• CHIQUI ROA-PUNO AND HER ANTIPOLO

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    A well-known TV host, news anchor and sportscaster, Chiqui Roa-Puno is very much like her on-cam persona – smart, bubbly, active, and a lover of sports. She spent her high school and college years in the US, where she graduated magna cum laude from the George Mason University in Virginia with a degree in Psychology.

    Chiqui returned to the Philippines in 1993, and it was perhaps in the genes – she is the daughter of showbiz industry icons Pete and Boots Anson-Roa – that she started a career in broadcasting. Since that time, she has been covering sporting events both locally and internationally, anchored several newscasts, and hosted various parenting and lifestyle shows.

    She and her husband Robbie, who serves Antipolo as a district Representative in Congress, have made Antipolo their home for the past several years, where she spends much of her time with civic oriented projects. And she is perhaps the best person to take us around, her city, her SM.

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    Chiqui Roa-Puno at the My City, My SM launch at SM City Masinag with her husband Congressman Robbie Puno and SM Supermalls Regional Operations Manager Johanna Rupisan, Rizal Provincial Tourism Head Jenny Sumulong, and SM Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon.

    “What I like most about Antipolo is that it has a provincial feel despite the fact that it is only a stone’s throw away from the metro.  Its cool climate, the breathtaking view at the Eagle’s Nest, the colorful festivities that epitomize the rich culture of Antipolenos, and the warmth and hospitality of its God fearing people make the city quite endearing.  I consider it the ultimate destination for those who desire meaningful rest, recreation, and relaxation.”

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    Antipolo Cathedral, and inset of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

    “If I would take guests around Antipolo, I would first take them to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, which is the center of religious activities for Antipolo and devotees from all over the Philippines.”

    Antipolo is known to be the home of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Historians have said that this miraculous image has sailed back and forth between Manila and Acapulco eight times, and on several occasions was credited her galleon from destruction my pirates, forces of nature, as well as Dutch and British blockades. It was on November 26, 1626 that the Archbishop of Manila, Micahel O’doherty canonized the Blessed Virgin from Acapulco. The month of May is fiesta time in Antipolo, where thousands of devotees – especially those who wish to travel abroad – come to the Shrine to pray for a safe voyage.

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    PACEM Eco Park 

    “I love staying in Antipolo because it’s so close to nature despite the fact that it is only 29 kilometers from Manila, and I would bring guests to a nature trip at the PACEM Eco Park.”

    Situated within the campus of Assumption Antipolo, the PACEM Eco Park was established by the school so that students, teachers, parents, and visitors can experience the beauty of nature and have the opportunity to reflect on the importance of ecological security to the survival of our planet. The park features an eco center, a mini forest, a wildlife sanctuary, an aviary, and a pond.

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    Hinulugang Taktak

    “The Hinulugang Taktak waterfalls have and always will be identified with Antipolo. This is definitely a place where I will bring my guests.”

    Legend has it that sometime in the 16th century, the townsfolk of Antipolo were bothered by the harsh, loud sounds of a church bell during the Angelus. They demanded that the local priest get rid of it, and bowing to popular clamor, he dropped it in a nearby river. This explains the name, Hinulugang Taktak, which means, “where the bell was dropped.” A well-loved tourist destination, Hinulugang Taktak was as a National Park by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, as well as a National Shrine under RA 6964 in 1990.

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    Boso Boso Church

    “I would also bring them to Boso Boso church, one of the first churches in the region built by Franciscan missionaries who arrived in Antipolo in 1578”

    Boso Boso Church is a remnant of a centuries old church, which was destroyed during World War II. It stands in the grandeur of old stone with wild vines, and plants growing on top of the church. A small chapel built inside the church serves the community these days.

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    Pasalubong Center

    “I will give them a taste of Antipolo – its famous kasuy, suman sa ibos, and mangga, and give them lots to bring home from the Pasalubong Center.”

    The Pasalubong Center located in front of the Antipolo Cathedral is where locals and tourists alike can enjoy and bring home suman sa ibos – glutinous rice wrapped in buli leaves, as well as mangoes and cashew nuts harvested from local farms.

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    Chiqui with the Savannah kids

    “Being a congressional spouse for the past four years has made me love Antipolo even more. My husband is an advocate of education, sports, and healthcare, and he involves the whole family to make sure these are delivered to his constituents in the first district of Antipolo.

    Being a mother, I have a soft spot for kids, and am very active with the SPED school in District 1. I also help the Savannah Kids, who are led by Belinda Agora, one of the most accomplished ballroom dancers in the country, develop their talents through recitals and competitions. ”

    Chiqui and the Savannah Kids Ballroom Dancers, whose dancing talent and skills have brought much pride to Antipolenos.

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    SM City Masinag

    “We are very thankful for the opening of SM City Masinag in Antipolo. The proximity of the mall makes it very convenient for Antipolenos to shop, eat, and have fun. The opening of SM City in Masinag has been very beneficial to the city, as it creates a lot of job opportunities, also spurring the continuous growth of the Masinag area as a gateway to the eastern corridor.”

    Located in Antipolo’s Central Business District, SM City Masinag has redefined shopping standards in the east metro area.

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    Chiqui and her daughter Sabrina enjoy time together at the Toy Kingdom Express

    “Wow, in SM my family has everything we need. My boys go straight to the music bar, my daughter goes to the dolls in the toy store. Everything I need for the house is there –at the department store and the supermarket. The stores are clean, the prices are good, and the service is excellent. We are always happy when we are at SM.”

    Chiqui and her daughter Sabrina enjoy time together at the Toy Kingdom Express inside the SM Department store in Masinag.