Latest Stories

Pride of Place

Pintô Gallery in Antipolo: Garden of delights


LARGE-SCALE galleries that follow the rolling contour provide changing perspectives from which to appreciate art.

To get there you have go off the main road and drive along one of those typical narrow, winding Antipolo roads, until (after paying a P20 fee to enter the subdivision) you get to the door which is unmistakable as it is simple.

The small but not inconspicuous entrance marks your arrival, welcomes, and leads you off the sidewalk and into Pintô Gallery.

“Pintô” is Tagalog for “door,” and true to its name, the gallery considers itself the “threshold open to all forms of contemporary art experiences.”

However, though the threshold lie experiences that go beyond art.

Instead of walking straight into galleries of artworks from the entrance, you walk into a series of loggias that open to what appears to be a residential, tropical hillside garden with a fabulous view of Manila in the distance.

That is precisely the charm of the place: Its residential feel; the way the structures relate perfectly to the terrain and landscape; and the way the architecture and landscape work so well

CALIFORNIA Mission style meets the Antipolo hills in this very personalized and picturesque architecture.

together to frame those city views that can only be seen from the Antipolo hills.

Stunning art

Stunning is the art at Pintô. Works of leading Filipino artists are shown with work by young artists encouraged by the gallery through a program of interactions, internships and group exhibitions that seek to nurture and introduce new talent.

Equally stunning is ambiance that the art shares with architecture and landscape, a combination that totally rounds off the experience.

The architecture evokes the picturesque California Mission style, a genre of architecture soft to the Filipino eye and psyche because of shared Spanish colonial references, like arched doorways and windows; squat church-like structures with attached bell towers trimmed with terra-cotta roof tiles.

Making the visual and emotional connection with the Filipino is the extensive reuse of Philippine antique architectural details from the Spanish colonial era incorporated into the California Mission architecture.

It’s not all food for the soul at Pintô, its mountainside coffee shop overlooking Manila feeds the body.

Ornate colonial grillwork recycled from endangered bahay-na-bato is re-used as doors and gates. Old lumber holds up some ceilings and are shown as exposed trusses and roof frames.

Hand-carved stone capitals and columns and antique architectural details are mixed into the new architecture.

Whitewashed structures, all recently constructed to look deceivingly like a group of houses built at different levels in response to the natural slope of the terrain, evoke hill towns where houses picturesquely cascade down a hill.

Magnificent garden

Linking all of the multilevel structures of the Pintô hill town is a magnificent tropical garden, properly lush and green, with pathways meandering through intimate sculpture courtyards. View decks on roof terraces and outdoor seating areas are set amid stretches of sloping lawn.

The cavernous galleries, whose high ceilings and floors which step down many levels,  so conducive for hanging large-scale art pieces, are not the enclosed “white-box” galleries associated with art venues that display art simply for art’s sake.

Art is displayed at Pintô with the surroundings in mind. Viewers engage with the art through multilevel gallery areas which admit natural light and landscaping, always integrating art

Architecture, art and nature all work together to create the memorable ambience of Pintô.

with people and the surrounding environment instead of isolating art, museum-like, from reality.

In many ways, the galleries at Pintô humanize the rarified aura wrongly associated with art. Works of art are not to be locked up in ivory-tower locations but to be enjoyed as pieces that enrich our daily lives.

Something special

At Pintô, high art becomes understandable because of its surroundings but everyday surroundings, the architecture and landscaping, are elevated to something special because of the high art that is a part of the environment.

That is the quality which sets Pintô apart from other galleries.

Despite gallery owner and patron Dr. Joven Cuanang’s repeated invitations to come to Pintô, it took me an age to finally get there for a visit.

A SIMPLE door opening out from the narrow street tells you that you have arrived at a special place.

Luck would have it that he was not there the day I went.

His having been there would have made the visit more memorable.

Despite his absence, the environment he has created for Pintô speaks for itself, a place where he shares with his visitors a rare experience of peace amid carefully designed surroundings which set off a collection of even more carefully curated art.

Certainly it is an experience worth having, if only to have a short respite from the grind that Manila life can be.

Pintô Art Gallery is at 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo. It is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. E-mail info@pintoartgallery.com.

E-mail the author at pride.place@gmail.com.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Antipolo City , Pintô Gallery

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Tanchanco, former NFA head; 83
  • Pope seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of the Earth’
  • Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  • Positive in UAE, returning Filipino nurse tests negative
  • Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus