A layout like Pinto’s can only build up to even more extraordinary art. And it did. Just right of the museum entrance is the first gallery that visitors will be exposed to. Screw #walangforever, this place makes you believe in everlasting love at first sight. The striking metal sculptures left us in awe at the intricate detail of the wiring that’s shaped into people frozen in time. An open window from that room overlooks the sculpture garden below that features similar figures and lovebirds in their gold crested cages. Barely 30 minutes into our visit, and we were already ensnared by the magic of Pinto.
The small chapel lies just near the entrance—the statues, figures, and artwork mixed sober Catholicism with almost divine art that made the small room feel sacred. A walk from the chapel door to the building straight ahead of it, past the parrot cage and pig statue, and a climb up the stairs, you’ll be greeted by a stunning roof deck view overlooking the treetops of Antipolo resting underneath the misty Manila skyline.
For those eager for a taste of culture, a pathway to the lower garden will lead you to the Museum of Indigenous Art. Here, guests are treated with the rich cultural artifacts of our indigenous ancestors including statues, textiles, and jewelry of pre-colonial Philippines.
Trailing up from the lower gardens to the upper gardens, it’s clear how the museum intertwines art not just with home, but also with nature. There are enough trees, plants, fountains, ponds, and landscaping to make even our environment-friendly University green with envy. No corner is left bare at the museum: if there isn’t a sculpture or painting inhabiting an empty space, there’s a cactus or a spiral of vines enrapturing your attention.
Beyond the upper garden lies the glory of the Pinto Art Museum: the galleries showcasing contemporary Filipino art at its finest. In Gallery 1, echoes bounce off the high-ceiling room with huge canvases, particularly the giant mural called Karnabal that dominated the entire room with its larger than life portrayal of the social sins and prides of Filipino culture as a vivid and chaotic carnival. It was enough to incite “holy s***” as one of us did so eloquently.