On top of the hills of Antipolo lies Pinto Art Museum, an expansive private villa that houses a wide array of art pieces: paintings, sculptures, installations, motion pictures, mixed media, etc.
Situated on a 1.3-hectare property along Sierra Madre Street in Grand Heights, the beautiful gardens and hushed interiors of the Santorini-inspired site provide perfect solace from Metro Manila's oppressive heat. The place also offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of city life, and a chance to get better acquainted with the works of Philippine contemporary artists, based on the collection of Dr. Joven Cuanang. More often than not, artworks for sale go straight from artists to collectors, and largely disappear from public view. The doctor feels, however, that certain pieces deserve a wider audience.
"All the artworks that I've bought through the years I never resold anything," he told the Philippine Star in 2012. I am basically an educator, so I told myself this is the way I would be able to contribute to (the preservation of) our culture."
Dr. Cuanang added, "What I want is for young people to develop a culture of museum-going. (When we were selecting pieces for the museum,) I didn’t include anymore the works of the established artists, the masters. Para naman may exposure 'yung younger artists. Their works are worthy to be exhibited in the first place."
Pinto Art Museum offers a vast space for visitors to roam around. Upon entering its doors, you will be enthralled by its white stucco walls and a small church bell that functions as a doorbell atop an archway. And, everywhere you look, there seem to be corridors and paths waiting to reveal more hidden treasures.
You need at least an hour or so to see the whole place, and, should you get hungry, fret not! There are two cafes at Pinto which serve a wide range of dishes including pizza, pasta, main courses and desserts.
[Photography by lotbejerano]