Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Angono Petroglyphs

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We discovered the Angono Petroglyphs on Google Maps while planning our trip to Thunderbird Resorts, Rizal. Who knew there was a historical site this important just 2 mins. away from the resort.

The Angono Petroglyphs are estimated to be 5,000 years old. They are carved drawings of human and animal figures which were endemic to the area. It's located in a hidden rock wall within the mountains of Angono, Rizal. Coincidentally, it was discovered by Philippine National Artist, Carlos V. Francisco, while on a camping trip with the Boyscouts of the Philippines, back in 1965. It was declared a National Cultural Treasure on 1973, and is now protected.

The entrance to the Glyphs is through a tunnel drilled for the purpose of passing water pipes to a man-made lake in a golf course just at the foot of the mountain. It used to be through the top of the mountain, then back down the other side through some rickety wooden stairs.

Guard Escorting us to the glyphs

At the end of the tunnel, a pebble path with flowery bushes on the side leads you to the National Museum office just beside the glyphs.

 There, an entrance fee of P20 for adults and P10 for kids is collected. The guard that was with us said, they allow small cars to pass through there, especially for seniors and the disabled.

The glyphs can be viewed from a wooden platform built right in front of the glyphs. People aren't allowed to touch them, or go near the glyphs, as this would accelerate the erosion.

There are two small caves, maybe with a diameter of 3 meters each, just below the glyphs. This would be where the settlers lived. Most probably, these people were hunters/gatherers and would have stayed in the area while the food was abundant and then would move on once it is scarce.

Inside the caves, there were a few tools that were discovered, and a couple animal bones. One was from the trunk of a small elephant and another of a large giant land turtle. These bones are currently on display at the National Museum Building just beside the glyphs.

It still awes me that an elephant, although the species were tiny, used to live in these areas. I do wonder though, why were there no drawings of these elephants on the glyphs. Did they hunt them down so much that they wiped the species? Did they carry this bone around, maybe as a tool, from another location, and weren't really endemic to the area? Or was it one of the indistinguishable carvings on the wall that has been destroyed by erosion and vandalism.

What saddens me is how people never realized how important these glyphs are. You would see, right on the glyphs' rockwall, some vandalism, people carving their names on that wall. How stupid can these people be?

Anyways, the glyphs site is about 2 mins. drive from Thunderbird Resort, Rizal, and you won't be spending more than an hour there so I suggest having lunch or even staying a night at the resort. If you want to know more about Thunderbird Resort, read my blog here.

Here are a couple more pics from the site:

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