Rizal Province: Silangan Gardens’ Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City
Rizaleños are no strangers to the local and international art scene. In fact, Rizal Province, has been a breeding ground for famous artist like Angono‘s Nemi Miranda, a.k.a “Nemiranda”, and Pitok Blanco and the Blanco family, multiple Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature Ligaya “Ma’am Gaying” Tiamson-Rubin, who is also from Angono, and Morong’s Rafael “Paeng” Pacheco, the “Father of Finger and Palm Painting in the Philippines.” Today, a new generation of artists emerges not only from Antipolo but from different corners of the archipelago. Home to their stunning masterpieces is the museum, kept in a secret garden hidden behind the hills and mountains of Antipolo City, called Pinto Art Museum.
Entrance to Pinto Art Musem.
Finding Pinto Art Museum might pose a challenge at first as the institution was built astray from main roads and highways, but in a quiet hillside subdivision instead. Luckily, my very good friend, Maiya Balboa, an aspiring artist hailing from the beautiful city of Antipolo, willingly accompanied me in this visit. The soft spoken painter, who is a tattoo artist as well, is quite familiar to the gallery as her stunning masterpieces had also been exhibited at Pinto Art Museum. (Click to see a photo of me surrounded by her paintings)
Garden in Pinto Art Museum
Maiya and I at Pinto Art Museum.
Silangan Gardens is a one-hectare land which is home to Silangan Foundation for Arts, Culture, and Ecology, a non-profit organization dedicated to, as the name suggests, the Philippine arts and culture. And as promising and established local artist arise, the foundation took part by providing a roof for the Filipino’s unparalleled ingenuity on the field of the arts. Thus, opening its doors to a diverse range of masterpieces was the Pinto Art Museum (PAM).
Pinto Art Museum’s garden in front of the new wing.
Leading the foundation is the highly-accomplished neurologist Dr. Joven Cuanang, whose devotion for the cause deeply rooted from his inclination to the Filipino’s artistic prowess. Since 1986, Dr. Cuanang has accumulated quite a number of artworks for his personal collection. With Pinto Art Museum, he could now share the beauty and power of his priceless possessions to artists, art enthusiasts, and art collectors. The art space, since then, has been a venue for local and international art exhibitions.
Dining area with exquisite interior design.
Frames, doors, paintings, paintbrushes.
Mediterranean-inspired living room.
Our Pinto Art Museum tour began at Gallery Shoppe, the first exhibition space, which features bizarre gift ideas ranging from finely made ceramics, pottery, glass, metal, or wood. Other items for sale include weaving products, books, cards, and more decorative ornaments. Exquisite paintings by contemporary Filipino artist could also be purchased in this section of PAM. The rustic interior design of Gallery Shoppe is also a notable feature.
Works by Mark Justiniani, where he used discarded unprimed door panels called“bandehas” for canvas
“Twilight” by Jim Orencio.
“Alibangbang” by Jim Orencio.
Art pieces on the next section were from Dr. Cuanang’s personal collection which features astonishing works of PAM’s award-winning ‘in-house artists, Jim Orencio, and Antonio Leaño. Part of this interesting collection were masterpieces by Mark Justiniani, wherein he used worn out wooden door panels for canvas. These “bandehas”, as locally called, have an embossed flat surface which he used as the main canvas, framed by carved border. Justiniani’s resourcefulness broke the rules of traditional painting which led to a unique creation – a masterpiece of its own.
A huge and spacious downward hall showcasing impressive artworks of various local artists featuring paintings, metal works, wooden sculptures, and mixed media. No one could miss the monumental 480-inch long, and 144-inch wide mural entitled “Karnabal” which is a collaborative piece by an artist group called Salingpusa.
Pinto Art Museum’s spacious gallery.
Wooden sculpture of a person (I wasn’t able to get the name)
“U-TURN” by Antonio Leaño
A metallic representation of a man and his heart (Again, I wasn’t able to get the name).
PAM’s new wing is the latest installation in Silangan Gardens. Displayed in this gallery were also brilliant contemporary and traditional paintings but the most captivating piece for me was multi-decorated artist Ferdie Montemayor‘s “Panalo”, a series of three 4.5′ by 35’ paintings depicting apparitional forms of swimming, biking and running.
This sinking church is an eye-catching centerpiece at the gallery.
“Panalo (swim, bike, run)” by Ferdie Montemayor
“I wonder what went wrong for her to be covered with Cheese” is among my favorite pieces in the museum
The new wing of Pinto Art Museum
Another stunning highlight in Pinto Art Museum was the structure’s design inspired by Spanish and Mediterranean architecture. Museum director, museum designer, and artist Antonio Leaño consistently integrated his attachment to earthly elements by using high ceilings and strategically placed windows and openings. This technique provides cool ventilation and sufficient lighting inside the galleries, thus, less electricity is required. Gigantic rocks found during the building process were left untouched, and eventually became a natural adornment to the interior design. Above all and in my own personal opinion, the most important feature of gallery was the wide open space. The mind roams freely as the viewer looks at every piece – it gives the audience a lot of room to think.
High ceilings for good ventilation.
Huge stones for a natural interior decoration.
Don’t miss the beautiful sunset seen from Pinto Art Museum.
We thought we were done with the museum tour until the museum curator stopped us and asked if we saw the “room”. Mystery seemed to shroud word, “room” which scratch the curiosity out of us. He led us into this section at the new wing. My jaw dropped and felt goosebumps right then and there. Green lights dimly illuminated the dark labyrinth of bamboos with dried leaves barely scattered on the floor. Large boulders which seemingly float in the air dripped tiny droplets to a pebble-filled well. This bamboo forest was the brainchild of Antonio Leaño. I don’t know what else to say or how to describe the feeling.
Bamboo forest by Antonio Leaño
Facade of Pinto Art Museum’s new wing.
As much as I would like to interpret or explain the unique artworks I’ve witnessed at Pinto Art Museum, I am no art specialist but just a regular person who appreciates visual portrayals of the mind and soul crafted through different mediums. There’s simply an unexplainable connection that instantly binds or attaches the viewer to a certain piece. No words could explain the artwork but it stimulates an unusual feeling which makes hearts skip a beat. Just keep our minds and souls open, and “something” goes into you.
Bottom painting is Antonio Leaño’s “Republic of the Philippines”.
Yes, not all well-known artist are Rizaleño’s but I am certainly proud to live in a province which embraces and values the importance of traditional or modern art forms. It must have been Rizal Province’s picturesque landscapes, the rich culture or timeless traditions that have inspired many homegrown talents, more so, it’s the burning passion that lie in the hearts which gives them the drive to explore hidden talents and share it to the world.
Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:
1. Pinto Art Museum is located at the Silangan Gardens, #1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights, Antipolo City.
2. If you’re commuting to Pinto Art Museum, take a jeepney bound for Antipolo (look for jeepney signages such as Antipolo-Simbahan-Junction, or Antipolo-Shopwise), Tanay (Tanay-Antipolo), or Teresa, and get off at Ynares Center. Take a tricycle from there to take you to Pinto Art Museum.
3. If you’re driving to Pinto Art Museum, take Ortigas Extension, passing by Cainta-Junction, then Tikling (take the uphill road bound for Antipolo). When you reach Ynares Center, take a right to a hill, and follow the road to Grand Heights.
4. Museum entrance fee cost:
P150.00 for adults
P100.00 for students
20% discount for senior citizens.
5. Pinto Art Museum’s business hours:
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM from Tuesdays to Sundays
Closed on Mondays.
6. Contact numbers for Pinto Art Museum. Look for Jim Orencio (Museum Manager)
Tel. No.: (632) 703 44 53
Mobile.: (0917) 608 67 54
7. Strictly OBSERVE museum rules.
8. Children are encouraged to visit Pinto Art Museum provided that they should be accompanied by an adult inside the premises at all times.
9. Take time to look at the art pieces. Don’t rush. (I was there from 1:00PM ’til closing but I should have visited a bit earlier)
10.If you’re familiar with the titles and artist of artworks posted in this blog, please let me know, and I’d be glad to edit it.
11. Thank you Maiya for accompanying me on this ultimate art experience.
12. More Quezon Province destinations in Biyaheng Quezon
13. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
14. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter