Tag Archives: art

National Museum: Angono Petroglyphs

January 16, 2016

The Angono Petroglyphs is the oldest known artwork in the Philippines, dating back to 3,000 B.C.. It was discovered by National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco in 1965, and was declared by the National Museum of the Philippines as a National Cultural Treasure in 1973.

When we went to the site early last year, we didn’t get to see the actual petroglyphs as the area was under renovation. It was last month when we finally got to see the engravings of human and animal figures.












Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat & Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

December 20, 2015

We had only the afternoon to explore the historical province of Bataan, having left Manila at around noon. We headed to the Dambana ng Kagitingan, a memorial shrine dedicated to the brave Filipino and American soldiers, who fought during World War II. We were surprised to see the 92-metre high cross, which also has a viewing gallery inside.

Thereafter, we went to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a heritage park, which showcases mansions from the Spanish era, which were dismantled and subsequently reassembled.

Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan

View from Top

View Deck

View from Mt. Samat

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Dinner at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Burgos, Bangui, and Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

November 17, 2015

On Day 3 of our 6D/7N North Luzon Backpacking Trip, we took the mini-bus from Laoag City and got off in Burgos, where we were greeted by Drex, who was referred to us by our Laoag Tour Guide James. We paid him P1300 to do the North and South Pagudpud Tours (including entrance fees).

We got to explore the upper part of Ilocos Norte, particularly the towns of Burgos, Bangui, and Pagudpud. Burgos is known for its Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, while Bangui boasts of its 1.65 MW wind turbines placed along a nine-kilometer shoreline.

Meanwhile, Pagudpud is famous for the Patapat Viaduct and Kabigan Falls. Moreover, it is where the northern-most tip of the Luzon Island lies. We also got to visit the Blue Lagoon and Saud Beach, which are definitely included in the best beaches we’ve seen — with white powdery sand and sapphire blue water.

Here are some photos:



Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador


Bangui Windmills

Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls



Pagudpud Arch

Patapat Viaduct





Saud Beach

Vigan City

Known for its cobblestone-covered streets and hispanic vibe, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, has also been declared as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the world.

We got to Vigan City after an hour of travel by mini-bus from Bangued, Abra, during the first day of our 6D/7N North Luzon trip.

We had only  half a day to travel back in time and enjoy the World Heritage Site. After looking for a transient house, we chartered a tricycle for P500 to tour the following: Bantay Church and Bell Tower, Baluarte, Hidden Garden, Cristy’s Loom Weaving, Pottery, Crisologo Museum, Calle Crisologo, and the Town Plaza. We got to try out the city’s famous empanada and longganisa, too.

Here are some photos:



Bantay Bell Tower

Bantay Bell Tower







Petting the Tiger

Bonsai Garden


Floro Crisologo Museum


Crisologo Museum

Loom Weaving

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo

Dancing Fountain

7 Wonder Cities


National Museum

Since October is Museum and Galleries month, the National Museum and its branches nationwide is free to the public for the whole month. We got to tour the National Museum for the first time last year. We were awestruck by Juan Luna’s Spoliarium and Jose Rizal’s sculptures and drawings.

If you need a place to stay in Manila, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Here are some photos:











Ugu Bigyan Pottery House & Bangihan ni Kuya Restaurant

October 11, 2015

In Tiaong, Quezon, lies the house and secret pottery garden of artist Ugu Bigyan. The garden is available for lunch, which requires an advanced reservation, and barako coffee. It also showcases the artist’s creations, which are available for sale.

Since we weren’t able to make a reservation, we had to have lunch elsewhere. We tried out Bangihan ni Kuya (“Elder Brother’s Grill”), which is located in Candelaria Diversion Road. Their Sinigang na Lechon would make us come back for more!

Ugu Bigyan's House


Barako Coffee

Ugu Bigyan Pottery Garden

Janna Nikko

Ugu Bigyan's Creations


Bangihan ni Kuya Sinigang na Lechon

Bangihan ni Kuya



Niyogyugan Festival 2015

Happy Quezon Day!

We met in Manila but as we got to know each other, we learned that we are both natives of the province of Quezon. (We also have some relatives who know each other. What a very small world!)

Janna’s paternal grandfather hails from Tiaong, while her grandmother is from Sariaya. On the other hand, Nikko’s maternal grandfather and grandmother are from Gumaca and Mauban, respectively. Thus, we were so happy to have witnessed the 3rd Annual Niyogyugan Festival in Quezon.

The festival lasts a week long but we were only there for a day. We were able to check out the creative booths that the different municipalities put up, and taste the various delicacies our province offers. Sariaya emerged as the grand winner of the booth contest and got P3 million as prize.

Until the next Niyogyugan Festival!

Perez Park




Quezon, Quezon



Niyogyugan Festival





Angono Art Galleries: Botong Francisco House, Atelier/Nemiranda Arthouse, Balaw Balaw Restaurant

Carlos “Botong” Francisco House (217 Dona Aurora St., Angono, Rizal)

          Botong Francisco is a renowned muralist from Angono, and is a National Artist for painting (“Pambansang Alagad ng Sining“). Some of his great works include Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, and The Invasion of Limahong.

          We were able to visit his house and former studio in Dona Aurora, a street, which displays murals of his masterpieces.

          His grandson, Carlos Francisco II, a.k.a. Totong, is also a painter and uses the place as a gallery. We were greeted by his wife, Jennifer, who also showed us around for free. According to her, Totong also does commission work. You may reach them at +639179531104 / +632-6610598.

If you need a place to stay in Angono, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Botong Francisco House Nikko

Botong Francisco Mural

Dona Aurora Street

Botong Francisco House 2

Botong Francisco House

Botong Francisco Desk

Botong Francisco Memorabilia

Botong Francisco

Janna and Nikko Inside the Botong Francisco House

Inside the Botong Francisco House

Atelier / Nemiranda Art House

          Nemesio “Nemi” Miranda is a modern artist from Angono, Rizal. He is responsible for the mural at the EDSA Shrine, and the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary sculptures, which could be found along the road to Antipolo Church. He turned his home-studio into a restaurant-gallery called Atelier or Nemiranda Art House. One can tour it for P60 (inclusive of lecture). According to our lecturer, Mr. Miranda can also have your portrait made in 20-minutes for P5000.

Atelier Merienda

Atelier 2





Inside Nemiranda Art House




Balaw Balaw Restaurant

          Balaw Balaw Gallery and Restaurant is a Department of Tourism-accredited restaurant in Angono. It showcases works from different artists, and offers mouth-watering native dishes. You should try the boodle-like Minaluto (P250) and the sour Balaw Balaw (P170), which should be enough for two persons.

Balaw Balaw Restaurant



Janna and Painting

Minaluto and Balaw Balaw


  • From Cubao to Botong Francisco House (Dona Aurora Street), Angono, Rizal:

Map to AngonoDetailed Directions

  • From the Botong Francisco House (Dona Aurora Street) to Atelier/Nemiranda Arthouse, and Balaw Balaw Restaurant

Map of Angono Rizal Galleries

Budget: P980/2 persons or P490/person.

  • Gas (QC – Angono – QC) – P200
  • Donation (Botong Francisco House) – P100
  • Atelier / Nemiranda Art House Tour with Lecture – P60/person, or P120 for two.
  • Food
    • Atelier – P130
      • Egg Sandwich – P65
      • Chicken Sandwich – P65
    • Balaw Balaw Restaurant – P550
      • Minaluto – P250
      • Balaw Balaw – P170
      • Guinumis – P65
      • Gayuma – P65

Some Notes and Tips:

  • Angono is considered as the Art Capital of the Philippines. It is also known for the Higantes Festival, held on November 23 of each year.
  • Half a day should be enough to cover most places of interest in Angono, Rizal.
    • You can visit the Blanco Family Museum, too. We were unable to do so as it was already closed when we got there.