Rizaleños are no strangers to the local and international art scene. Home to their stunning masterpieces is the museum, kept in a secret garden hidden behind the hills and mountains of Antipolo City.
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. Thanks for the one who invented Waze we easily find the place.
Though I don’t have a talent for arts, I can say, I do have a huge interest and appreciation for it. I’ve eagerly wanted to visit an art museum located in Antipolo City after hearing raving reviews about the place from the blog community and friends. The museum is named as Pinto Art Museum (PAM). However, due to my piled up personal commitments, plans of going there has always been put aside and on-hold. But yesterday, as the sun settled high on the blue skies, me and my bestfriend decided to visit this famous art museum.
Pinto Art Museum is just a 30-minute drive from where I live, yet it feels worlds away. It is a space in Antipolo City that houses present day arts worked by different local artists. If you’re wondering where does its name comes from, well, Pinto means door in Filipino, and the museum aims to be a gateway for modern and contemporary art. This beautiful contemporary art space sits on a 1.3 hectare property also known as Silangan Gardens located inside a private subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal. Several art galleries can be found in the open-air Mediterranean-inspired villas, shrouded by well-manicured gardens and landscaped greens.
A set of statues made alternatively of stone and nature friendly gardens. In the middle of the green lawn was an antique four poster bed laid out with crisp white sheets. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be doorways and paths waiting to reveal more hidden treasures.
As I set my feet on the entrance of Pinto Art Museum and looked at it from the outside, I would never have thought that the other side of their small door is a 1.3 hectare property which cages over 300 art pieces, installations and sculptures. The simplicity of their entrance is far way beyond of what’s inside.
After the warm welcome, we are directed to the registration area and paid 180 pesos each for the entrance fee for regular ticket, 100 pesos for for children and students with proper school IDs, FREE for children below 3 years old and 150 for senior citizens and PWD with valid IDs. Then the lady in the registration gave us 2 pieces of papers which is a map. So our exploration to Pinto Art Museum began.
Me and my bestfriend were so excited as we tour the place. Take note, we were still near the entrance yet we can’t stop to fall in love with the place. Aside from the massive collection of paintings and sculptures, Pinto Art Museum is also a huge garden with lots of art pieces placed perfectly around it. I was blown away with the ambiance and the architectural structure of PAM. Every detail of this place were well thought — the white museum wings, the antique doors and windows, the chapel, its pond, even the rooftops… I mean all of them!
Walking around Pinto Art Museum is a visual a treat. With aged doorways, windows, and quirky art pieces, every turn of the corner reveals something interesting. No wonder the place is popular with pre-nuptial sessions and pictorials, everything here is so picturesque.
Although I have seen Pinto Art Museum on different blog niches, seeing it in personal still makes me go WOW. It is a haven for photography. Every corner of this place is shutter click worthy. There are countless photographic opportunities waiting at every angle to satisfy any shutterbug’s cravings. Even if you’re just armed with a cellphone camera, you’d be hard-pressed to take a bad photo in this place. It’s that photogenic.
As we walked behind a quaint chapel, we came across a garden dedicated to the love of Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera. There was a spoken word piece being played which told the love story and failed engagement between our national hero and his erstwhile fiancee. In keeping with the theme, the small garden also contained a garden with a desk containing letters labelled “The Undelivered Project” next to stationary and pens. A handwritten guide instructed people to empty their thoughts and write anonymous letters to the ones whom they had loved and lost. I was curious to read all the letters of heartbreak and unrequited love that lay unopened in the drawers.
Paintings are located into different wings. Each wing is interesting and has an entertaining room.
Gallery 1 seems to be devoted to more traditional art pieces with paintings depicting idyllic scenes from daily life in the Philippines. Gallery 2 had more experimental mixed media pieces with some installations. Gallery 3 had some really interesting wire sculptures. Galleries 4 and 5 seemed to contain modern and abstract art pieces that I won’t pretend to understand. I’m not really an art critic, but I think most people can appreciate the interesting art pieces here.
One thing I really appreciate about Pinto Art Museum is that it manages to make the artwork and all the structures cohesive with the environment. Unlike formal museums which preserve art pieces in controlled air-conditioned rooms, all the buildings here are open-air structures, which keeps everything natural.
It was refreshing to see art pieces not only hanging in the walls, but integrated in the seating areas and gardens as art installations. I also appreciate the fact that photography for personal use is allowed here unlike some other museums.
Located in the lower gardens is The Museum of Indigenous Art, showcases the richness of the Filipino culture. It contains functional and ritual objects, textiles, jewelry and other beautiful indigenous artwork.
WHERE TO EAT:
There are two areas to eat inside Pinto Art Museum. Pinto Cafe in the garden area and Cafe Tan-aw by Peppermill, a roof deck area near the entrance. The restaurant serves a wide range of dishes including soup, salad, appetizers, Japanese cuisine, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, main courses and desserts. The food is good, but a bit pricey.
We stayed at Pinto Art Museum for more than 3 hours and I didn’t feel bored during our stay. Pinto Art Museum is a definite must-see tourist spot that’s not that far from the metro. If you have balikbayan friends or relatives visiting who only have limited time to tour around Manila, I’d rank this as one of the top places you can take them to. Allot around 3-5 hours to visit all the galleries and take photographs around the place. It actually makes me proud to see all the works in this place were made by my fellow Kababayan. I salute every artist who put and shared their talents and build this site! I can say that museum hopping is fun in Antipolo, Rizal! Hopefully more site like this will be established in the Philippines.
TIPS AND INFOS:
- Pinto Art Museum is located inside Grand Heights, a private subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal. We find it easier to get here from Ortigas Avenue Extension to avoid the traffic congestion of Sumulong Highway and Antipolo town proper.
- Pinto Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Pinto Art Museum is CLOSED on MONDAYS.
- According to their Facebook page, they are open during holidays (as long as it’s not a Monday.)
- There’s an entrance fee of P20 for road users for non-residents of Grand Heights. You can park your vehicles on the street right across the museum.
- Guided Tour Schedule: 09:00 am – 11:00 am; 12:00 nn – 02:00 pm; 02:00 pm – 04:00 pm; 04:30 pm – 06:00 pm
- No food or pets are allowed. Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the museum.
Don’t the paintings, sculptures, and other artwork make you want to go there this instant? You’ll definitely get lost in the art and your surroundings. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind, and step away from what you’re used to in the city.
For more infos about museum tour and pre-nups packages you can visit their Facebook page.