If there’s one thing I wish we had in Manila, it would be nice clean parks and gardens for kids and families to enjoy just like in Singapore and in other countries. I’ve been meaning to bring Elian somewhere that is not the usual malls. Since he turned two months, we started bringing him out more regularly to get him used to going out. He’s not so fond of chaotic and crowded places like malls. He prefers the quiet, scenic outdoors just like me. He likes staring at plants and trees, watching birds and being in gardens. Every time he gets bored, we would sit him on his chair facing our balcony filled with plants and he would look at it for sometime. When he fusses, we would automatically bring him down to the pool and the garden and it would calm him down. He can stay in the garden for hours and even fall asleep outside watching the trees. This is something I want to encourage more with our son. I want to cultivate in him a love for nature, for him to enjoy the simple things. So I’m always thinking of new places to bring him while wishing we had Singapore’s Botanical Gardens, Gardens by the Bay or Japan’s beautiful parks and gardens.
The closest I can think of is Tagaytay but since we live in the North, we were unsure how he’ll be able to handle his first long drive or being in the car for more than 2-hours. He can get really impatient with the traffic. So one weekend, we decided to bring him to Antipolo instead to celebrate his 5th month by visiting the Pinto Art Museum. We found out it’s just half the drive to Tagaytay.
Elian wakes up really early in the morning, usually between 530 to 6am. We’re lucky if we can get to sleep past 630. So on the Saturday after his 5th monthsary, we got ready as soon as he was up and we were on the road by 8am. Surprisingly, there was no traffic and we arrived in our destination before 9am just in time for its opening. It was a weekend but the museum was filled with students lining up. It turns out that students had a discounted rate of less a Php 100 the norm of Php 200 entrance fee for adults. Most of the crowd from that morning were groups of friends with selfie sticks or couples having their prenup photos taken with their suppliers. We were the only ones with a baby! I envied those youngsters with a selfie stick or the groups with professional photographers as it was so hard to take a decent photo together as a family since we had a baby and a diaper bag in tow lol! Ken and I just took turns taking photos with Elian and all we can manage for our family pics on our own are really bad closeup selfies lol! And in Pinto Art Museum, you just cannot NOT take a load of photos as every corner of the place is really interesting and beautiful. We are thankful though for kind strangers who indulged us on some pics as a family.
Pinto Art Museum was really beautiful. It exceeded my expectations. I knew it was picturesque from features that I read about it but I liked it even more the moment we arrived. Its small entrance doesn’t give a clue to the vast property inside. I love the rustic details all over the place, from the gates, the blue door, the decors and benches, the structures, and most especially the exteriors and interiors of each area. Everything is an art in itself. Plus, there are even some birds around which Elian enjoyed.
They’ll give you a map of the place when you enter. There are 6 galleries and 2 cafes in the property. We explored as much as we can but it was just really hot going around. When we went they didn’t have electricity so that made it hard for us to explore the whole place. We rested and took a short break in Pinto Cafe after more than an hour of exploring then we went back to the car for air-conditioning and to change and freshen up Elian as we waited for the cafes to open at 10:30am. That’s something I wish they can improve on to accommodate more people especially during summer. If only there are parts with air-conditioning or more ventilation. We had an early lunch at Pinto Cafe and met up with my friend Cha who also brought her baby. We had an impromptu playdate with the babies over alfresco lunch. The food in the gallery was surprisingly good! They have the same kitchen for both cafes and we liked everything we ordered. Ken who’s quite hard to please with food was impressed and we really enjoyed our lunch over a beautiful view of the garden. Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of our food as that time we were already haggard from the heat lol!
These are photos from my favourite parts of Pinto Art Museum. There’s a gallery that felt like your lola’s house — wide and white with touches of wood, cozy and maaliwalas with huge windows that gives a nice background of the garden. You would sort of wish it really was your lola’s house as you’d want to hang out there.
One thing I noticed though was that more visitors seemed to enjoy the interiors and the exteriors more than the artworks displayed. And I’m guilty to be one of those lol! Since we had a baby in tow, we spent more time outdoors since Elian really liked the landscape and scenery. We didn’t really have the time to look closely in the artworks. But well, we’ll definitely be back. Between the art, the food, the gardens and architecture, Pinto Art Museum has definitely now become my favourite day-trip destination in Manila! Since it’s just an easy drive from the city, we’ll surely visit again!
I’m hoping to discover more places like this for Elian. To those moms out there who are looking for new places to bring their kids, I highly recommend this in Antipolo. And to those who know of other nice, scenic, unique and educational places for kids, please do let me know! 🙂
To the people behind Pinto Art Museum, thank you for creating such place! We need more of this in our country and we hope it will be well maintained and constantly improved so more people can enjoy it for a long time.
We are certainly looking forward to our next visit! 🙂