The oldest known artworks in the Philippines, the Angono Petroglyphs are neolithic carvings that date all the way back to 3000 BC. Based in the Rizal province two hours from Manila, the prehistoric cave paintings weren’t actually discovered until 1965, when acclaimed artist Carlos Francisco noticed the ancient-looking engravings on a Boy Scouts field trip and let the National Museum of the Philippines know about his exciting find.
Stretching along a 200-foot (60-meter) cave tunnel, the drawings are carved on ancient rocks made of compressed volcanic ash. Get close up to the walls to see the 127 engravings of stylized people and animals, including images of frogs and lizards. Why did the late neolithic people carve these artworks? No one is completely sure, but it is thought that the drawings were symbolic and could have been used in ancient healing practices.
The Angono Petroglyphs were declared a national cultural treasure by the Philippine government in 1973. At the site there is a small museum housing ancient artifacts like stone pools and pottery from the area.
About a two-hour drive from Manila, the petroglyphs are two miles (3.5 km) southeast of the city of Angono. There is a viewing deck, and the site's small museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On weekends, openings are by appointment.