Now Antipolo for me is way far off...but the expansive, beautiful gardens and exhibits of Philippine contemporary art was worth the long trip from Makati City.
My first thought was - wow! I never thought something like this existed in Antipolo.
Art galleries are spread around the country, but "Pinto Art Museum" took me back to the last time I had visited an outdoor museum. I had enjoyed it so much but didn't think there was anything back in my country which could have the same kind of thrust. This is still not of the level of what I had experienced in that other one, but it does not make it less enjoyable and its unique because its Filipino.
The verdant and green gardens would surely be enjoyed by children with their energetic scampering around. A big rocking horse, unusual sundial, even a shabby-chic bed can be seen when you first enter the grounds and situated near the gallery shop which, during the time we were here, made me gape in astonishment - it featured works which reminded me of the decor I find in the old Catholic churches back in my hometown - harking all the way back to the Spanish-colonial era. Small wonder as the artist was known to have a hand in restoring some churches in Bohol.
There's a smattering of mission-style buildings on the grounds - and its white outlines against the flowering shrubs and other art installations gives it a look which makes you think - surely you must be in another country?
The display of Philippine contemporary art, which encompasses Dr. Joven Cuanang's collection
and other for sale items will take some time to go over. If you breeze through it, you may not notice or appreciate just-around-the-corner whimsical exhibits. One room which startled me featured gentle murmuring voices of women - appropriately titled "Usapang Babae" (Women Talk) and not only was it amusing but the room was cool - a good respite from the heat which does plague the country during this time.
There was this room which made me think of a night spent in a zen-like bamboo grove in Japan - complete with water plopping daintily into water basins filled with round smooth pebbles. All very soothing and smelling of green leaves.
Aside from paintings and sculptures which make you pause, the architecture of the buildings housing the collection is delightful. You might see some bamboo on the ceilings, a wooden bench which totally belongs to the "art" theme and despite the huge space, wheelchair-bound visitors do not have to worry about the stairs from one room to another as there's a ramp.
There's also a cafe inside though it was closed during our visit. If you come here during weekends, this art museum would be probably more crowded...but aside from the visitor which might like to see art, its also now and then populated with those interested in having a prenup-photoshoot or even possibly a picnic.
I could wax ecstatic about this museum situated in the Silangan Gardens - even if I felt I didn't get to see all of it a s we were in a rush with other matters, I certainly would like to visit this again.
"Pinto" means door in Filipino.
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