Amidst all the trendiness in the art scene today, looking at these terribly old-fashioned works of Philippine rural and village life was kind of a comfort.
MEMORIES OF ANOTHER LIFETIME
The universal theme of the paintings was nostalgia in itself.
It was a very enjoyable way to spend the morning, looking at vignettes of Philippine life long gone by.
And, of course, for foreigners, such a museum is a particularly special treat as these paintings give them insights into Philippine culture.
Each painting by Pitok Blanco’s son or daughter also states the age of the child when the painting was done.
So many of the paintings were really amazing, considering they were done at the age of four or five years old, for instance.
A GREAT TOUR GUIDE
We were very lucky, as well, as Art Blanco, one of the Blanco grandsons, happened to be around.
He personally toured us through about half of the museum.
Along the way, his wondrous stories of his grandfather and uncles and aunts, as well as his explanations of each painting, made everything ten times more interesting for us.
The ambassador’s wife couldn’t believe that this young man was so good at explaining every painting. She asked him: “How do you know all of this?“
Art replied: “We were all close to our grandparents. And my grandfather explained his paintings to us whenever we came over for Sunday lunch or family gatherings.”
The ambassador and his wife enjoyed this visit immensely.
But if you do go, I’d recommend that you take a fan with you as it’s really a family residence with paintings on exhibit, rather than a museum; so it doesn’t have infrastructure like centralized airconditioning.
But, then again, this is part of its charm — especially in this era of minimalist and uber-cool galleries with lots of art that look more like advertising, or like something done in five minutes.
TIMELY INSPIRATION FOR SRI LANKA
This short but very pleasant visit certainly inspired me to take up painting again.
And this is exactly what I did after that, when I decided to bring my watercolors another wonderful journey in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.