Art-ventures in Angono, Rizal

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

celineism

This is the third installment of the Spread The Impact series – a collection of travel narratives and guides to less-traveled places in the Philippines, with the aim to spread human impact to the environment as well as uplift the lives of communities through tourism.

------

In a province where Adventure is king, it’s easy for a town like Angono to be overlooked. Unlike a couple of its neighboring towns, this first class urban municipality possesses no mountains to scale or waterfalls to chase. The experience Angono puts forward does not adhere to the modern definition of adventure.

Its strength lies not on its topography, but on its culture. Here, artists far outnumber outdoorsmen. While Tanay’s streets double as hiking trails, Angono’s thoroughfares are practically art galleries, its 10 baranggays each an homage to an enduring culture of creativity.

Angono’s assured sense of self is deeply rooted. The town’s name, ingrained with imagination, evolved from “Ang Nuno” – nuno referring to a creature from Filipino folklore. According to Angono’s early inhabitants, the mythological figure – often described as an old man, with a long gray beard, carrying a walking stick and sporting a salakot – dwells in a punso (a mound of earth, sort of like an anthill) somewhere in the folds of the once Spanish fishing pueblo. Sightings of the nuno were frequent during those days, thus the town’s name.
history of angono
Ang Nuno
In 1938, from being a mere barrio of neighboring Binangonan and Taytay, the country’s art capital was proclaimed by then-president Manuel Quezon as an independent municipality.  Now, despite having a population of over 100,000, a major mall and a host of modern comforts, Angono’s commitment to its identity remains persistent, if not more. It continues to nurture generations of artistic talents, celebrating creative feats, and wholeheartedly presenting its personal brand of adventure to the world

THINGS TO DO

Learn About the Country’s Oldest Artwork
A trip to the art capital is best began with a visit to the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs – the oldest known work of art in the Philippines, with engravings dating back to about 12,000 years ago, to the late Neolithic period. The 127 drawings, said to be associated with sympathetic magic and healing, are carved on a shallow rock shelter.
angono petroglyphs
The carvings date back to the late Neolithic period
The site has been declared a National Cultural Treasure in 1973 and is under the care of the National Museum. It is also part of the country’s tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Take a Peek at the Life of Botong
Angono has given birth to a duo of creative geniuses, both of whom went on and became National Artists. One of them is Carlos “Botong” Francisco, awarded a posthumous title of National Artist for Visual Arts.
carlos botong francisco gallery
Botong's grandson Totong seen here giving a lecture about his lolo's artworks
A glimpse at Botong’s life can be taken at his house in Doña Aurora which now serves as a heritage site maintained by his grandson Totong  – an artist himself.

Take a stroll at the Gallery on the Streets
Also in Doña Aurora is a length of road paved like the streets of Calle Crisologo and flanked by walls of sculptures lifted from the works of Botong.
street gallery
A rendition of Botong's "Pageant of Commerce" in stone
This outdoor gallery begins on one of Angono’s main thoroughfares, ending just across Saint Clement Parish.

Celebrate the Culture of Art
A visit to the Blanco Family Museum should not be missed when in Angono. This place houses some of the greatest works of Jose “Pitok” Blanco and his family of artists. The story of how each family member started painting is both fascinating and inspiring.
blanco family museum angono
The Blanco Family Museum houses the artworks of Pitok Blanco and his family
Another gallery that should be visited is the Nemiranda Art Gallery in Doña Justa. It displays the works of Nemi Miranda as well as artworks of other local artists. Nemiranda also does an on-the-spot portrait sketch session in the gallery.
nemiranda art gallery
Nemiranda himself (with the beret) in the entrance to his gallery-cum-restaurant
A few steps from Nemiranda is Balaw-balaw. More known as the home of exotic delicacies, this place also doubles as an art house, displaying pieces by the restaurant’s founder Perdigon Vocalan. The sculptures here are distinctive, depicting Angono and Philippine culture, with its human components having Malay features.
perdigon vocalan
These sculptures can be found on the second floor of Balaw-balaw restaurant
A lesser-known destination is the showroom of YAB Design. YAB Design is an exporter of statues and displays made of resin and fiber glass.
yab design angono
One portion of the vast showroom of YAB Design
yab design angono
Towering figures such as the one pictured above can be seen around the compound of YAB Design
Don’t forget to also join in on the Higantes Festival and the town fiesta every November!

Sunset-watching at the Lakeside Park
The Angono Lakeside Park, known to locals as “Wawa,” rests on the banks of Laguna de Bay. The area has been developed as a recreational site complete with joggers’ and bike lanes, a playground, a zip line rig, stalls of street foods, and a sunset view that could rival that of Manila Bay.
Lakeside Park wawa angono
The spectacular sunset at the Lakeside Park
One can also take a 20-minute boat ride across Laguna Lake for a mere 20 pesos! This place, popular among families and teenagers, is a perfect last stop for an Angono Art-venture. 

FOODS TO EAT AND SOUVENIRS TO TAKE HOME

Angono’s fried itik is sought after not only by locals but by residents of neighboring towns. Sold in the late afternoon in the rows of stalls near the town plaza, this delicacy is one you shouldn’t miss.
fried itik angono
Fried itik is a must-try when in Angono
For foodies looking for extraordinary grubs, try balaw-balaw – a dish made from fermented shrimp and rice, similar to bagoong. Adobong uok, fried frog, and ginisang hantik, are also available at the Balaw-balaw Restaurant.
Adobong uok and other exotic dishes are available at the Balaw-balaw Restaurant
For dessert, kumanoy is highly recommended. This milky kakanin is sold around Saint Clement Parish.

Higante figurines can be bought around Angono. This papier-mâché curio best embodies the identity of the town, making it a perfect souvenir.
higantes festival
Figurines can be purchased at the Tourism Center as well as at the Balaw-balaw Restaurant

HOW TO GET THERE

There are jeepneys and commuter vans to Angono in Cubao Farmer’s Market (beside Telus), Robinsons Galleria, SM Megamall, Star Mall (Mandaluyong), and EDSA Central. One can also take the LRT Line 2 and alight at the Santolan Terminal then take a jeep to Sta. Lucia Mall where there is a jeep/van terminal to Angono.

Once on a jeepney, get off at the town plaza and proceed to the tourism office nearby. Or, you can hire a tricycle to take you to the destinations above.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day Tour
09:00 to 10:00 – Angono Petroglyphs
10:00 to 11:00 – Carlos “Botong” Francisco Second Gallery (heritage house)
11:00 to 13:00 – Balaw-balaw Restaurant and Gallery (Lunch)
13:00 to 14:00 – Nemiranda Art House
14:00 to 15:00 – Walking Tour of Gallery on the Streets
15:00 to 16:00 – Blanco Family Museum
16:00 to 17:30 – Angono Lakeside Park

EXPENSES AND BUDGET

Jeepney Fare (from any of the transpo terminals mentioned above vv Angono; min of Php28 and max of Php50) x 2 = Php100
Tricycle Rental = Php500 to Php800 (depending on itinerary); good for 4

Entrance Fees
Angono Petroglyphs – Php20/pax (free during National Holidays)
Carlos “Botong” Second Gallery – Donations only
Blanco Family Museum – Php100/adult; Php75/student
Nemiranda Art House – Php20/head
YAB Design – Free but must be scheduled at least three days before, and on a weekday

Lakeside Park Amenities
Boat ride – Php20/head
Bike rental (bicycles, quad-bikes) – Php100/hour
Zipline – Php100/person

CONTACT DETAILS

Ms. Eula Grace B. Tuplano
OIC – Angono Tourism Office
+63 915 133 4957


Or  you may leave a comment below, ask nicely, and I may be your personal tour guide. :)

Museums and Galleries
Carlos “Botong” Francisco  Second Art Gallery
Doña Aurora, Poblacion Itaas, Angono, Rizal
Contact number to follow

Blanco Family Museum
1312 Ibañez St., Brgy. San Vicente Angono, Rizal
+632 651 0042

Nemiranda Art House and Gallery
10 Doña Elena St., Doña Justa Phase 1 Subd. Brgy San Roque, Angono, Rizal
+632 651 0109

YAB Design, Inc.
Quezon Ave., Bo. San Isidro, Angono, Rizal
+632 651 1068 / +632 651 1095

Accommodations
Scrapyard Resort
+63 651 3399

Villa Jhona Resort
+632 451 0325
villajhoanaresort@yahoo.com

Aling Eniang’s Resort
+632 451 0605 / +632 651 2488

Enjoy traveling to off-the-beaten paths? Check out Bani, Pangasinan and its unsung wonders, and the rest of the Spread The Impact series.

What other less-known places should Celineism feature next?

You Might Also Like

0 comments