A 14 Miles Santorini Away From The Metro

It was a fine Sunday morning of the 24th day of July this year. I’m with my two other friends, Kim and Jehan. We departed from the train at 9:40 in the morning. Sun’s light encroach upon the trains floor as every station passes by. We hurriedly head to the vacant seats, we were not stuffed inside unlike the common situations of commuters here in the Philippines. Amidst the bone-chilling air-conditioned train we were still able to shoot the breeze and laugh like there was no tomorrow.

As we drop by the last station we had a 20 minutes ride on a jeepney. The Antipolo breeze seeps into my nose as we go along the snake-like road. At my right, vast of skinny trees erected beside the cliff. After that, we transferred on a trike going to the museum. I am seated behind the driver while Kim and Jehan are on the inside. He’s driving the wheel at full throttle along the high road were other vehicles move in speed. I had a hair-raisingly ride to remember.

We have arrived at exactly 10:34 am at the gate of Grand Heights Subdivision we walk for a bit to get to the Pinto Art Museum. (Pinto Art Museum is located inside the Grand Heights Subdivision.)

The crowd outside lined-up were not that much because it was still a lazy Sunday morning, far from what I am expecting. We paid for the students entrance fee for hundred pesos. (Be sure that you have your school ID with you.) The entrance fee for adult costs two-hundred pesos, hundred-eighty pesos for the senior citizens/pwd and for the children below 3 years old, guess what, it’s free. After they gave us our tickets we step into these dinky, rough-hewn doors while the guard inspects our ticket making sure that we really paid for it. Backpacks are not allowed inside so I left it at their baggage counter.

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I was spellbound by the open-air mediterranean-inspired villas, cloaked by well-groomed gardens and landscaped lush. The milieu was dominated by unstained white walls of the edifice. This magnificent art space rested on a 1.3 hectare property.

As we amble through the cemented stairs, ethnic music serenades us. We untiringly took snapshots of whatever we see and then capture each others best shots as we lean ourselves back on the wall. Everyone is tied up taking pictures of the place and sculptures and the paintings. Sunday is indeed a family day, people gradually fills the place. Nevertheless, it is still quiet. I can even read my favorite John Green books while resting on numerous bed scattered all throughout the vicinity while sipping my expensive espresso sold at their high-end cafe’s. (The price of the foods are costly not ideal for a budget traveller like me.)

Pinto Art Museum is not just a run-of-the-mill kind of gallery where you can see modern paintings, sculptures, art installations and indigenous artworks. I was shocked at the same time impressed by the erotic sculptures and painting. It was well-made and even in the smallest of details you can conclude that the artists spent most of their time doing it.

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While Kim and Jehan busy theirselves taking photographs I sat down inside a white pueblo-like structure. I look for my pen and journal to jot down some informations about the place. My phone’s battery dies after I have searched the appropriate word for the sentence. Fortunately, electric outlets can be found anywhere, as in all over the place. Visitors may charge their cameras and phones, you don’t need to secretly plug your chargers and then cover it with your bag and anxiously look at every person that passes by in front of you. (Yeah, I did all those things before I regain my confidence to ask permission to the museum personnel if I can plug my phone charger.)

After asking her I grab this opportunity to have a sit-down interview with her, literally. We sat on a cold, uneven-rock chair and proceeded on my query. Her name is Jenny Rose Ricarto, she works as a maintenance in the museum and currently at her fifth month. She said that the owner of the museum is Mr.Joven Cuanang, a doctor at St.Lukes Hospital. She added that the structures were built in different period of time. 2010 was the year were people became curious and fascinated about the place. If you’re looking for Pinto Art Museum you must first tell the driver to drop you off at Grand Heights Subdivision because some tricycle drivers were not familiar with Pinto Museum. At the time it was well-knowned to people, gallery 1, 2 and 3 are the only galleries open to the public. (The museum is composed of five humongous galleries.) Dr.Cuanang extracted his inspiration with the museums design on the Greek architectures. Every year they are renovating the buildings, painting walls, fixing museum lights, and checking the artworks. By the time it was available to visitors, restaurants inside are still not open yet. She ended our conversation  with this exact words “the museum is not yet documented on televisions.” (She thinks that I have the power to air this interview on national television. LOL.)

We left the place around 5:30 pm. The scent of burned woods transudes inside my nostrils in the afternoon as we moved along the exit. Same scenario, we brace ourselves for the extreme ride that is about to happen. Traffic jam discomfited us on the wide road near the Valley Fair Town Center. Heavy rain poured down.

The cohesiveness of the architectural design and the artworks undoubtedly deserves my praise and also the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence last year.

 

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