Reunion Tour

Antipolo City, the Philippines

July 10, 2017

Squad goal achieved! Way back when the world was not yet a wide web, I lost touch with grade school friends Ramir and Antonieto, one of my first beshies (best friend in non-millennial speak). It took the invention of Facebook to reconnect us. And a road trip through Antipolo, where Tony (three decades had cut his name) relocated in the intervening years, to regroup our squad, long-disbanded before the Spice Girls’ swan song!

With Tony and Ramir @ Hinulugang Taktak

Hinulugang Taktak @ Antipolo

Curiosity drove us to our first stop, the environmental disaster that was Hinulugang Taktak, a waterfall known to be choked by pollution. But surprise! The city government had finally made an effort to rehabilitate the river. A canopy of trees provided cool shade, but less paving would have allowed for a more natural environment.

Foamy Water of Hinulugang Taktak @ Antipolo

At the foot of the falls, foamy water collected in the lagoon. It was common knowledge that garbage and soap suds from residents upstream eventually killed the river. Were they still doing their laundry? That explained the concrete pool; the water was not fit for swimming.

With Ramir and Tony @ Hinulugang Tatak, Antipolo

We were soon back on the road. Ramir at the wheel took directions from Antipolo resident Tony. Our road trip turned to a laugh trip when we kept making the wrong turns and missing the right ones. That was why Waze was invented.

Road Trip and Laugh Trip with Ramir and Tony
Welcome to Pinto Art Museum @ Antipolo

Despite the detours, we made it to 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights, Antipolo – aka Pinto Art Museum, a major player in the vigorous art scene of Rizal Province. Its pinto (Tagalog for door) thrust us to an enclave of eye candy, thought-provoking, sexually explicit collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and art installations by various local artists.

TTT with Supernova Antonieto Barobaro
Pinto Art Museum @ Antipolo

PAM was not only a museum but a living environment, a landscaped compound of six villas-turned-galleries housing thematic artworks. There were nationalistic art, erotica, murals, and the avant-garde. The variety sustained interest; the open spaces overlooking the plains provided breathing interludes. The gardens contained hidden nooks to lose yourself in away from the crowds. It was a place where the physical and the metaphysical collided.

Texting Tony @ Pinto Art Museum
Pussy Whisperer: Ramir @ Pinto Art Museum
With Ramir and Tony @ Pinto Art Museum

Gardens surrounded the galleries and cafe with photogenic old Spanish architecture. The place begged to be instagrammed. My and Ramir’s cameras captured Tony’s slim and statuesque figure amidst art and nature that brought out his inner supermodel.

Supermodel Tony @ Pinto Art Museum
Tony, 2 Lovers, and a Mural @ Pinto Art Museum
Ramir @ Pinto Art Museum
Celestial Ascending by Riel Hilario (background) @ Pinto Art Museum
Hallow by Nona Garcia @ Pinto Art Museum
Erotica Room @ Pinto Art Museum
Untitled by Jecky Alano @ Pinto Art Museum
Pag Dating by Emmanuel Garibay and Untitled by Mark Justiniani @ Pinto Art Museum
Republic of the Philippines by Antonio C. Leano @ Pinto Art Museum
Man from Gapan by Marina Cruz-Garcia @ Pinto Art Museum
TTT @ Pinto Art Museum

Kudos to museum owner and art patron Dr. Joven Cuanang, who Ramir had been acquainted with, for giving Filipino artists a venue to exhibit their pieces, for sharing his own collection to the public, and for promoting culture and art appreciation.

Ramir with Dr. Joven Cuanang @ Pinto Art Museum

We wrapped up our little road trip with an ambush visit to the house of another grade school friend, Pong. He received us, gladly it seemed, into his lovely home. Once again we beat our favorite squad, the Spice Girls. This time in doing a reunion tour!

Ambush Reunion with Pong
Power Boys Tony and Ramir

4 thoughts on “Reunion Tour”

  1. Social media like Facebook reunite friends and families! FB has made it easier to organize High school reunions. When the time comes, it feels nostalgic and we reminisce who has the “long” hair during our heyday. Yes, life has its ups and down, and we always hope that everybody succeed when reunion comes. This includes those who make life hard and bully us during those days.

    1. Yes thanks to FB for reconnecting us with people whom we would’ve lost forever otherwise. All those years before the Internet, I just wondered what had become of my 2 friends. Now we’re one squad again! Amazing. Thanks to Zucky!!!

Leave a Reply to AJ Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s