Admiring Angono, Through Its Arts & Heritage
Angono is a first class urban municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines which is located 30 kilometers east of Manila. The town is known to be the “Arts Capital of the Philippines” because it is home to many of the country’s greatest artists. Since grade school, I really admire those people with skills on drawing, painting and other form of arts. I’m frustrated when it comes to arts because I can’t even draw a good face. Up until now, the most decent one that I could draw is the classic one which all the preschoolers draw which is a house, with a field and tree on the side, mountains at the back and the sun and clouds at the top. See, that’s the most creative I can go when it comes to arts.
I envy those people with great talent in arts. I know one must have the passion to be good at it.
Each work of arts come with the imagination and skills. These crafts come from creative thinking, imagination and ability. And I believe that’s what art is, expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.
Our photowalk in Angono showed us that the town is home to different arts. It was good that I didn’t hesitate in joining my fellow travel bloggers and a group of photographers (The Galing Photographers or TGP) in capturing the heritage of this town.
The meet up is at the town plaza of Angono which is 1 to 2 hours away from SM Megamall. We rode a passenger’s fx / van to get to the area, with Php45.00 fare each. When we arrived at the meet up place, we then paid a minimal amount for our snacks, lunch and ID. Perfect, I’m now part of the group of photographers! 😀
During the 23rd of November, the town celebrates Higantes Festival in honor of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen.
His image is carried by male devotees during a procession accompanied by “pahadores” (devotees dressed in colorful local costumes or fishermen’s clothes, wearing wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles, fish nets, traps, etc.) and “higantes” (paper-mâché giants measuring 10-12 feet in height and 4-5 feet in diameter). This street event ends in a procession to Laguna de Bay until the image is brought back to its sanctuary. – en.wikipilipinas.org
We started our photowalk at around 7:30 AM. We begun at YAB Design which is just a few kilometers away from the plaza. We rode a jeepney to get to the area with PHP 8.00 fare. If you would like to stick in the photowalk idea then you can walk for about 20 minutes to get to the place.
The company has been founded in 1990. They produce hand-made decorations and specialize in life-size and bigger-than-life figurines of all sorts. They also design and manufacture special models upon request.
Their entire collection of products is on display in their showroom. Picture taking isn’t allowed but since the organizers took care of the permit to shoot on this area we were allowed to take pictures of their collections.
Here are some of the collections that can be seen inside the showroom.
What fascinated me among the collections are these masks (maskara).
It felt like their emotions are alive. Now that sounds creepy.
I took a lot of images from the showroom but this entry wouldn’t be enough to show all of them. I’m telling you, the numerous collections is overwhelming but indeed those work of arts are really impressive.
After an hour or so, we left the area and moved on to our next stop.
Nemiranda Arthouse and Gallery
We went back to the town plaza and there we rode a tricycle to get to Nemiranda Gallery.
The gallery was made by the famous artist Nemesio B. Miranda or most commonly known as Nemiranda. He is recognized for introducing “Imaginative Figurism” in art.
The gallery has also been known as “The House of Myths and Legends”. It is said that his arts were made through capturing scenes potraying Angono’s mystic charm.
The gallery has its own cafe wherein you can dine in, so to experience eating surrounded by spectacular art works.
We entered the gallery and checked out the paintings. There’s an entrance fee of Php 40.00 each. You can ask a lecturer to get on a tour with you for Php 50.00 and Php 75.00 if you would like your tour with demo.
On this gallery, I realized that the masks being used during the Moriones Festival in Mindoro are from here in Angono. Different Moriones’ masks and faces were visible on each spots we go to.
Something that you’ll recognize when you go to this place…
We then had our snack which our leaders bought for us. After a few minutes, we then moved to our next stop, Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery.
Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery
The place is mostly known as a restaurant serving authentic Filipino cuisines, cooked in the traditional way and exotic food. But we didn’t go there to try those. We went to the area to check out their art gallery.
The gallery houses number of paintings.
It wasn’t that big compared to the first two galleries that we’ve been to but this area is still worth checking out. What differentiates this places to others is it has various masks hung in the restaurant wherein these masks are signed by their visitors.
Afterwards, we went to Angono Forest Park and there we ate our packed lunch.
Botong Francisco Museum & Street Murals
At around 1:00 PM, we left the area and went to another museum, Botong Francisco Museum.
Botong (Carlos Modesto Villaluz Francisco) was one of the greatest Filipino visual artists and muralists. He was a most distinguished practitioner of mural painting for many decades and best known for his historical pieces. His great works include Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, The Martyrdom of Rizal, Bayanihan, Magpupukot, Fiesta, Bayanihan sa Bukid, Sandugo, Portrait of Purita, The Invasion of Limahong, Serenade, and Muslim Betrothal.
Botong Francisco was given the highest recognition, the title National Artist of the Philippines – Visual Arts posthumously in 1973. – en.wikipedia.org
Located at Poblacion Itaas Street, a house was built in memory of the National Artist, Botong Francisco. There you can see some of his artworks.
When you stroll along the street you’ll see some of his and Lucio D. San Pedro’s works placed in every house’s fences.
Parokya ni San Clemente
We walked along the street until we reached the San Clemente Church. Pope Clement I, locally known as San Clemente, is the patron saint of this town. A feast in his honor is celebrated annually in Angono, a feast named as Higantes Festival.
Blanco Family Museum
Just few walks away from the church, we reached another museum, Blanco Museum.
The museum houses the artworks of all the members of the Blanco family. These arts were started by a prominent artist Jose Blanco which was then followed by his seven children.
What amazing about their paintings is the usual subjects are faces of real people, their own, their siblings, parents and people in the town. The paintings are most often represents life outside. These paintings are done in a colorful and meticulous manner.
There’s an admission fee of Php 70.00 for adult and Php 50.00 for child to get in to the gallery.
Sunset at Lake Side Park (Wawa)
Capturing the arts and heritage is definitely one of the most interesting activity to do in Angono but a tour on this town wouldn’t be complete without getting to the Lake Side Park or locally known as Wawa and see the sun as it set into the horizon.
Here you’ll see a silhouette of the Metro Manila buildings and skyscrapers. Seeing those things will make you feel that you are like one of those characters in Pinoy movies wherein you chase for your dreams, look out for a nice job to help your family. Emo mode, in short.
But what’s really profound about the place are the people who were just there in the park wandering around, kids playing around, friends having fun chit-chats. Those people that look into their life as fun and simple.
And here where the photographers are…
…waiting for this magnificent sunset.
Definitely, one the most stunning sunset I’ve ever seen. It was a calm and peaceful seen to behold. What an impressive view to catch from this park in Angono.
Quezon Avenue, Barrio San Isidro
Nemiranda Arthouse and Gallery Cafe
10 Doña Elena Street, Doña Justa Phase I Subdivision
Barangay San Roque, Angono, Rizal
Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery
16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Manila East Highway
Botong Francisco Museum and Street Murals
Poblacion Itaas Street
Blanco Family Museum
312 Ibañez St.