What do you expect to see at a museum?
From my experiences, mostly art pieces, like paintings, drawings, installations, carvings, and sculptures. Then there would be relics, fragments, and other curious pieces from forgotten times, along with maps and books. And all of them would be inside a one whole building.
Last Sunday was my first time to see all my preconceived notions defied.
Arby, Rai, and I met at the Doroteo Station of LRT 1. From there, we took the LRT 2 train from Recto Station and alighted at Cubao Station and entered Gateway Mall. We made our way through the crowds and exited at Araneta Mall-MRT door. We went down to the FX-PUV terminal and took a van to Antipolo.
Not being locals and the driver not calling out our destination, we had to double back to Ynares Center, which should’ve been our stop. So we took a tricycle to the center. Thankfully, the driver also knew the museum we mentioned so he took us there directly.
While the sign at the door asked us to the ring the bell, we never did. We’re rebels.
Straight to the registration at Pinto Art Museum, Arby and I paid 180.00 each. Rai, being a student, showed his school ID and only had to pay 100.00. Arby signed for me. The lady gave Ry a map of the whole place, as well as a menu for Earth Cafe so we could order early.
Artwork greeted us as we got through the door, as well as birds and flowers. Despite the heat, the garden looked good. There was also a chapel! That gave me a feast of religious art sans the usual grand stained glass windows.
Because I did not look at the map, I was left to realize on my own that the galleries and sections were housed in different buildings. That meant we would walk. What I didn’t know was we would walk a lot. Sometimes, up and down because of the many stairs. For the record, I’m not complaining about the exertion of effort; it was the heat!
While there were shaded spaces, to get to the other buildings and galleries we had to expose ourselves to bitter noon sun. Even if it was just for a while, it proved quite taxing.
Guess that is why there were a lot of metal-framed white beds, comfortable mattresses, and bay windows at Pinto Art Museum. They provided rest from being drained of energy. And they worked so well, sometimes it was too hard to get up from where we were sitting or laying. Usually, it was Arby who had to force Rai and me to get up and continue.
In some areas, there were doors that led nowhere or would not open or thought was closed but was not. And while there were ramps, they were greatly outnumbered by stairs.
As most collections are about old stuff, Pinto’s has much of those. And refreshingly, they have also new stuff—even ones that harp on recent events of this year.
But, of all the things that they would keep up with, it was a small, lesser-known feature that captured our trio’s attention. Just beside the restaurant, there was a small cabinet that contained not necessarily unsigned but all undelivered letters. My guess is that each one contained heartbreak of some kind by someone some time.
Predictably, all three of us wrote a letter.
For me, the exercise was cathartic. It was unexpected help from a garden disguised as a museum. Or is it a museum disguised as a gaden? Whichever it is, being at Pinto Art Museum did something for the three of us and each of our senses, our souls, and our hearts.
LRT 2 (Recto – Cubao): 20.00
FX/Van (Farmer’s Plaza, Cubao – Antipolo): 50.00
Tricycle (Antipolo – Pinto Art Museum) – 20.00
Pinto Art Museum
San Roque, Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines