By: MJ Gonzales |Gogagah
Best known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines,” Angono (Rizal) is the home of National Artist for Music Maestro Lucio San Pedro and Visual Arts Carlos “Botong” Francisco, and the current roasters of visuals artists like Jose Pitok Blanco and his family. Again, Jose Pitok Blanco and his family.
The Blancos are exceptional because from Pitok and his wife Loreto “Loring” Perez down to their seven kids namely Glenn, Noel, Michael, Joy, Jan, Gay, and Paul are all talented in visual arts. They’re the first family of painters that did art show in the National Museum in 1978.
It was year 1980 when Blanco Art Exhibit offered to the public, while it was only on March 19, 1990 when it was renovated and became Blanco Family Museum at 312 Ibañez Street in Angono. If it’s still intact as of our last visit, there are more than 400 artworks that collected in five decades and displayed inside the museum. The place, which opens daily till 5 pm with below Php 100 entrance fee, is well- lighted and spacious for visitors’ picture-taking splurge and convenience.
The arrangement of paintings is according to age of the family so the first part belongs to the youngest, Peter Paul. Most of Paul’s artworks were created when he was just a little boy, so it’s easy to imagine that perhaps even at the tender age of three or four, he already showed strong potential in visual arts.
Next to Paul’s part is the exhibit of Gay, which mostly colorful and display joys in simple life. On the other hand, Jan is good in details that even a fly on a pale is look so natural. The museum also shows his progress like when they displayed both his first (August 1981) and second (1985) attempts to paint his own creation called “Tagabundok” (Mountain Dweller).
Joy looks like has penchant in painting old folks, flowers and fishermen based on her works, while Michael is brilliant in showing emotional scenarios just like what he did in “The Peasant” and “Beginning of a New Day.” Meantime, some of Noel’s paintings display day-to-day challenges most especially at work. The elder in Blanco’s brood, Glen, is fond of subjects that will divide your attention. Some have many characters, while the others have only few but with interesting backgrounds.
On the other note, it’s inspiring to learn that Mrs. Blanco started her career in the field of education. She just started to paint at 48-year old, but despite of that, her gift still emerges and expresses her values as a mother or woman.
Meanwhile, you may be confused if Pitok’s creations were really hand painted or captured by a camera because of details, colors, and feel. His paintings also show his funny side and fondness of including his own image or any of his kids in some of his works. On the other note, it seems that it was easy for him to pass his art to his entire family because of their bonding time. They used to paint and travel together for their exhibits. Mr. Blanco, who’s also muralist and known for his folk realism style, died in 2008 due to heart attack.