(Updated) Antipolo, Rizal. It’s one of those places that have the look and feel of an out-of-town destination but offers enough proximity to the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila.
We’ve visited two interesting places here on two separate Sundays. The first was when we attended a lunch reception for the christening of our friend’s daughter, and the other occasion was totally random, whisked off again by Akira’s Mamita.
The cafe’s owner, Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, is a renowned potter. I’ve been noticing these distinct pieces of bowls, plates and mugs in random places – from Japanese restaurants to The Spa – and I’ve always noticed how unique they looked. Clearly, these weren’t run-of-the-mill plates and cups. They have a good weight when you carry them (not super heavy) in your hand. Each piece also features a smooth, glazed part as well as a grainier, more textured part. I had no idea I was admiring the signature work of one artist.
So when I found out that her cafe is one of the famous ones in Antipolo, AND that they sell ceramics for P200 per kilo, I was excited to visit.
You have to call ahead for a meal at Crescent Moon – there is no set menu. For merienda (mid-afternoon snack), all they have is tea, brewed coffee and suman and mango. My kid LOVES suman. She used to say it’s her favourite food, second only to Jollibee chicken joy. My friends weren’t so thrilled though, that there wasn’t anything else available. Sorry, guys!
At least their huge koi pond was a hit with the kids. The koi are so big!
There’s a turtle pond as well, but we had no food for them. It was fun to see a lot of turtles in one place, and of varying sizes too.
They also sell the suman for those who want to take some home. I’ll probably be back for a better look at those plates and stuff for sale, but not until I have my kitchen and dining area sorted out.
This was a nice little discovery that deserves more visits.
Pinto Art Museum is located on a sprawling, hillside property peppered with white stucco buildings. It seemed Santorini-inspired to me at first, but after looking at other photos online, I think the look is more Mexican.
The place is expansive and picturesque. There are numerous galleries – you are encouraged to really explore, take it all in, and to take your time. Even if you are not inside a gallery, the garden outdoor setting is refreshing, and features several sculptures.
There’s even a giant rocking horse on the lawn.
To describe Pinto Art Museum in a nutshell is it’s a feast for the senses. You’re away from the city, in the middle of nature, and amidst work that captures and celebrates Filipino art.
I’ve only recently learned that the pieces on display are privately owned by a former longtime director of St. Luke’s Medical Center. My goodness, what a collection. And thank you very much, sir, for sharing these priceless art for the public to appreciate.
An added incentive for visitors is that the Museum has its own cafe. Nothing like chugging down some iced tea after going up and down several steps, exploring the place! We only managed to try a pizza and their halo-halo, but it looks like Pinto is a great location, food-wise also.
Our typical Sunday usually consists of mass in the morning, lunch in Greenbelt and maybe grocery shopping before heading home. This is a nice reminder that our Sundays can be more than that, and that there really are a lot of hidden gems around the Metro (or a bit beyond) just waiting to be discovered.
While Akira had her fill of running around the place, getting a good workout in the process, it’s also a good experience for her to learn how to behave in a gallery. Now she knows that the various things on display shouldn’t just be touched, and that she should use her indoor voice when we’re inside a gallery. For sure, we’re going to brief her all over again for a similar future visit, but we don’t mind. Art exposure like this doesn’t happen everyday, and we all had an enjoyable day, including the pint sized Curly Top! Thank you for extraordinary Sundays, city of Antipolo!