Sunday, May 24, 2015

View on the past from the current

Transitioning from Gov Gen to Uncle Sam at Fort Santiago
Carlos Celdran of Walk this Way tours says, "there are no grand edifices in Manila unlike other sites in Asia as the most solid foundation sourced from earth prior to the Spanish rule is adobe." Prior to the colonization of Spain and with a scarce population, the most solid structure is made of bamboo.

The landed's house greeting visitors at Las Casas
Mt. Samat honors the men who fought the war. It remembers the atrocities of world war two fought by the gallant Filipinos, Americans and the Japanese. The commemorative site attempts to heal the wounds reminding today's
generations of the pain and sacrifices our forefathers went through to earn our freedom. The historical landmark at 555 feet above sea level in Pilar Bataan is marked by a cross designed by Lorenzo del Castillo and Napoleon Abueva.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is place and life in the colonial Philippine era, “a place where we can trace our heritage, re-live our past, and partake of our culture.” Through viewing and appreciating the structure of ancestral homes from different parts of Luzon and from the distant and recent past, Filipinos take “pride in the past and hope for the future.”

A bahay na bato.  Starting with moving houses of wood,
they have not progressed to moving houses of stone
and lately even churches
Pinto is a sanctuary in the city to experience the fullness of life and to recover.  Dr. Joven Cuanang, a neuroscientist, art collector, owner of Pinto Art Museum says in creating the Antipolo museum “every part of our body should be stimulated.” The experience of a 4-hour immersion in Pinto opens doors. And in appreciating the landscape, the works, architecture and collection, in the collector’s words, “you sort of heal yourself.

A restored church at the coast of Bagac, Bataan
Healing the mind, body and spirit at the Pinto Museum
Four tours provide us a perspective on the past from the current. Carlos’ tour starts at Fort Santiago in Manila and ends at San Agustin Church and at Plaza San Luis. Mt. Samat is at Pilar Bataan, three hours away from Manila via the Olongapo Road or the NLEX/ SCTEX (North Luzon Expressway/ Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). Las Casas is a creation of Architect Jerry Acuzar buying heritage houses, disassembling the parts, reconstructing and restoring them back in this site along the coast of Bagac, Bataan.

Pinto is in Grand Heights, 1870 Antipolo City.

Texture of greens and natural wood
Cordillera in Antipolo

Where every part of the site is an attraction and a visual feast
Sites visited were appreciated better the places because of the personalized annotations of Leo Gregorio at Acuzar and Andy Orencio at Pinto. Both were knowledgeable and authentic advocates of the works of their masters and passionate in imparting the messages. The tours took about 3 hours each to complete which was leisurely paced.

Entrance at Pinto with artists' names engraved

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