VIRTUAL TOUR: A National Artist’s Home at the Philippines’ Arts Capital

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

THE municipality of Angono in Rizal is considered the Arts Capital of the Philippines, and as such, is home to many Filipino artists—young and old, living and departed, aspiring and flourishing.

Among its long list of artists, Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969) remains to be the most celebrated painter. In 1973, he was posthumously named a National Artist, which is the highest honor the Philippine government bestows to Filipino artists.

“Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the poet of Angono, single-handedly revived the forgotten art of mural and remained its most distinguished practitioner for nearly three decades. In panels such as those that grace the City Hall of Manila, Francisco turned fragments of the historic past into vivid records of the legendary courage of the ancestors of his race,” writes the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the state institution that oversees the National Artist Award.

That is why when visiting the quaint and little Rizal town, it is a must to familiarize oneself with Botong Francisco, and enrich one’s knowledge on Philippine culture and arts.

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VIRTUAL TOUR: Inside Angono’s Blanco Family Museum

Texts and Photos by Euden Valdez

THE first thing you will notice upon entering Angono’s famed Blanco Family Museum is its symbol—a bright orange carp that is peculiarly upside down. It will make you ask, “What is the meaning behind this upside down fish?”

The answer is simple yet true to Blanco Family. Museum curator Michael Blanco tells Traveling Journo Ph that the symbolpays homage to his great grandfather Juan, a fisherman who was short, stout and bald. When resting in his boat at the shore of Laguna de Bay, he resembled a bloated dead fish locally called the bunggan.

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Angono is More than Just the Philippines’ Art Capital

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

IT can be observed that in the Philippines, modernization and industrialization are creeping in even in the countryside. What were once farming and fishing villages are now developing cities and municipalities.

Take for example Angono in Rizal. This quaint, little town facing the massive Laguna de Bay is now a first class municipality thanks to trade and commerce. It has indeed come a long way from being a barrio of neighboring Binangongan.

But despite its progress, its people keep true to their agricultural roots and they do so in colorful canvasses, beautiful music, giant sculptures, and other forms of art.

Angono, after all, is the “Art Capital of the Philippines.”

This Traveling Journo Ph discovered and so much more in a visit on April 28 and 29.  

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