For years I have been traveling south of Metro Manila to the artists’ town of Angono, by Laguna Lake. A quiet agriculture and fishing town, it has produced many great masters such as Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Vicente Manansala. Now the town hosts many young artists, and one of the local places that nurtures that talent is the restaurant Balaw-Balaw.
This photograph was taken in 2012, with my students enjoying the artworks, collection of historical artifacts, local crafts, and traditional Filipino cuisine at the Balaw-Balaw. And if you are brave enough, the restaurant offers more exotic traditional dishes such as Uk-ok (stewed beetle grub), Bayawak (fried monitor lizard), and Usa (deer).
Aside from the Balaw-Balaw restaurant there are many galleries that showcase the creativity of the many local artists. One distinct place Blanco Family Museum, in which three generations of Blanco family painters showcase their impressive painting talents
And just s stone’s throw from the Balaw-Balaw Restaurant is the Nemiranda Art House, which not only feature the owner and artist Nemesio “Nemi” R. Miranda’s works but also those of the many artist whom he has patronized
At the outskirts of the town of Angono are the petroglyphs, which were etched into the soft rock walls around 900 BC. These petroglyphs were discovered by the National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, while he was scouting in the brush for new subject matter to sketch.
An interesting observation about these petroglyphs is the depictions of humans and animal interacting. Another observation is the similarities of the images to the rock art that is found in the Americas, which were also etched on rock walls around the same time period, which would make Ancient Alien theorists very excited.
Now days, there is a barrier that separates the visitors from the petroglyphs, because of some unruly tourists who scratched their names and other vandalism on the wall. However, it not just vandals that threaten these ancient writings. By removing the forest cover around the caves, the exposure to the elements is slowly eroding these ancient works of art.