Between the Angono and Binangonan boundary, National Artist, acclaimed muralist and Angono native Carlos “Botong” Francisco discovered 127 drawings of animal and human figures engraved in the rock surface along with fragments of earthenware, shells and obsidian flakes carbon dated to circa 3000 B.C. and what has come to be known as the Angono Petroglyphs, a cultural heritage site certified by the National Museum (there is a branch of the National Museum onsite). The site was discovered in 1965 and the Angono Petroglyphs represent the oldest known Filipino relic and artwork. The Angono Petroglyphs have been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the support of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and declared as a National Cultural Treasure by virtue of Presidential Decree 260 and in 1996, it was nominated as one of the ‘100 Most Endangered Sites of the World’ under the World Monument Watch List. Entrance is free, and the site is just before the swanky Thunderbird Resort, there is a small sign that says Angono Petroglyphs, turn right and you will see an old warehouse, follow the dirt road to the right and then when you see the tunnel drilled through a mountain, you may either walk straight through it or ride a tricycle or you may drive your car.
Aside from the more famous Hinulugang Taktak, Rizal also has another two beautiful waterfalls- Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls of Tanay. Daranak is owned by the provincial government of Rizal and there is a minimal fee of PhP20 per person to enter, and compared with the Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo is a little bit cleaner. During the rainy season, these two falls gush ebullient cascades of water which is made quite mesmerizing by the fact that these beautiful waterfalls are so close to Manila!
Sticky rice bundles being sold outside Antipolo Church.
Another must visit place in Angono is the old, and preserved studio of famed Philippine muralist and National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco (The Second Gallery, Doña Aurora Street/+63.917.9531104/www.secondgallery.blogspot.com) who was known for his historical pieces and being one of the first Filipino modernists along with Victorio C. Edades and Galo Ocampo (known as the Triumvirate amongst the local art circles) – a rebellion from another National Artist Fernando Amorsolo who is more known for his romanticist works of Philippine scenes. His works include the Bayanihan, Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, The Martyrdom of Rizal, Magpupukot, Fiesta, The Invasion of Limahong, Muslim Betrothal, Sandugo and Portrait of Purita. These murals have been replicated in bas reliefs on the street where the former master lived. Botong Francisco’s grandson Totong, a visual artist in his own right now maintains a gallery of his own attached to his gramps’ restored studio. Buzz in, they are usually open even during Sundays, entrance is free.
With the discovery of the ancient drawings, the town of Angono solidified its reputation of being the Cradle of Philippine Art. Angono is a proud home to artist families where a visit to the Blanco Family Museum (Ibañez Streetfirstname.lastname@example.org) in Angono Town is a must- whose museum houses the paintings of the entire family from the youngest (7 Children- all painters) to the patriarch of the family. Some of the paintings can be so detailed that they almost look like photographs and their recurring themes are the travels of the family as well as the pastoral scenes of Angono and Laguna de Bay. Unfortunately some of these paintings were stolen and have yet to be found. Indeed, the museum is extraordinary in how so much talent can be found in just a single family. Museum Hours- : 9-11am, 1-5pm everyday with minimal fee which includes a guided tour.
A trip to the 5,000 year old petroglyphs of Binangonan/Angono, the museums and the art scene of Angono, the waterfalls of Tanay and Antipolo.