Antipolo is a city in the Philippines in the province of Rizal; about 25 kilometers East of Manila. It is the largest city in the CALABARZON Region. The name Antipolo was derived from the tipolo (breadfruit) tree (Artocarpus incisa), which was in abundance in the area.
Antipolo City is also known as the “Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines.” Here lies Antipolo Cathedral which is popular among Filipino Catholics especially those who trek going to its shrine on the eve of Good Friday during Holy Week. And this time around, being it a Maundy Thursday, many have started their pilgrimage to Antipolo City.
I always wanted to go and visit this place, not because I haven’t been there. In fact, I have journeyed nth times already in the different parts of Antipolo and of course to Antipolo Cathedral. I just can’t explain the reason. It’s mystical. Like there are forces that want me to go there but due to busy schedules, I ended up not going. Oh, a visit to Antipolo will not be complete without a kasoy (cashew nuts) and suman (sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves) on your way back.
Fortunately, I was invited to join a ‘weekend discoveries‘ event of sort, which was a surprise what destination we were going, and there I was. Unplanned and unscheduled trip to Antipolo found my way.
Antipolo City is very near, especially if you’re coming from Pasig or Cubao. There are jeepneys and vans that travels all the way from the low land Metro Manila to the hills and highlands of the mountainous Antipolo.
The morning travel started around 10 am and we reached Antipolo City around 11 am. I met a new friend, Joanne, whom I thought was a member of the International hip-hop dance group Philippine All Stars because of her athletic and suave curves. Well, I wasn’t mistaken that she’s into such physical activities when she told me that she is a Yoga and boxing instructor. Whoa! That made me step back after hearing her said that.
Kidding aside, Joanne is such a nice person and she’s not just gorgeous, she has a cute smile too. She acted as our group’s tour guide while directing games on the side.
Our first stop was Crescent Moon Café. Crescent Moon Café is a restaurant combine with a school for pottery arts making. We’ve met the owner Lanella Abueva-Fernando, who showed us around. There’s a fishpond with lots of huge kois; lots of trees; frog pond; main dining area; pottery barn; and the pottery art making workplace.
Mrs. Lanella also showed us how to make pottery. She told us that one need a good concentration to feel the balance while doing pottery.
Some of our companion were lucky to have tried getting their hands gooeyed by the clay. It reminded me my childhood years. I used to help an uncle work on some plates and jars of clay in our backyard.
Just a bit of a background. Crescent Moon Café was built in 1997 when the late Bey Fernando, Lanella’s better-half, was undergoing a dialysis. He and Lanella worked together to turn their family rest house into what is now the Crescent Moon Café.
So, we left Crescent Moon Café and proceeded at Pinto Art Gallery just before lunch time.
Pinto Art Gallery is a modern and contemporary art space built to house contemporary artists’ artworks and designs. originally built for storage of art collections in 2001 and later developed by Antonio Leano, another artist, to serve as a venue for exchanging exhibitions for modern and contemporary art. Inside, we were guided by the museum’s curator and resident artist, Andy Orencio. Pinto Art Gallery is owned by an art enthusiasts and collector, Dr. Joven Cuanang.
Officially opened to the public only two years ago, according to Andy, countless numbers of artists have already contributed to this gallery. Every now and then, aside from the old and contemporary artworks, the gallery is into acquisition of new works from young artists. We saw several art works from the likes of Ronald Ventura, Guy Custodio, Plet Bolipata, Emmanuel Garibay, Anthony Palomo, and many other artists, as well.
The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 am to 6 pm. Entrance varies from Php 150 (regular), Php 75 (students), and Php 80 (senior citizens).
Pinto Art Gallery address is Silangan Gardens, 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo City.
Here are some of art works we captured inside the museum:
Lunch was a treat at Bizu, the main restaurant inside Pinto Art Gallery. And I had the best seat in the house because I was between two lovely ladies, Joanne and TV host, Bianca Gonzalez. Wow! Amazing! Aint that cool?
Bianca who’s also a blogger, shared how she started way back in 2003 and she writes anything. She also writes for a broadsheet; she’s a product endorser; a host; and a celebrity. Incidentally, the weekend discoveries was part of a new campaign by NESCAFÉ where they introduced the NESCAFÉ-in-a-can with Bianca as the Brand Ambassador. The purpose of this campaign is to bring the product closer to people who loves adventure, spontaneous traveling, and those who are searching for new discoveries.
I had a good conversation with the ladies. Bianca told me she’s a coffee person. She said to me that sometimes she drinks more than just one cup of coffee especially when she’s writing an article or story. Though, she still needs to find time to blog with all the busy schedules and appearances she have. She also loves to travel.
As with Joanne, she regularly trains student and manages to find time do personal work-out. When not inside the gym, she is a sports host for a TV program.
Here are more photos from Pinto Art Gallery:
That’s it. I’ll visit Antipolo City sometime soon and I don’t mind going back there. Oh, ny the way, it’s my first time to visit Crescent Moon Café and Pinto Art Gallery.
- Weekend discoveries become more exciting with NESCAFÉ-in-a-can (juanmanilaexpress.wordpress.com)
- The Pinto Art Museum (mytropicalhome.wordpress.com)