No blank stares at the Blancos'
The house I grew up in lies right at the border of Angono, Rizal and Antipolo City, the first is famous for its artistic locals and another for its pilgrimage sites and native food. I never realized that just a few meters away was a colorful art district where every block has a worthy gallery and chance exhibits. It took me 15 years before I discovered it, and that's when I'm already living in Quezon City. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
First stop: The Blanco Family Museum. I swear they'll get you wishing you had some of their genes.
|The Blanco Family Museum in Angono, Rizal looks unassuming from outside. |
Inside, it's a maze of passages lined with works of prodigious skills.
|"Yakan of Basilan" (1990) by Peter Paul Blanco when he was 10 years old.|
|"Panag-arawan" by Jan Blanco, when he was only 13 years old.|
|The guide said Jose "Pitok" Blanco, would require his children to complete a thesis, or a mural-sized work like this one.|
The elderly Blancos retired in Batangas till the end of their lives. The children now have their own professions, but also return to painting from time to time. Michael paints and teaches art full time, while refurbishing and expanding the museum. "Nakita n'yo na ba yung mga paintings ng tatay? Ang lalaki, 'di ba? (Have you seen father's paintings? They're all huge!)," Michael asked, enthusiastically. It's amusing to hear him talk about his dad, even after he passed away, like an keen fan would.
|Detail of one of Pitok Blanco's paintings. Recurring themes of his work are rural life and religion. And how the heck did he make that hay? Hey!|
"He wanted us to learn from the best," Michael recalled. And among the best are what they became. #