RIZAL | Mural Walls of Angono

Magpupukot (mural by Charlie Anorico)

Dubbed as the Art Capital of the Philippines, the town of Angono is home to both famous and budding artists, art galleries, schools for the art, and the so-called Art Gallery on the Streets, one of its kind in the country (as of 2009).

Walls along the streets of Barangay Poblacion Itaas are adorned with murals painstakingly sculptured by several artists of the town depicting the artworks of Carlos "Botong" Francisco whose paintings are panoramic scenes of Philippine history, Filipino customs, and Filipino traditions.

Introduction of the First Christian Image (mural by Gerry Bantang)
Fluvial Festival of San Clemente (mural by Alex Villaluz)
Pista sa Nayon (mural by Gerry Bantang)

Andres Bonifacio ins a mural along Dona Aurora Street
Song of a Brown Man
Angelus (mural by Gerry Bantang)

On one end of Dona Aurora Street, the musical score of Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, an acclaimed lullaby arranged by Lucio San Pedro, was inscribed on the wall. However, during our visit, a part of the wall seems in need of restoration.

Sa Ugoy ng Duyan wall mural
Sa Ugoy ng Duyan wall mural

I remember during my high school graduation when we used to sing the "BCC March", a hymn of my Alma Mater which was also a composition of Maestro Lucio San Pedro.

A National Cultural Treasure

Botong Francisco's History of Manila, better known as The Filipino Struggles Through History, is a more than life-size mural on canvas measuring 2.70 meters high and 79.40 meters long permanently displayed at the Bulwagang Katipunan of Manila City Hall. It was installed in 1968 and was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure on April 1996.

History of Manila by Carlos Francisco
Replica of History of Manila

Replication and exposure of the mural to a wider public took more than 4 years to realize. The replica in concrete form measuring 2 meters high and 48 meters long was sculptured by Alex Villaluz on the fence of the St. Clement Church along Capt. Allano Street.

Tribute to the National Artists

The street gallery of Angono is a lasting tribute of Barangay Poblacion Itaas to the two National Artists who both hailed from the same barangay.

Carlos Francisco's citation as National Artist
Carlos Francisco, National Artist for Visual Arts (Conferred posthumously in 1973)
Lucio San Pedro's citation as National Artist
Lucio San Pedro, National Artist for Music (Conferred in 1991)

The local artists who contributed their talents for these works of art were Charlie Anorico, Gerry Bantang, Atoy Apostadero, Alex Villaluz, and Edwin Moreno.

The Second Gallery

Along Dona Aurora Street stands the house-studio of Carlos "Botong" Francisco and the art gallery of his grandson, Carlos "Totong" Francisco. The Second Gallery houses Totong's artworks and is home to Botong's continued legacy.

READ MORE: Botong Francisco's House and The Second Gallery

The Second Gallery of Carlos "Totong" Francisco

When I was a kid, I remember seeing these murals as our family go to the nearby St. Clement Church during Sundays. Back then, I have no idea that the street is an avenue of Angono's rich cultural heritage.

I am not blessed with an artist's hand nor a taste of a visual art enthusiast. But upon learning the history that walked with me as I stroll along, I realized that this ordinary street is a huge piece of the little town's artistic culture.

In case you want to see it yourself...

Barangay Poblacion Itaas is in Angono town proper. It is accessible via Ortigas Avenue and Manila East Road, turning right at M.L. Quezon Avenue upon reaching Angono Highway (Triangle), then turning right at Dona Aurora Street where the busts of Botong and Lucio welcome everyone with a smile.

There were jeepneys and shuttles bound for Angono in EDSA-Shaw Boulevard terminals. Fare is about PHP 50 for shuttles.

Art Gallery on the Streets is open for free viewing 24 hours a day. If you are a kind of person who appreciates art in any form, a kind who feels excited about history and culture, or just someone struck with boredom on a weekend, this gallery under the sun is worth your time. It is also a good venue for a photo walk. Just make sure to protect yourself from the sun's heat.

***Some photos were taken by Marella, my sister who is somewhat a painting enthusiast.


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of PinoyTravelogue.com based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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