Updated August 2016
A set of statues made alternatively of stone and candlewax dotted the gardens. In the middle of the green lawn was an antique four poster bed laid out with crisp white sheets. Several beautiful silver art pieces work showed women cradling babies beneath their steel spiral wombs. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be doorways and paths waiting to reveal more hidden treasures.
Pinto Art Museum is just a 40-minute drive from where I live, yet it feels worlds away. This beautiful contemporary art space sits on a 1.2 hectare property also known as Silangan Gardens located inside a private subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal. Several art galleries can be found in the open-air Mediterranean-inspired villas, shrouded by well-manicured gardens and landscaped greens. Pinto means door in Filipino, and the museum aims to be a gateway for modern and contemporary art.
I’ve been wanting to check it out for the longest time after reading rave reviews and seeing drool-worthy photos from The Travelling Dork, but since Antipolo is so near, I’ve given up trips here in favor of more exotic destinations. During one drizzly weekend in December, I finally got to visit the museum and realized that I don’t have to travel far to get a taste of something new.
Walking around Pinto Art Museum is a visual a treat. With aged doorways, windows, and quirky art pieces, every turn of the corner reveals something interesting. No wonder the place is popular with pre-nuptial sessions and pictorials, everything here is so picturesque. There are countless photographic opportunities waiting at every angle to satisfy any shutterbug’s cravings. Even if you’re just armed with a cellphone camera, you’d be hard-pressed to take a bad photo in this place. It’s that photogenic.
As we walked behind a quaint chapel with stucco walls, we came across a meditation garden dedicated to the love of Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera. There was a spoken word piece being played which told the love story and failed engagement between our national hero and his erstwhile fiancee. Set to a backdrop of a musical cello and piano piece, the piece recounted how their engagement was broken by Rivera’s mother, who intervened in their affair by hiding Rizal’s letters from her daughter because she opposed the match.
In keeping with the theme, the small garden also contained a garden with a desk containing letters labelled “The Undelivered Project” next to stationary and pens. A handwritten guide instructed people to empty their thoughts and write anonymous letters to the ones whom they had loved and lost. I was curious to read all the letters of heartbreak and unrequited love that lay unopened in the drawers.
So as not to drown in melancholia, we moved on to the art galleries, which were spread out in six buildings around the space. The gardens themselves were lovely with lots of different art installations around.
Pinto Art Museum contains a massive yet well-curated collection of modern paintings, sculptures and art installations. Gallery 1 seems to be devoted to more traditional art pieces with paintings depicting idyllic scenes from daily life in the Philippines.
Gallery 2 had more experimental mixed media pieces with some installations similar to those I’ve seen displayed in Baguio’s BenCab Museum. Gallery 3 had some really interesting wire sculptures.
Galleries 4 and 5 seemed to contain modern and abstract art pieces that I won’t pretend to understand. I’m not really an art critic, but I think most people can appreciate the interesting art pieces here.
Ducati. Ducati Bike and wire sculpture. Owned by Alex Lietz and wire sculpture by Alab Pagarigan. 2015
One thing I really appreciate about Pinto Art Museum is that it manages to make the artwork and all the structures cohesive with the environment. Unlike formal museums which preserve art pieces in controlled air-conditioned rooms, all the buildings here are open-air structures, which keeps everything natural.
It was refreshing to see art pieces not only hanging in the walls, but integrated in the seating areas and gardens as art installations. The same goes for all the natural elements like a tree growing out from the middle of a stairway and rocks in the middle of one of the galleries floors. I also appreciate the fact that photography for personal use is allowed here unlike some other museums.
THE MUSEUM OF INDIGENOUS ART
The Museum of Indigenous Art, located in the lower gardens, showcases the richness of the Filipino culture. It contains functional and ritual objects, textiles, jewelry and other beautiful indigenous artwork.
NEW SECTION as of August 2016
WHERE TO EAT:
As of July 2015, there are two areas to eat inside Pinto Art Museum. Pinto Cafe in the garden area and Cafe Tan-aw by Peppermill, a roofdeck area near the entrance. Both are operated by Peppermill Restaurant & Mixology Bar. The restaurant serves a wide range of dishes including soup, salad, appetizers, Japanese cuisine, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, main courses and desserts. The food is good, but a bit pricey, with main dishes costing anywhere from P255 (Green Chicken Curry) to P3,595 (Original Angus Tomahawk Steak). The restaurants operate at the same time as the museum from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Da Vinci Pizza (shrimp, spinach cream, sundried tomato, artichoke. P395)
Pinto Art Museum is a definite must-see tourist spot that’s not that far from the metro. If you have expat / balikbayan friends or relatives visiting who only have limited time to tour around Manila, I’d rank this as one of the top places you can take them to. Allot around 3-5 hours to visit all the galleries and take photographs around the place.
RATES/ENTRANCE TICKET FEES: (*as of August 2016)
- P200 for regular ticket
- P180 for senior citizens and PWD with valid IDs
- P100 for children and students with proper school IDs
- Free for children below 3 years old
- There’s an entrance fee of P20 for road users for non-residents of Grand Heights. You can park your vehicles on the street right across the museum.
PHOTO SHOOT RATES:
- P7,500 – upper garden, lower garden (outdoor only)
- P15,000 – upper garden, lower garden, Indigenous Art Museum and the new Museum wing (outdoor only)
- Inclusive of: 5 hours photoshoot: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (in excess P750/hour) or 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- 5 pax (in excess P300 per head)
- comes with preparation room with air condition
- additional of P500 for 5 hours
- in excess P100 per hour
- For inquiries regarding prenuptial shoots and private events, please call 6971015 and look for Jenny Villanueva.
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
Pinto Art Museum is located at 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines. Pinto Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The museum is CLOSED on MONDAYS.
- Contact info: (02) 6971015
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook page: Pinto Art Museum.
HOW TO GET TO PINTO ART MUSEUM:
Pinto Art Museum is located inside Grand Heights, a private subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal. We find it easier to get here from Ortigas Avenue Extension to avoid the traffic congestion of Sumulong Highway and Antipolo town proper.
By car / private vehicle:
- From Quezon City, go to Aurora Boulevard and take the route going to Marikina. Drive along Marcos Highway heading to Antipolo.
- Turn right on Felix Avenue (the corner with Robinson’s Metro East & Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall).
- Turn left when you reach Ortigas Avenue Extension.
- Turn left at the rotunda leading to either Antipolo or Taytay Diversion Road.
- Follow the Ortigas Avenue Extension road which will eventually become L. Sumulong Memorial Circle.
- There will be a small sign on the right side of the road pointing to Grand Heights and Pinto Art Museum.
By public transportation (coming from Cubao):
- Take the LRT Line 2 and get off at the Santolan Station
- Take a jeepney or FX bound for Antipolo (look for jeepneys bound for Antipolo-Simbahan-Junction or Antipolo-Shopwise), Tanay (Tanay-Antipolo), or Teresa.
- Get off at Ynares Center.
- Ride a tricycle and ask the driver to drop you at Grand Heights Subdivision (some drivers are not familiar with Pinto Art Museum).
By public transportation (coming From Ortigas area):
- Ride a jeep/FX going to Antipolo (there is a jeepney terminal at the Greenfield District area and an FX terminal at SM Megamall Parking area). Estimated fare is P45.
- Once you reach the Ynares Center, take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Grand Heights Subdivision. Estimated fare for trike is P40.
- At the guard house, tell them you’re going to the museum.
TRAVEL TIPS & USEFUL INFO:
- Pinto Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- The museum is CLOSED on MONDAYS.
- They are open during holidays (as long as it’s not a Monday.)
- Guided Tour Schedule: 09:00 am – 11:00 am; 12:00 nn – 02:00 pm; 02:00 pm – 04:00 pm; 04:30 pm – 06:00 pm
- No food or pets are allowed.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the museum.
- No flash photography.
- *NEW RULE*: NO Changing clothes allowed inside the museum.
- Children can visit Pinto Art Museum as long as they are accompanied by an adult inside the premises at all times.
- Pinto Art Museum reserves the right to remove from the premises persons deemed unruly by management.