In a typical art galleries and museums, there are hawk-eyed security personnel roaming around. There are rope barriers around high-priced works of art, especially valuable artifacts enclosed in glass containment. “No flash photography” sign are ubiquitous in the area. CCTV cameras? A lot. In every nook you can find. Noise? Keep it low to a buzz. All of these are the exact opposite at Pintô Art and Museum.
If it weren’t for the hand-painted directional signs along Sierra Madre Street up to Grand Heights Road, we have been lost. We easily spotted Pintô Art & Museum by few cars parked along the road near the place and for the chrome-plated signage above the entrance arch. Without it, we have mistaken it for a luxe residential house since it is situated in a private subdivision perched on a hilltop in Antipolo.
Upon entering, there’s a window on the right side, which is the museum’s shop, where you can pay an entrance fee and after, they’ll hand you a black and white photocopy of a map to guide you around the place. As you passed the main entrance, you’ll be welcomed by an air of soothing new age and classical music being played. According to the map, the lot area is 1.3 hectare — an art wonderland for a designer like me, and maybe for art aficionados. There are six galleries and a museum; three gardens — upper, lower, and the third is dedicated for sculptures; three cafés — one is on a roofdeck for sunset viewing; a chapel; a museum shop; cottages and a private unit for the owners. Pintô Art & Museum houses the owner’s private collection of Philippine modern and contemporary art ranging from art installations to sculptures, and paintings to photography.
What I really like about Pintô Art and Museum is its Spanish Revival architectural style atypical for a museum or gallery. It has open-air balconies, relaxing courtyards, airy patios and pockets of open gardens. Buildings are with terracotta roof tiles with tall and wide doors and decorative wrought iron gates compliments the style. Inside are all high-ceiling with wooden beams, again, wide windows and tall sliding doors with old bell chimes hanging. Both exterior and interior walls are in white stucco finishing. Everywhere you look has a touch of rustic wood and “shabby chic” feel.
One particular quaint spot that really caught my attention is the meditation garden dedicated to the “lost” love of star-crossed lovers Gat Jose P. Rizal and Leonor Rivera accompanied by a melancholic music that sets the backdrop.
Pintô Art & Museum is a picturesque place and also liberal towards shutterbugs. Actually, they do encourage — with a reasonable amount of fee — photo shoot sessions for wedding engagement and other commercial purposes. My only beef regarding photo shoots are the gross amount of millennials coming in NOT for the art but for the selfie’s sake and some guerrilla fashion shoot for a fashion blog.
To me, Pintô Art & Museum is a haven or sanctuary for a time being away from a jarring city and its daily grind. It’s the architecture style that really draws me in, as if I have stepped into my dream house.