coming to a short tunnel. At the other side of the tunnel, we passed by Thunder Bird Resorts on our right, and the entrance to the Petroglyphs is just a block ahead on the left with one small road sign.

The problem with this road sign is that it is not facing on the side for people coming from Manila to see. Also, we notice that there isn’t a bigger sign along to road to point where the Petroglyphs are. Visiting the place without researching first the directions, one would probably get lost.

A few meters ahead from the main road, there was another tunnel, and we thought this was already the Petroglyphs site. It was a bit eerie to enter the place since it was dark with no lightings. We kind of recalled the Malinta tunnel in Corrigedor Island. There were no other people around to ask for any information, and we only heard the sound of the wind swaying the trees, some birds and the silence. So, we were really skeptical to enter the tunnel.

Outside, there was a notice to leave any vehicle as the vibration might affect the stability of the cave. After a few hesitations, we finally decided to walk through the tunnel and leave the car. The tunnel was about a hundred meters long. Upon reaching the other side of the tunnel, we saw some writings on the wall, but to our dismay, the letters of the words were very familiar. It was in Roman alphabet, and we felt really sad thinking that the Petroglyphs have been vandalized.

But after a while, we asked ourselves what if what we’ve just seen was not yet the Petroglyphs. Filled with hope, we continued walking through the path, and upon making a turn, we saw a small bungalow about 200 meters ahead. Upon nearing the building, we saw the sign “Welcome to Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan”. Wow! We almost jumped for joy! Now don’t ask me why Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan. Our hypothesis is perhaps the Petroglyphs are within the boundary of Angono and Binangonan, both towns of Rizal province.

It was a weekday when we went there, so there wasn’t much tourist around. Actually, we were the only tourist at that time. Imagine how happy we were when we finally saw two living souls – the security guard of the small museum and the woman who must be the administrator I think of the museum. We registered our names and paid 20 php as entrance fee. First, we roamed around the small museum. It was small but it took us a long time there since my husband and I basically read all that was written on the wall, from top to bottom. Yup, we love to read!

After digesting all the information we could get about the Petroglyphs, it was time to meet them. We went up to the viewing area, and were awed upon seeing writings which are thousands years of age. Since there were no other people, the place was so quiet, and wind blowing to our faces as if our ancestors were telling us something through the writings. I had goose bumps! We were silent for a moment; none of us talking.

We walked to the other end of the viewing area, and were sad to see a few vandals. Horrible! I’ve read that it was only 1996 that a Presidential Decree was passed designating the site as a National Cultural Treasure. Thus, years before that, from the time that Carlos Francisco discovered it in 1965, no one was really guarding it and visitors to the site wrote on the walls as well.

We started back to the car after getting some more pictures. We had this sense of completeness to finally come face to face to a remnant of our country’s past and treasure before time and nature would slowly eradicate this work of art.

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