Art and Culture · Rizal

Taking Pride of Angono’s Street Murals

The art tour at Angono will not be complete without delving into the National Artists’ zone.

We hailed a tricyle going to Doña Aurora Street at Brgy. Poblacion Itaas, where the residence of our very own National Artist for the Arts, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, is found. I heard his popularity during our history class in my elementary school years, and finally I was able to set foot in his residence.

Carlos

The art museum flaunts the memorabilia of the famous artist showing his involvement in visual arts (muralist and movie production designer).

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Carlos “Botong” Francisco was conferred the award of National Artist in 1973. Based on the citation issued to his honor, he revived the forgotten art of mural and distinctively practiced it for nearly three decades. Hence, he was tagged as the foremost Filipino muralist. His artworks recorded fragments of the historical development of the City of Manila and the “legendary courage of the ancestors of the Filipino race.” Hence, his mural “History of Manila” was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 1996.

His grandson, Carlos “Totong” Francisco II, welcomed us. He owns the gallery in front of Botong Francisco’s house, which he called the Second Gallery. He is also an artist dedicated to abstract portraits.

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Taking pictures inside the museum is allowed. No entrance fees but donations are welcome.

Street Murals

Along Doña Aurora Street stood an array of murals or sculptured walls which depicted the paintings of Carlos “Botong” Francisco. Art is embedded in the cultural tradition of its villagers since the murals were sculpted on their concrete fences by contemporary artists Charlie Anorico, Gerry Bantang and Ebong Pinpino. We enjoyed strolling along this “museum” street, as I call it, and could not stop taking lots of pictures of these remarkable artworks.

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The Bayanihan, one of Francisco’s famous works, expresses the zest of country life.

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At the entrance to the street are series of inscriptions of the lyrics and musical notes of the classic “Ugoy ng Duyan” composed by Lucio San Pedro, National Artist for music, on concrete fences. We followed through these walls and found ourselves singing the song. I remembered my grandmother humming this lullaby to my cousins.

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I was happy being here and truly appreciated Angono’s rich cultural heritage brought about by its townspeople.

How to get there: From the Angono vicinity, ride a tricycle to Brgy. Polacion Itaas. 

Angono Municipal Hall

After the heartening adventure, we headed to the terminal beside the Municipal Hall to get a ride back to Manila. I was intrigued with the higantes at the doorstep so I took pictures of it. How I wished I could witness the Higantes Festival this November.

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