That trip was one month in the making (whew! at least hindi drawing!). It was actually the first one that we didn’t cancel so it was kind of memorable in it’s own way.
We planned for a day tour since my schedule never met well with Cheng’s. But Thank God we had both vacant one Saturday off and there we go! And we had a surprise company, my friend, Niño. So that was that. 🙂
The plan started when we found that Discover Manila post about Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. I immediately fell in love with the place and marked our calendars.
Niño and I met at 6 in the morning. The plan was that we’ll bound a bus at the terminal and Cheng will wait for the bus by her stop. And she almost didn’t make it. She arrived just in the nick of time, goodness! And I was actually planning of sleeping in that 2 hour bus ride, but Cheng and I ended talking the whole way (a lot to catch up with, I guess).
When we arrived in Cubao, we found a McDonald’s near the LRT and we bought something for breakfast. We found the UV terminal bound to Rizal. Fare is 50.00php and it took us straight to the UV terminal near Antipolo Cathedral.
Also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, is one of the celebrated churches for Catholics. I remember my Grandmother visiting this church every May and bringing home Kasuy and Suman as pasalubong.
Inside the Cathedral is the 17th century image of Blessed Virgin Mary, in the form of the Immaculate Concepcion, which was brought by Governor General Juan Niño de Tabora from Mexico. His safe journey through the Pacific Ocean was credited to the image, thus given it the name “Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage”.
Outside the cathedral, there was a pilgrim section where visitors and devotees can light a candle and offer their deepest prayers. You can buy candles if you don’t have one. You know, prayers are our ways to communicate with our Creator. So I did just that. There a lot of things to pray for, to be thankful for, and to ask for. I’d stay there all day if I could.
In front of the Cathedral is the plaza. There were quite a handful of stores and vendors. There was the “Tayo na!” phrase. We waited for a group to finish taking pictures so we can get our turn. And while waiting, a guy come up to Cheng and asks, “Pwede pong magpapicture?“. All the while, she thought the guy was letting her take a picture of them on the “Tayo Na!” sign, but it was actually a picture with her! LOL. Artistahin si bes! So throughout the trip, Niño and I are teasing her that we have a someone famous in the group.
While in the plaza, there was a lady vendor offering us delicacies and pasalubong. And since we really are planning of buying, and she seems thoughtful and kind enough, we followed her to her store. They gave us free tastes of Kasuy. But since we are still planning of going around and carrying pasalubong seems a hassle, we promised we’ll be back before we went home.
We found a Jollibee and grabbed an early lunch so we wouldn’t have to bring food to Hinulugang Taktak, our next destination. I was actually suggesting of buying and taking lunch near the Falls. But then Cheng and Niño both wanted to eat, and so I was outnumbered.
After that, we grabbed a tricycle near the 7/11 and ask for it to take us to Hinulugang Taktak. One Tricycle ride costs 40.00 pesos. I seriously regret that I wasn’t able to take a picture of the name outside the Park.
Upon entering, we were asked to list down our names. Entrance fee is free and smoking is strictly prohibited in the area. The area has been designated as a National Park by the DENR and is one of the most popular Antipolo destination.
I’ve read somewhere that the falls is already polluted that’s why swimming in the falls is prohibited. But there was a nearby swimming pool for those who want to get a dip and freshen up.
There were picnic tables too for visitors. I told them we should just take our lunch here! *sigh* There were also heart shaped lamps that were a bit… uhm… romantic(?).
We roamed around the area and took a few pictures…
After a handful of pictures, we decided to head straight to our main destination: Pinto Art Museum. We climbed the stairs up. Niño and I were walking side by side while Cheng was behind us, and mid-way up, without even talking, we just laughed, almost hysterically. There wasn’t really a joke spoken, but we just realized at the same time that we’re all slowing pace and the stairs are getting a little harder to climb. Not to mention how warm we feel because it was already noon.
So when we *almost* reach the top, we had to sit and took some much needed breaths. *whew!*
After a few minutes of rest, we called another tricycle to take us to Pinto Art Museum. Fare is 60.00 pesos.
What’s amazing about Pinto Art Museum are not only the artworks inside, but also the magnificent structure of the galleries themselves.
Entrance fee for adults is 200.00 pesos. 180.00 for PWD and Senior Citizens and 150.00 for Students. Food and drinks are prohibited inside, but there are two cafes where you can dine, eat, and chill. Backpacks are also not allowed inside, though I’m not really sure why because body bags and shoulder bags are allowed. So I had to check in my bag at the baggage counter.
We registered our names and paid the entrance fee. After that, they gave our group a photocopy of the vicinity map. But it was a disappointment when they told us that there was an area where we can’t go because of some electrical problems.
We started exploring the area, noting a couple of other visitors around. But it still wasn’t quite as crowded as you’d expect. So that was a plus for me.
We were greeted by the lovely structures and landscapes that encompasses the 1.3 hectare property. That only proves that the property itself is a work of art. It’s impressive, really. And there were lots of trees and plants around that gives it a fresh vibe.
We explored the structures nearby before we decided to see the artworks inside the galleries. We also found the poolside a few feet away.
After that, we went to the nearest Gallery in the area. According to our map, it was Gallery 2. There were different artworks: paintings and sculptures, and there was also a vintage car that was for visitors to see.
After quite a while in Gallery 2, we found an adjuscent door to Gallery 1. Gallery 1 is much spacious and I think I liked the structure better than that of Gallery 2.
The largest painting in the whole museum is in Gallery 2. I wasn’t able to get the name and artist but we did take a couple of pictures.
After that, I started losing track of what gallery we are currently in. We kept the vicinity map in our bag and just took pictures in the photogenic place.
And of course there were selfies!
And we never pass on the chance to have fun with the artworks. And it may have been the most memorable part of the day! Because that’s what we’re here for, really, to have lots of fun.
Upon exploring, we found a dog by one of the stairs outside. It was not moving and just sitting still and seems staring at a distance. We thought it was one of the sculptures before we realized it was a real dog. Then after a few days, we found an Instagram post saying that it was actually Diego the Dog Artist. All the while we were taking a picture of it, it was not even moving.
After long hours of going around, we sat down on the chairs near the entrance and just watch as people have their “photoshoots” on one of the structures. Then as if on cue, the sky started turning grey. Really grey, I mean. So we decided to go back to the poblacion before the rain even starts.
We left Pinto Art Museum before 3 in the afternoon via tricycle that took us back near the Cathedral. Fare is again, 60.00 pesos. Luckily, we arrived outside the 7/11 right when the heavy rain falls. We had to stay inside the convenience store while we wait for the rain to pass or at least to mellow.
Then after having refreshments at 7/11, we went back to the store where we promised to buy pasalubong. Viring’s Store is still open but the lady that encouraged us to but wasn’t there when we went back. But the other lady was generous too to give us another helpings of sample Kasuy and even added additional Suman in our plastic bags. And the best part? She even gave each of us those beaded rosary bracelets as souvenirs.
All in all, it was a short but fun day trip. And I’m looking forward to new ones already. You know, trips like these are distractions to realities and stress of current life and situations. And there are lots of places near Manila and Bulacan that are easily accessible.