Overlooking the time of departure on my flight to Manila, I thanked the habal-habal driver who helped me reached Mactan Cebu International Airport fifteen minutes before my estimated time of departure. If not for him, my goal of visiting Pinto Art Museum, as well as attending Pahiyas Festival, would still remain as a dream.
Hopping from one coffee shop to another in Kapitolyo, Pasig, I tried to catch up with some blogging on a Saturday morning. A friend and I agreed to meet at 3PM in SM Megamall where passenger vans are bound to Antipolo City, Rizal. The chaotic queue started our fight for comfort: buzzing sounds of vehicles in the passenger terminal, loud chats from other people on the line, and intense heat due to the absence of better air ventilation.
The expected short ride to Antipolo took us almost an hour because of the traffic issues upon entering Rizal province. It was already 4 in the afternoon when we reached Pinto Art Museum, in 1 Sierra Madre St, Grand Heights, Antipolo City.
Registration area where you need to settle the Php200 entrance fee is at the Museum Shop just next to the Pinto Art Gallery. Don’t forget to get a copy of the museum map to serve as your guide in exploring the 1.3-hectare museum. It was almost 5 PM so we started visiting the galleries right away. Situated few meters from the main entrance is a chapel. Don’t miss to check the sculpture inside the small religious place.
The Pinto Art Museum self-guided tour usually begins at Gallery 1. A large mural on the rightmost wall features a grid of square paintings while the adjacent wall has the same size of canvas bearing colorful episodes on a checkered milieu. Gallery 1 goes directly to the next hall that focuses on mixed media arts.
One of the items in the gallery that attracts visitor’s attention is the “Untitled” by Elmer Borlongan, a man built using resin with other parts of his body made of speakers, textile, and shoes. Ascending the gradually inclining staircase will allow you to marvel at other crafts made out of stoneware, wrought iron, X-ray, lightbox, epoxy resin, among others.
The evident material on the third gallery is steel wire. One of these wire arts is the man on the swing entitled as “Hollow Man” by Alab Pagarigan. The art, as per the documentation, depicts the ponderous meditation on the true meaning of “concrete” or “solid” reality. Two other wire arts in the gallery were made by Stephanie Lopez utilizing steel wires: Defiling a Dream, a unicorn-like figure, and Oblivious, man and a woman facing each other. There are also paintings on the walls that complement the white walls.
Going out of Gallery 3 and trailing another stair will lead you to the rooftop of Gallery 2. The deck provides a clear view of the lush surrounding around the museum/garden. A rung at the far end of the deck brings you to the doorway to the farthest structure in the museum, housing Galleries 4 to 6.
The famed “We are the kids that your parents warned you about” art is in Gallery 4. This item, with other comically and uncanny arts, completes the gallery. Next gallery is more of a break for museumgoers. The last segment shows an installation that replicates a living room with the couches having the words “Thank you for not sitting” and “Sit at your own risk”. When looking into detail, these statements were also anywhere on the couch cover is written in smaller fonts.
Going to the last gallery are two small rooms packed with paintings with some not suitable for children. You know what I mean and be ready to answer your kid’s queries if they go inside one of the rooms by mistake.
“Usapang Babae” installation by Steph Lopez somehow scared the hell out of me because of the mumbling voices that I can’t decipher. Imagine pasyon, the verse narrative about life and sufferings of Jesus usually being recited during Holy Weeks? It’s similar to that with the latter clearer than that of the installation.
Of all the paintings in Gallery 6, the black and white triptych of a triathlon by Ferdie Montemayor made my stay in the gallery longer. We also made fun of the “fallen” canvas in taking pictures in the gallery.
The last piece we’ve checked was the Forest by Antonio Leano. At first, we were scared to enter the room as it was totally dark and we pictured some zombies or other bloodcurdling staff would grab us. When a family successfully made inside without any screams, we followed. The installation is a dark room that encloses an indoor bamboo forest. The goal of the artist is to expose visitors to enjoy a multisensory experience. The guests are expected to navigate the dim room by touching the bamboo poles. The sound of dripping water and fragrance of dried leaves completes the elements.
When a staff surveyed the area for guests still in the last gallery, we were forced to get out of the area. Our indestructible aim to see more from the museum led us to the sculpture garden. A 3-story structure, 4 including the level where the bells are, perfectly stood out of the blue sky. We chanced blue hour and the view was really astounding.
I already heard Pinto Art Museum even when I was still working in Manila. And when I moved to Cebu for work, my eagerness to visit the much-talked-about museum in Rizal got more intense. What makes the visit noteworthy is that you don’t need an in-depth ability for you to enjoy the art pieces available. With the short visit, I regretted not spending a day in the museum as two hours were really limited in marveling the incredible art installation in the museum.
HOW TO GO TO PINTO ART MUSEUM
The route we’ve taken starts from SM Megamall Terminal where vans bound to Antipolo are available. Alight at Ynares Center and flag tricycles to Grand Heights Subdivision where the museum is located. For other routes and detailed guides of getting to Pinto Art Museum, check this post from Travel Up.
PINTO ART MUSEUM
Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision
Antipolo City, Rizal
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 AM to 6PM