St. John the Baptist Shrine in Pola | Things to do in Pola-Oriental Mindoro

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St. John the Baptist Shrine is a pilgrimage site on Tuntung Point, a hill facing Pola Bay. The Shrine is underdeveloped with overgrown weeds, but may serve as a camping-pilgrim ground for travelers wishing to sleep near the ocean. Evidence of eucharistic celebration is found here, after the small cemented altar and the weathered wooden benches. From the Shrine, you may view the island of Marinduque at the left, the Pola Bay in front, the Calima mountain range across the bay, and Aguada Beach at the right. The Shrine may be accessed through the 35-step cemented stairs from Aguada, but only during low tide. During high tide, however, the Shrine is reached through a short trek from the road behind Aguada Beach. The icon on the Shrine is but a replica of the original, which is housed in St. Baptist Church in Pola.
Open: Everyday, open 24 hours.
Address: Brgy. Bayanan, Pola, Oriental Mindoro
Fee: Free
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Nearby attractions

Bihiya Beach
Attraction
0.05 km away

Bihiya Beach shares the creamy white sand of Puerto Galera's famous beaches. While the beach is only about 200 meters long, there are three more neighboring beaches of similar shore length. The three others, however, have coarse sand or pebbly corals. Bihiya Beach has the finest sand in area. The beach has low-lying coconut trees, some of which carry tuba, or locally fermented coconut wine. Although there are no amenities, convenience stores, or electricity in the area, the campsite is spacious enough to hold 20 to 30 tents. It is best to visit this beach together with Taguan Falls and Misong Mangrove Forest, for a weekend getaway in Pola, Oriental Mindoro.

Old Houses in Pola
Attraction
0.05 km away

Walking around the old houses in Pola is like stepping inside a polaroid photograph. If you were to see their photos taken in the 1960s, you could barely pinpoint the difference. Only electric posts and wires have been added on the streets. While much of their exterior have remained the same, the residents among these houses come and go. The houses were built in the early 19th century, and were designed after American and Spanish architecture. This area resisted change due to the little development in Pola, whose access is diverted away from the main road of the Oriental Mindoro province. It's advisable to visit this area for a photowalk early in the morning, or for a short walk at night. The old houses are just a block away from the town municipal, and is 5 to 10 minutes away from Aguada Beach and St. John the Baptist Shrine.

Aguada Beach
Attraction
0.14 km away

Spanning about 200 meters of fine black sand, Aguada Beach is a backpackers' beach that is free to visit and is accessible to everyone traveling in Pola. While it is deemed exotic because of its black sand, the beach could be charming during low tide, when the shore is flat and vast, and creeping with baby crabs. Aguada Beach faces Marinduque Island. To its far left, however, is a mangrove forest. During low tide, you can walk on the dead corals where some of the mangroves thrive, and access the stone steps leading up the St. John the Baptist Shrine. There are no restaurants, hotels, or resorts in the area.

Getting there and around

Brgy. Bayanan, Pola, Oriental Mindoro

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