Filipinos in the Gilded Age at the Leon Gallery

I’m the proud mom of a self-proclaimed art freak. My baby girl, Mica, has been going on an on about this art exhibit in Makati. Since I found myself a bit of free time, I decided to indulge her in her new interest and together, we checked out the exhibit.

Filipinos in the Gilded Age features artworks of Filipino artists during the 19th century. It brings together ouvres of ilustrados such as Juan Luna, Damian Domingo, Jose Taviel de Andrade and Felix Resureccion Hidalgo among others. The pieces, housed in a gallery dressed up as a well-appointed colonial room, depict scenes in colonial Philippines as well as faces and views encountered by the artist-ilustrados in their European travels. While Mica waxed poetic about Hidalgo’s sweeping seascape and Luna’s brooding portrait of a Spanish noblewoman, most notable for me are Hidalgo’s impressionistic depictions of women in natural settings and the anito-ish renditions of religious icons.

The exhibit seeks to provide this generation’s new breed of artists a glimpse into the legacy of past masters and peek into the struggles of Filipino artists forging an identity.

Filipinos in the Gilded Age is on show at the Leon Gallery located at G/F Corinthian Plaza, Paseo de Roxas, Legaspi Village, Makati City until July 20. Entrance is free.

Family Trip to Bangui Wind Farm

Over the Holy Week break this past year, the family went to Vigan. From there, we traveled to the Northern tip of Luzon to Bangui, Ilocos Norte, site of the Bangui Wind Farm. Unlike the Pililla Wind Farm that we recently visited which sits on a mountain, the Bangui Wind Farm is found along the beach facing the South China Sea. Twenty wind turbines standing in line along the sandy shore makes for quite a dramatic view.

The Bangui Wind Farm is the output of the NorthWind Bay Project, an initiative that explores renewable and environmentally sound energy sources. It supplies 40 percent of Ilocos Norte’s power requirements.

The Bangui Wind Farm is considered to be the biggest in Southeast Asia, and a trip to Ilocos will not be complete without a visit to this site.

Check it out of Foursquare!

A Quick Getaway to Bahay Bakasyunan

I mentioned in a previous post that during a recent stay in Bahay Bakasyunan, our family caught sight of the Pililla Wind Farm. Bahay Bakasyunan has become a family favorite for hassle-free out-of-town trips as it is more easily accessible to people like us who reside east of Manila.

It is a sprawling resort in Tanay, with amazing views of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Laguna de Bay. It has accommodations that can house pairs or large groups. Use of its various swimming pools (3 infinity pools near the main office and 2 near the cottages) is part of the accommodations package but the more adventurous family members can engage in ziplining, ATV rides (like my son!), wall climbing and more.

If you’re planning to stay at Bahay Bakasyunan anytime soon, here are some tips to make your stay even more enjoyable:

  • Be prepared to be disconnected. Mobile data signals are spotty at best and totally non-existent in some areas.
  • Provide the waiters in the dining room a list of your preferred meals (refer to their menus) at least 2 hours prior to dining. Use the order slips at the reception. That way, your food will be waiting for you when you get to the dining room.
  • Try to get up early to see the view in the morning.

Let me know what other places are great for quick getaways near the Metro.

Bahay Bakasyunan Resort and Conference Center is located at Sitio Balimbing, Barangay Plaza Aldea, Tanay, Rizal. For reservations, call:

  • Landline: 02 7064509
  • Mobile: 0917 5755116, 0998 9942513, 0917 8303438

(We learned that other guests were able to secure discounts from deal sites like Agoda or Expedia but we haven’t tried booking from those yet.)

Exploring the Pililla Wind Farm

During our family’s stay in Bahay Bakasyunan in Tanay earlier this year, we were able to catch sight of a row of windmills near the shores of Laguna de Bay. These are some of the 27 windmills of Pililla Wind Farm in Rizal, operated by Alternergy and helps serve the need of Metro Manila for renewable energy.

The family took advantage of the holiday break and headed over to Brgy Halayhayin in Pililla, Rizal to see these structures up close. Aside from the windmills, we also saw the glittering expanse of Laguna de Bay.

There’s a viewing deck which provides great perspectives of the windmills and the lake. It also has a cafe that serves coffee, shakes and pastries.

Despite the heat, nearly non-existent mobile data signal and the long trek going here, the trip here was worth it.

Check out other scenic places nearby:

Christmas Every Day at Casa Santa Museum

In keeping with the holiday season, I took the family to Casa Santa Museum. It is a structure situated inside Jardin de Miramar in Antipolo City. It houses over 3,000 Santa Clause items, ranging from life-size statues to miniature trinkets (even the washroom has Santa items!), all part of a privately owned collection.

  After perusing the Santa collection, we strolled around the gardens and found spaces to enjoy the cool breezes and greenery.

If ever you’re in the Metro, drop by Casa Santa for some holiday cheer. It is open everyday from 8.30am to 5pm. Tickets are Php180 per person (whether adult or child).

Eclectic Aesthetics at Pinto Museum

I originally planned to visit Pinto Museum with my officemates but our planned outing kept on getting postponed. I decided to take my kids on an adventure to Antipolo and check this place out.

If you’re taking kids (or any student) with you, be sure to bring their IDs as this slashes Php80 off the regular Php180 entrance fee.

What impressed me about this place is the melding of culture and nature. Sculptures and other artistic installations are displayed outside amidst the greenery. Many of the paintings are hung inside wide and airy galleries that let in a lot of natural light (I hope that the museum curators are able to preserve the quality of the artworks as sunlight does have an adverse effect on pigments).

The meditation garden dedicated to Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera also has an escritoire where you can pen a missive to your “the one who got away” to help you “let go.” (Cue the #hugotlines and #walangforever diatribes.)

    We explored the different galleries containing various artworks. I wished we arrived earlier so we could have taken our time exploring.


I marveled at how, in various ways throughout this place, nature provides a backdrop for artwork and at how architecture and art provides a frame for nature.

All that walking around will soon get you hungry so it’s lucky that the museum has a cafe where you can hang out in while having  refreshments.

My kids and I had a tiring yet fun adventure here. I’m looking forward to showing this place to my friends from out of town.

Pinto Museum is Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Tickets are priced at Php200 for adults, Php180 for senior citizens and PWD with valid IDs and Php100 for students with valid school IDs (Children below 3 years old are free).

The museum is located at 1 Sierra Madre St, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo. Rizal.

For inquiries, call +63 2 6971015.