Angono, dubbed as the Art Capital of Philippines. Ever wonder why? Because they are legendaries.
Giants roam around, artists are all over the places, ancient drawings called petroglyphs are in the stone shelter and even vandals are nice to view in the manmade cave and cactus, the walls of street arts, the cafe’s and restaurants with the touch of art, the cuisine harmonized in arts.
Then the people who are so inclined with art. The families are artists, from the lolo’s to apo. And the best thing, they support their artists.
Three legends that caught me during the phase 2 of NCCA- PIA Heritage Caravan in Calabarzon. These three got big influences to the town and its people. It greatly define what Angono is about art.
1. The Higantes.
The higantes are made from paper mache that measures four to five feet in diameter and 10 to 12 feet in height. Higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper mache effigies.
Wonder why the giants are in akimbo? Because they represent angry and authocratic Spaniards during their colonization in the Philippines.
Stories have it that a town folk made an angry giant effigy. Because of its huge size it draws attention of people during those times. After a while the they shouted for a woman giant as couple. Then children of these giants, and then other effigies followed. Now they are in parade as part of annual fiesta celebration of the town.
2. Botong Francisco
Along the Poblacion Ibabaw street of Angono is the avenue of array of replicates of Botong’s works. Its the walls and fences of arts, the murals of Botong mastery and legacy.
His house is within that street. He was born here. It is where he started his name as a painter, muralist where he grow up and become a big name in visual arts. Few of his works and collections are displayed here.
3. Blanco, The Family of Painters
Jose Blanco, also known as Pitok is a fisherman, in fact his wooden boat still in display their museum house. But he’s also the big influence to his wife Loring, sons and daughter (Glen, Noel, Michael, Joy, Jan, Gay and Peter Paul) to love painting, then it goes down to his apo’s and then to his neighbors, and to the disciples of this art.
“They are precocious artist in their own right making the Blanco clan a unique collective of image of artists.”
Visiting the Blanco’s house museum of painting will surely amazes everyone. The array display of paintings is not just displays of greatness, mastery and artistry but also the stories of the family: how Pitok influence his family to love the art; how his children started to paint; how the children influence the mother; where they went to get ideas; what subject they are inspired to paint.
The museum is not just a house of paintings, its also workshops to mold and hone young artist, dreaming to be a painter, a place where artists gather and share stories, a place to get inspiration.
True to the theme “Sulong Luzon, Yamang Kultura at Sining.”