Antipolo’s Art Oasis

img_7414-small

img_7397-small

PINTO ART MUSEUM

THERE IS A place in the craggy urban foothills of Antipolo, Rizal that I suggest you visit when you’re in Manila because it is a fertile spot for everything art.

The place is called Pinto Art Museum being managed by the El Refugio Arts & Sciences Foundation, Inc. at 1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Road, Antipolo.

img_7383

Antique cylinder phonograph.

26

Isn’t this little man just the cutest as a preternatural art piece?

HOW TO GET THERE

I was staying in Makati when I went there with a friend. So, from where I was, here’s what can help your direction problem. Apparently, this is the fastest route to the place even under usual traffic.

  • Get on Carlos P. Garcia Avenue/C-5 from Kalayaan Flyover and 32nd Street
    • Head northeast on Makati Avenue towards Pedestrian Lane
    • Turn right onto Paseo de Roxas
    • Turn right onto Buendia Avenue/Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue
    • Keep left to continue on Kalayaan Flyover
    • Continue onto 32nd Street
    • Keep left at the fork to continue toward Carlos P. Garcia Avenue/C-5
    • Keep left, follow signs for Pasig and merge onto Carlos P. Garcia Avenue/C-5
  • Follow C-5 and R-5 to Ortigas Avenue/Ortigas Avenue Extension in Taytay
    • Merge onto Carlos P. Garcia Avenue/C-5
    • Take the ramp to R-5
    • Continue onto R-5
    • Turn right onto Ortigas Ave/R-5
  • Proceed/continue on Ortigas Avenue Extension Drive to Sierra Madre in Antipolo
    • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Ortigas Avenue/Ortigas Avenue Extension
    • Turn right onto Grand Heights Road
    • Slight right onto Sierra Madre Street

img_7386

img_7427

WHAT’S THERE

Paintings are the most commonly displayed art objects inside the museum, but exploring its other galleries would also bring visitors to very interesting and uncanny two- or three-dimensional representatives, and other art works.

There are functional decorative arts (antique and modern collectable items); framed photos from years past; installation arts that can really transform a visitor’s perception of maybe any space where they can be presented; and a lot of prints that you can tell are original and not photographic duplication.

img_7410

img_7417

It’s not tiring to move from one gallery to the next since it is surrounded by pocket gardens. Shade trees that keep the sun off and make the environment cooler are also everywhere.

And if you’re really, really tired and you want to rest your feet, they have beds placed in inconspicuous spots in these small gardens. You can sit on them with your favorite afternoon cooler.

img_7425

86

In conversation.

84

One of the galleries I like the best has rooms that are particularly engrossing. The first room we entered holds about 6 or 8 miniature sculptures of women in conversation with soft music playing and female voices that actually talk in the background. Anyone entering should be making little or no noise so they don’t disturb them.

Be aware. There’s even a reminder for silence in this room.

73

The other room is “For Adults Only.” This room holds the nude visual arts that are not for those who would cringe at the sight of a woman’s bare body on top of a man on a canvass.

My friend and I didn’t speak with each other while inside this room. If there’s anything, I was having a conversation with myself as it reminded me about that one particular conversation I had with an artist a long time ago.

This guy, whose name I forgot, talked to me about Pierre-Auguste Renoir being his favorite artist, especially in the portrayal of feminine sensuality.

I look at a nude. There are myriads of tiny tints. I must find the ones that will make the flesh on my canvas live and quiver. – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

He said Renoir’s paintings, which explode with vibrant lights and intense colors, make really, really beautiful art out of intimate and straightforward compositions that normal human beings would not appreciate as many are dogmatic about nudity.

I didn’t grasp what he was telling me then because then, I wasn’t into art so much. I was young and naive about paintings and all that, I was only interested in reading novels.

But… why not nude art? It’s beautiful, anyway.

img_7446

img_7395

img_7434

The Pinto Art Museum simply behaves like a maniac where the expression of human creative skill and imagination is concerned.

OH, BY THE WAY… IT HAS A RESTAURANT

Yes, the museum has a restaurant that serves food to anyone hungry after going through the galleries. It is, for me, something all museums should have.

I’m not a big pizza eater, but the one we ordered with Vigan longaniza was an unforgettable taste. I can’t get over it. The garlicky and salty flavor of this prided longaniza, and the oil it packs after frying… all goodness in the mouth!

img_7407

Pizza with Vigan Longaniza

img_7406

A title like “Truffle Fries.”

So, whenever in Manila, think: the malls are not the only places to visit. Give them the cold shoulders for a while; Antipolo is nearby, head there, and visit Pinto Art Museum.

Advertisements

L Element Asian Fusion Cuisine

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.- B. Frankel

THERE’S A NEW dining place in Puerto Princesa that serves authentic Asian fusion cuisines, and it’s called L Element Bar & Seafood Restaurant owned by Manila businessman  Laurence Lau.

Laurence is a Filipino entrepreneur, whose mother is Malaysian. He was born in the Philippines, but grew up in Hong Kong. Yes, three countries that love to cook, and are food capitals in the world’s largest and most populous continent.

So, why not a restaurant that serves traditional dishes from these three countries, and maybe more like Vietnam and Taiwan.

IMG_7162

SEAFOOD TOFU SOUP

In this city, and I could probably say anywhere else in Palawan, there is simply nowhere to go when it comes to your favorite bona fide Asian fares. Most times, your Chinese stir-fried noodles is frustrating for the reason that the restaurant where you had it couldn’t cook it the way you wanted it cooked.

At L Element, you have to try the Taiwanese Beef Noodle with Barbecue Sauce because it is simply the best. The noodles are not mushy and oily, and the chef was generous enough not to scrimp on the beef meat as one of the main ingredients.

IMG_7176

BEEF IN BLACK PEPPER SAUCE

Another dish I enjoyed so much at L Element in the three times I had been there so far, is the Beef in Black Pepper Sauce. Three times there, three times ordered the same dish because the meat was tender, and the bite of the black pepper sauce on your palate is really habit-forming.

It’s beyond explanation why I love it.

IMG_7172

VIETNAMESE FRIED SPRING ROLL

Another best-loved Asian cuisine there is from Vietnam, the Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls that is pleasingly crispy outside and firm on the inside. One of the restaurants in Puerto Princesa that serves this really good is located in Sta. Lourdes.

So, it’s nice that when you don’t have a lot of time to travel far, there’s a place nearby that offers it on its menu.

IMG_7178

CRISPY & JUICE FRIED CHICKEN

The photos of the food I posted here are those I have already tried at L Element. If you get the chance to see its menu, you’ll find that there are more to choose from. I, myself, have to try the recipe the chef has for crabs as I am also very fond of crustaceans.

Next time!

However, the Beef in Black Pepper Sauce… I wouldn’t be raving about it if it’s not a dish that more than satisfied me.

If you’re planning to visit Puerto Princesa soon, and you’re looking for a place with Asian fusion cuisines that are flavorful and easy on the pocket, then don’t miss L Element Bar & Seafood Restaurant.

Baragatan sa Palawan 2014

My province recently celebrated its 112th Civil Government Anniversary through the annual convergence event “BARAGATAN.” In our local dialect, Baragatan means “convergence.”

Every year during the month of June, all 23 local government units (LGUs) journey to the capital Puerto Princesa City to participate in the festivities: the LGU Trade Fair for their “One Town, One Product” (OTOP); culture and arts presentation, such as the Saraotan sa Dalan (street dancing in the Cuyunon dialect), and many others to mention.

Among all activities, my favorite is the Saraotan sa Dalan or street dancing competition because participants wear colorful costumes and head gears, and the beat of the drums is just fantastic — totally different from the usual music we hear all the time.

Too bad I wasn’t able to get a photo of Wak-wak. Weird sounding name — it’s a sand worm — harvested by the locals, dried under the sun, and cooked (fried or ceviche) as food. I swear it’s good!

Here are some photos from the street dancing competition. Love the colors!

———————————————

For more photos (you may also like the page): https://www.facebook.com/PalawenyaPhotographybyTRFormoso

Gallery

People Are Beautiful…

People as photography subjects are really interesting, particularly if they give out unassuming expressions. Here’s another set of photos from my recent trip in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I also posted landscape and temple photos that are very beautiful.

I edited them in the way paintings would look on bare walls, and I super like the results 🙂

——————–

For more photos, please visit and like my page: https://www.facebook.com/PalawenyaPhotographybyTRFormoso

Tropical Breeze @ Puerto Princesa Underground River

Somebody hired me middle of this month to take photos for her of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the most popular tourism site in my city, for her Tropical Breeze Travel and Tours. I could not say no even if I was busy because she’s my friend, and I am addicted to the beauty of the place.

I’ve been to the PPUR countless times, and when it was held one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, I was naturally happy since that would mean more protection to the park where it is located at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan.

Here are some photos I wish to share 🙂

The PPUR always has that relaxing effect to a tired mind…

Grace Park Tourist Inn

There’s a tourist inn that opened just recently in my city — Puerto Princesa — and its name defines it as charming and elegant in a simple, colorful kind of way. GRACE PARK along Gabinite Road (near the airport) is owned and managed by a Korean couple, who works as missionaries.

Lush Acacia trees that abound in the Bancao-Bancao area surround Grace Park, Puerto Princesa’s newest tourist inn for the discerning budget traveler. 

The main building with the pool in front.