THE ART ATTACK

by - 11:54 PM


ANGONO, RIZAL, PHILIPPINES - Hailed as the Art Capital of the Philippines, this small town located 30 kilometers east of Manila is a haven for discovering the rich culture and the arts of the Filipino people.  

This is the hometown of two of our great National Artists, namely:  Lucio San Pedro for music and Carlos "Botong" Francisco for the arts.  On this trip, I am fortunate enough to have personally met Nemesio "Nemi" Miranda Jr., popularly known as "Nemiranda", a renowned sculptor and painter and a National Artist known for his outstanding works all over the Philippines.  Among which is the bas-relief at the Edsa Shrine.

It was one lazy Sunday afternoon, when my wandering self made me decide to go with my friend who needs to visit her relatives in Angono.  It was past 4PM and without hesitation, I decided to go, without any expectations and planned itineraries.  Just for the cause of wandering

With only a few hours to spare, I've discovered a lot of things in this journey.  And these are...

 DONA AURORA STREET

The town being the home of two of the great National Artists, a street is dedicated to them where bas reliefs reproductions and murals are carved on the gates of the residences aligned.  The popular works of the said artists are lined up from one gate to another, serving as a reminder that we should take pride of being Filipinos.










As I Wander


Wandering at Dona Aurora Street of Angono, Rizal can be quite educational and fun at the same time.  An appreciation of our own culture is the theme of the said murals that align on the said street.  

Carlos "Botong' Francisco and Lucio San Pedro forever remained in the hearts of the townsfolk.  Their works have definitely transcend various generations.  And it was interesting to know that a tribute to them is made through this "Art Gallery on the Streets".









It is said that the name of the town was derived from a creature living underneath the soil.  With superstition being part of the Filipino culture, most believe that this nuno (old man in the ancestry) protected and guided the towns folk in their daily lives.  However, this is with the caution that no one should destroy or harm their punso (soil house), otherwise, a tragedy will be caused on the life of the person who destroyed it.  Thus, legend has it that Angono came from the words Ang Nuno.

There are sculptures of the nuno visible in Barangay Poblacion, which serves as its stone markers.  These markers are displayed at Dona Aurora Street and their barangay hall as well.




Since it was getting dark, we need to involuntarily end the street wandering and visit the art galleries and restaurants, which Angono is likewise known for.

HOME OF VARIOUS MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES

The artistic sense of anyone who hails from Angono must have been inherent.  Even children at a very young age are already molded to become artists.

entrance of the Blanco Family Museum
From this creative and artistic town, I have noted two distinct family of artists, that of the Blanco's and the Miranda's.  While walking down the streets of Angono, we were able to drop by the Blanco Museum, which unfortunately was already closed and across which is a school named also under their family name.

The museum was started by the patriarch of the Blanco Family, Jose "Pitok" Blanco, one of the renowned artists of the country.  All his children likewise contributed in the setting up of the gallery, where it showcases the fine arts and paintings of all his children.  Unfortunate for us that we were not able to see it.  We were just under the consolation that at least we learned that the works of one of the great Filipino artists are displayed here and is open for public viewing.

with Mr. Nemesio Miranda Jr.
Next stop is the Nemiranda Art House and Gallery. I was fortunate this time for being able to personally meet the man behind the bas reliefs at the Edsa Shrine, Mr. Nemesio Miranda Jr.  No words can explain how intricate and excellent his works of art are.  Thus, I just took photos of the gallery and present it here for your viewing purposes.  











The art gallery showcases the works not only of Mr. Nemiranda but also that of his equally talented and creative children.  Since this is their ancestral house as well, you could expect them to be wandering within the vicinity at some time.  One of Mr. Nemiranda's children won international awards for poster making contests at such a young age.  Truly, a mark that artistry runs in the blood. 





I was guided by one of the waiting staff of their restaurant adjunct to the art gallery while making the tour and I've learned how historically important some of his works were.  The gallery has three floors, with each floor showcasing varied themes.  I see paintings everywhere.  All are remarkable and distinct from one another, with varied styles and concepts and message to impart to its viewers.  The last floor are all nude paintings.





I was told that some paintings displayed were not for sale, but you can commission them in case you want a painting of your own.  How much?  I bet it would be expensive.




CAFE'S AND RESTAURANTS

After the wandering, then it's time to dine out and try the local cuisine. Adjunct to the Nemiranda Art House is the cafe owned by the family as well.  The cafe known as Atelier Cafe and Restaurant celebrated its one year anniversary last April 8, 2013.  

The interiors were well-decorated and keeping with the concept of fine artistry.  In fact, even the comfort rooms are artistically constructed with sculptures displayed. 

















fried itik (duck)




On our way to the Nemiranda Arthouse, we passed by one of the restaurants where Angono Rizal is likewise known for, that is, the Balaw Balaw Restaurant.  This restaurant also houses various works of art and is known for serving exotic foods, such as the snake, crocodile and the likes.  But due to time constraints, we were not able to try it.

Travel Date: April 7, 2013

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7 comments

  1. Nakapunta ako rito during college days pa and I've been meaning to come back again and see this place again.

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    1. hi! your lucky to have known this town earlier. hehe ako ngayon ko lang nadiscover na my art capital pala ang pilipinas. hehe anyway, thanks for dropping by!

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  2. how i wish i can return to angono soon. i can barely remember the art-oriented sites i went to as a child coz they were part of my art group's field trips. it's nice to see that some sites there have cafes.

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    1. try to go back po. baka madami na nagbago from the last time you visited. hehe

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  3. Wow, sulit ang Angono trip nyo ah. Magkaka dikit lang ba yung mga galleries? Oo kelangan may dala talagang sasakyan going herE?

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    1. no need po magdala ng sasakyan. isang street lang ang balaw balaw at atelier cafe. hehe walking distance lahat. pwede fx or jeep lang papuntang angono if coming from manila either cubao or pasig. thanks for dropping by!

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  4. I've met Nemi on a couple of occasions. He is so down to earth. He even did some famous landmark sculptures here in Leyte like the Boy Scout Monument in McArthur Park and the Crucifixion on top of Madonna of Japan. ---www.sky-clad.blogspot.com

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