Did you know that the Philippines has prehistoric art dated 5,000 years ago? Well, just take a short trip outside Metro Manila to Binangonan, Rizal and see the Angono Petroglyphs. The Angono Petroglyphs1 (pronounced /ang-GO-no/, not /a-NGO-no/) is the oldest known work of art in the country. It features stylized representations of humans, lizards, and other animals carved onto the volcanic rock face. There are a documented 127 of these figures but many have been destroyed by erosion and vandalism.
Discovered in 1965 by National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the Angono Petroglyphs is included in the list of National Cultural Treasure of the country and in the World Inventory of Rock Art. The site has been declared a national cultural treasure by Presidential Decree 260 in 1996 and its preservation has been funded by the National Museum, the Department of Tourism, and the World Monuments Fund.
What you see in the Google Maps satellite image is the small museum, which leads to the elevated viewing platform (obscured by trees) from where you can see and take pictures of the petroglyphs. You get to the site through a 110-meter-long tunnel that you can see in the satellite image 150 meters to the south. (The western end is the dark portion among the trees while the eastern end is the “dead-end” street to the right.)
Yes, the whole site is surrounded by a golf course—the Eastridge Golf Club. Looking at the satellite image, the site is almost next to the fairways. I actually wonder why you need to go through the tunnel to get to the petroglyphs site. Maybe the area between the site and the fairway is too steep?
To see more pictures and to read tourist accounts of the Angono Petroglyphs, here are pages from WaypointsDotPH, the Tutubi Flight Chronicles, and Carlo Ricohermoso. We also have the Wikipedia article if you prefer that.
1 Yes the Angono Petroglyphs is misnamed after the adjacent Rizal town of Angono. This situation is a bit similar to how Pagsanjan Falls (real name: Magdapio Falls) is actually in the town of Cavinti, Laguna instead of in Pagsanjan. (Then again, Pagsanjan Falls is named after the river, and you can only go to the falls from Pagsanjan.)