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Friday, November 4, 2016

Angono Travel Series Part 2 : Where to Go (with Itinerary and travel information!)

If you're in Manila and looking for a nice day trip, consider Angono, the Philippines' art capital. Located in the province of Rizal, it's only 1-2 hours away (depending on traffic) and easy to reach either by public or private transportation. With most galleries and restaurants  close to each other, it's an ideal destination for food and art lovers who have limited time.  

Here are some of the art galleries and other places I visited recently with my fellow bloggers. 

Related post : Check out part 1, Where to Eat in Angono


Though Balaw Balaw is popular as a specialty restaurant serving exotic and folk dishes, their gallery is also worth a visit! It features paintings and sculptures from members of the Vocalan family  and other local artists, showcasing  Filipino folklore and traditions. Do  try out their adventurous dishes while you're there! Crickets anyone? 
Fellow blogger, Gretchen Dublin of Filipina Explorer taking photos in the art gallery of Balaw Balaw Specialty restaurant
Another equally interesting art gallery and restaurant which you can actually spot from Balaw Balaw is Nemiranda Arthouse and Atelier Restoran along Dona Elena Street. Click this link for more information. (Facebook Page : Atelier Restoran)

Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant
Address : 16 Doña Justa Subdivision Phase 1, Manila East Highway Angono, Rizal
Contact Number : +63(02) 651 0110
Business Hours : Daily, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM 
Facebook Page : Balaw Balaw 
Website : http://www.balawbalawresto.webs.com/

Mr. Michael Blanco, one of the owners and artists whose work is on display in the family-owned museum. I  enjoyed touring around and listening to his stories on some of the paintings. :)
Built on a 1,200 meter lot in 1980, this museum houses a collection of more than 400 artworks by all nine members of the Blanco family. Their works highlighted Filipino culture and tradition using realism,a style depicting real life.  They've mastered it so well that staring at a painting infuses a dose of inspiration to its viewer.  With the wide pool of artistic talent in the family, it's no surprise that the Blancos became the first to stage a family exhibit at the National Museum in 1978! 

Going around, visitors can witness the progression of each artist, with the paintings arranged  in different galleries starting from the youngest of the siblings, Peter Paul (born 1980), followed by Gay, Jan, Joy, Michael, Noel and Glenn,  then on to their parents, Loreto, their mother who began painting at 48 years old and the patriarch who started it all, Jose "Pitok". Each gallery of the siblings contains their works as children up to the time they grew up. It was amusing to see how each sibling evolved in terms of technique! 
Dada of PointandShootWanderlust.com checking out one of the galleries in Blanco museum
Other Facilities : 
- audio visual room that can accommodate 50 guests for lecture or meeting
- Jose Blanco Hall that can be used for performing arts, lectures and conferences 
- a gallery for art exhibits
- garden and koi pond

Blanco Family Museum

Address : 31 Ibanez St., Brgy. San Vicente, Angono, Rizal
Email : blancomuseum@yahoo.com
Contact numbers : +63 (02)651-0048 / 09266730805
Operating Hours : Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM-1:00 PM-6:00 PM
Entrance Fee : 100 Pesos
Facebook Page : Blanco Family Museum

In 1973, Carlos "Botong" Francisco (November 4, 1912 – March 31, 1969), a notable muralist from Angono was conferred posthumously as a National Artist for Visual Arts.
When he was alive, his former residence along Dona Aurora Street also served as his studio. Now under the care of his grandson, Totong, also an artist, visitors of the gallery can view Botong's memorabilia including his old tools and the medal awarded to him as a National Artist. Totong's works are also displayed near the entrance of the gallery. 
Memorabilia of Botong Francisco displayed at the Second Gallery
Works of Totong displayed at The Second Gallery
Carlos "Botong" Francisco Second Gallery
Address : 217 Dona Aurora St. Angono, Rizal
Contact Number : +63 661 05 98 (Landline) | +63 998 532 5004 (Mobile Number)
Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/CarlosFranciscoStudio2Gallery/
Entrance Fee : Donation only.


Dona Aurora Street
The street that served as Botong Francisco's old residence is lined with murals featuring replicas of his works, created as a tribute by Charlie Anorico and other local artists.
A replica of a  mural by Carlos "Botong" Francisco featuring a significant event in
Philippine history, the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal
At the end of the block is a mural honoring another National Artist, Lucio San Pedro, a notable musician. Featured on a wall of a house are the lyrics to one of his works, "Sa Ugoy ng Duyan".
A mural dedicated to Lucio San Pedro located at the end of Dona Aurora Street
Tricycles regularly pass through this narrow street. Be careful when taking photos of the murals! It would be nice if they can limit the vehicles to residents. As this is an open street, you can pass by at any time. No fees are being charged to visitors. Best to come early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat or bring a cap or umbrella.  
Location : Dona Aurora Street, Poblacion Itaas, Angono

Laguna de Bay as seen from Angono Lakeside Park
Locals refer to this place as "Wawa" (not to be confused with Wawa Dam in Montalban :P), a recreation area in Brgy. San Vicente.  Located beside a section of Laguna de Bay, it  offers residents and visitors a tranquil space to hang out. It's also a good space to run or bike. Entrance to the park is free but trying out other activities like the zipline and boating across Laguna de Bay come with a minimal fee.  Another beautiful attraction in the area that's free of charge is the sunset. :)

Travel Tip: Apply some insect repellent when you come here.
Read more about it on Celineism's blog.

Angono Lakeside Park
Barangay San Vincente, Angono
Best time to go is around 4:00 PM when it's less hot or early in the morning if you want it really quiet. Facilities and food stalls may not be open if you come in too early though but you can always grab good food near Angono town proper. :)

From the main entrance, visitors must pass this tunnel on the way to the viewing deck of the Angono Petroglyphs
Located in an old forest, the rock shelter where the drawings were found was used by Filipino guerillas during World War II and was a serendipitous discovery by National Artist, Carlos "Botong" Francisco. He was on a field trip with a troop of boy scouts when their group stopped for a rest. While lying down, he noticed the engravings on the rock and reported it to the National Museum in 1965.

The 127 drawings, in a shape similar to frogs and lizards were engraved on a rock shelter and is officially recognized as the Philippines' oldest known artwork.

Viewing platform of the Angono Petroglyphs. It's also a good place for Instagram worth nature-inspired shots :P

How to Commute to Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
From Angono town proper, hire a tricycle towards the site. As the road is steep, not all tricycles may be willing to climb up all the way to the entrance so be prepared to walk. 

Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs National Museum 
Brgy. Bilihiran, Binangonan, Rizal (same road going to Thunderbird Resorts in Binangonan)
Operating Hours : 
Mondays-Fridays, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by appointment
Entrance fees : P20 for adults | P10 for students.
Contact Information: National Museum Central Office; +63 (02) 527-4192 
Email: nm_asbmd@yahoo.com

For additional info, please check this article from National Museum.

Related Blog :  For other museums in Angono, check out this post by Angono resident, Celineism. 

How to get to Angono
If commuting, you can take a a UV express van from Shaw Boulevard. The terminal is right in front of Star Mall (This mall is on the southbound side just along EDSA, across Shangri La Plaza Mall). The vans going to Angono run daily but trips start around noon. As an alternate, you can board a van going to Binangonan which has trips 24/7 and ask driver to let you off in Angono. Fare is 50 Pesos as of Oct 2016. Travel time would be dependent on the traffic. On a Sunday, ride takes only 30-40 minutes.

Where to stay in Angono? During our 2 day tour, we stayed at Villa Jhoana, a nice resort close to the city proper. For details, please see part 1 of this post by clicking here (info on the resort is near the bottom of the page.

- Note that most art galleries/museums are closed on Monday. Check the operating hours for each gallery on this post before going. However, schedules may change. You may contact the galleries on the numbers or FB page which I've also shared. 
- With the exception of Angono Petroglyphs, all galleriesm including the Lakeside Park are within walking distance from each other. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing. 
- Need some quality, cheap clothes? Come visit the tiangge (bazaars) in Taytay located near Club Manila East. Nice dresses can go as low 100 Pesos and shirts at 70 pesos! Taytay is just next to Angono, about 15-30 minutes away. Check out this blog for some helpful info! :)

For more travel information and to receive regular updates on Angono, please hit the Like button on their Facebook page, Angono Tourism

Angono celebrates Higantes Festival every November. For a comprehensive schedule of activities, please check out my post. Click here.

Shout out to  fellow blogger Celine Reyes and Lady of Angono Tourism for inviting us to explore Angono!

Please check out part 1 of this post, Where to Eat in Angono

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Angono Travel Series Part 1 : Where to Eat (Plus travel information!)

The province of Rizal is close to a section of the Sierra Madre mountain range and I've gone here several times for hiking but with limited to go around, I haven't explored much of its surrounding towns. Last week, I joined my fellow bloggers on a 2-day tour and this time, I was introduced to the thriving food and art scene of  one of its municipalities, Angono! :)

Dubbed as the Art Capital of the Philippines, Angono has numerous galleries, museums, food establishments featuring art works and even an entire street lined with murals! It is also the hometown of two National Artists, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, a noted muralist and Lucio San Pedro, the composer behind the classic, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan (Listen to it here.)

After two days of overeating, I'm sharing with you all the food establishments we visited, where you can indulge in affordable, quality, comfort food. :) 

Related Post : Where to Go in Angono for arts and recreation!

Shooting the food at Balaw Balaw Restaurant. #Bloggerlife :P
Opened in 1982 by the late artist Perdigon and his wife, Luz Vocalan, this specialty restaurant has become a prominent establishment in Angono. While its menu focuses on serving Filipino food cooked the traditional way,  it is widely known for serving exotic dishes with ingredients such as native duck, frogs, snails, balot, Soup #5 (cow's testes or penis) and is often featured in blogs and television programs. The restaurant's name, Balaw Balaw was derived from a dish of tiny fermented  rice and shrimp with the same name. It serves as an appetizer and sauce, considered a common  accompaniment of every satisfying meal.
(Left) Cream dory wrapped in Alagao leaves
(Right) Soup Number 5(cow testicles)
(Top) Fried Alamang, a crunchy and salty side dish, love this one!
Aside from exotic dishes, they also serve Filipino favorites such as kare-kare, sinigang and more, as well as palatable experimental dishes such as Cream dory in deep-fried Alagaw leaves and fried alamang. 

Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery
Address : 16 Doña Justa Subdivision Phase 1, Manila East Highway Angono, Rizal
Contact Number : +63(02) 651 0110
Business Hours : Daily, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM 
Facebook Page : Balaw Balaw 
Website : http://www.balawbalawresto.webs.com/
Price Range : 200 Pesos above per dish
Notes :  main dining area is open air and can accommodate big groups
Aside from the food, also worth checking out is its art gallery featuring paintings and sculptures of the Vocalan family and other local artists.

Recommended for those who have a relentless appetite for sweets, this cozy pastry shop offers  moist cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies, coffee and cold drinks that are budget-friendly (Price range : 30 pesos for the cupcakes and 70-140 Pesos for a slice of cake).They also serve snacks such as pastas and quesadillas, fitting salty accompaniments to sweet treats if you ask me. :) 
Some of the items we tried at Kim is Hungry - Quesadilla, Carbonara, lasagna, lots of cakes and cupcakes!
We had several cakes and cupcakes - at least five of each! All were  moist and aptly sweet. The quesadillas' a hit too. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try it. My fellow foodies finished everything off before I could have a bite so it must be really that  good! (Friends, I forgive you, I have my selfish, weak moments too :P). 
More cakes from Kim is Hungry. My personal favorite is blueberry cheesecake because it has real blueberries! 
Kim is Hungry  
Address : 2nd floor Paulina Bldg. M. Diaz corner A. Ibanez Brgy. Sto. Nino, Angono, Rizal
Contact Number : + 63 0916 271 7551
Email Address : kimishungrycakes@yahoo.com.ph
Business Hours : Monday 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM / Tuesday-Sunday  11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Facebook Page : KimisHungry
Notes & Tips : Seating capacity is limited, ideal for small groups (5-10 people); has aircon;

Budget-friendly menu of Wings on the Go 
Its name pretty much gives its menu away. Their buffalo wings are flavorful and crispy, a great pair for their grilled burgers which comes with juicy, sizable patties. The bread is on the sweet side which complements the salty flavor of the beef. Other items to enjoy with the wings and burger are nachos, fries and salad.  It opens late in the afternoon  at 3:00 PM, making it a it a good place for a heavy snack or dinner. 
buffalo wings and  burger at Wings to Go
Wings on the Go
Address : #213 E. Rodriguez Street Brgy. Sto. Nino Angono, Rizal
Contact Numbers : 
Landline +63 (02) 6513051 
Mobile Number +63 09265332794 
Business Hours : 
Monday - Closed
Tuesday-Thursday, 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday-Sunday, 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Facebook Page : Wings on the Go
Notes & Tips :waiting time for orders is 30 minutes to one hour. If you're really hungry or traveling with a group, call on the numbers above to order in advance)

Overloading on sugar at Lava Mocha. Better bring your friends when trying this out!
Another option for those who love sweets, this cafe offers ginormous coffee shakes, snacks and meals such as pastas, rice meals, nachos, camote chips, chicken wings, cheeze fries and mojos (Menu here). It's of the bigger cafes we've visited and is conducive for hanging out long hours. 
We were so full but I just had to try the food which turned out to be a good decision. :P Yum!
Aside from serving coffee and food, it's also a space that showcases paintings and arts & crafts of its locals. A signature item on the menu is Higante Frappe, a dessert coffee topped with syrup, candies, marshmallows, candies and chocolates. At 280 Pesos, it's good enough to be shared by 3 people.  You can also choose a DIY frappe and and top your drink  with your choice of marshmallows, wafers, candies and chocolates.  

Lava Mocha
Address : 97 Doña Aurora Street Barangay San Roque Angono Rizal 
(near Angono High School and Pandayan Bookstore) 
Business Hours : Daily, 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Facebook Page : Lava Mocha
Notes & Tips: with free wifi; try their photo booth at the second floor. You need to bring your own camera though but the masks  and other props are free to use.

Balwarte's Pork steak, balun-balunan (chicken gizzard), and isaw.

Located on the second floor of an unmarked building, this obscure family-owned restaurant features mostly meat dishes that are packed with a lot of flavor. Their bestseller is the buffalo wings. Inspired by a relative undergoing a heartbreak, customers have the option to select from three levels of spiciness namely Nagmahal (a little sweet), Nasaktan (slight spicy) and Nagpatiwakal (overly spicy). 

*For the benefit of foreign readers, these Tagalog words translate to Nagmahal = pertaining to someone who loved, Nasaktan = got hurt and Nagpatiwakal = committed suicide). Pork steak and balun-balunan (chicken gizzard)  are also must trys. 
Address : 201 E. Rodriguez road cor. Mauricio Diaz, Sto. Nino, Angono, Rizal(it's on the 2nd floor of a building at the cor Mauricio Diaz street. Downstairs, you'll see other food stalls like Bulalugaw, Captain's Burger and I Love Milktea)
Contact Number : +63 0998 997 4548 (mobile)
Business Hours : 
Monday : 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday : Closed
Wednesday-Thursday & Sundays : 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday-Saturday : 2:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Facebook Page : Balwarte
Notes & Tips : If bringing a car, you can park at the side of a nearby gym or at the municipal hall. 

Coffee shakes at Art Capital Cafe
This cafe's a little farther from the rest of the establishments on this list, about  2KM away from Angono Municipal hall, but still very accessible. It's close to Manila East road, a major highway used by both public and private vehicles traversing Rizal.

Though slightly more modern than the other cafes we visited, it stayed  true to its creative roots with paintings, miniature Higantes, surrounding its dining area. 
The menu consists of sandwiches, nachos, mini burgers, pizza, pasta, beautifully decorated coffee frappe and non coffee-based shakes, teas (they serve Dilmah tea here). I was most impressed with their Amerikano, which you can have hot or iced (I prefer it hot). Freshly brewed, the flavor is strong, exactly the way I like it. It's the type of brew that leaves you inspired and feeling productive. I enjoyed it so much, I came back a week after, traveling all the way from Mandaluyong. It was a Sunday so the traffic was light. :P
Nice treats to pair with coffee at Art Capital Cafe
Art Capital Cafe
Address : M. L. Quezon Avenue, Brgy. San Isidro
Angono, Rizal (Nearby landmarks, San Martin Subdivision and Caltex)
Contact Number : +63 0920 597 6985 (Mobile Number)
Business Hours : Monday, 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM 
Tuesday-Thursday 12:00 PM-10:00 PM
Friday-Sunday, 12:00 PM-12:00 AM
Facebook Page : Art Capital Cafe
Notes & Tips : Dining area has around 5 small tables so consider that when visiting with friends; It has ample parking space though. 


Similar to a lot of other Filipino delicacies,  Kumanoy is made of coconut milk, ground rice and sugar. In other areas, it’s referred to as inutak.  Sweet and sticky, it's usually eaten as a snack. 

For other delicacies  to try in Angono, check out, 3 Angono Delicacies You Must Avoid (or Not) by Celineism 

Where to Try Kumanoy/Inutak?
One of the known makers in town is Jhoana Miano of Tindahan ni Inday, located along E. Dela Paz street, Brgy. San Pedro. Angono being a small town, it's easy to ask around for directions to "Tindahan ni Inday". Aside from Kumanoy, you can also order Pancit malabon, a Filipino noodle dish. You may also get in touch with her at +63 09176802779. 

Prices :  
50 pesos (lanera - this is a small molding dish, good for 1-2 persons)
Tray - 500 Pesos
Batya - 750 Pesos
Jhoanna Miano of Tindahan ni Inday

Chef Joel's Inutak (Kumanoy)

Chef's version is made from Thai glutinous rice flour mixed in with pure coconut milk.
Prices : 
Big Pan(5x7in) - 180.00  Pesos 
Small Pan (3x5in) - 95.00 Pesos
Solo pans (2x2) - 40.00 Pesos each or 220.00 Pesos for a box of six (must be ordered in advance)
To order, get in touch through their Facebook Page, Chef Joel or through his mobile number, +63 0917 632 3878.
Chef Joel's Inutak
How to get to Angono
If commuting, you can take a a UV express van from Shaw Boulevard. The terminal is right in front of Star Mall (This mall is on the southbound side just along EDSA, across Shangri La Plaza Mall). The vans going to Angono run daily but trips start around noon. As an alternate, you can board a van going to Binangonan which has trips 24/7 and ask driver to let you off in Angono. Fare is 50 Pesos as of Oct 2016. Travel time would be dependent on the traffic. On a Sunday, ride takes only 30-40 minutes. 


The establishments listed above are within walking distance from each other. 
Click on this link for a map which I plotted it for you! :) With the exception of Balaw Balaw and Lava Mocha, the seating capacity of most establishments we visited  are limited, suited for a group of 5. Consider that when planning your trip. 

Villa Jhoana is a former residence turned resort, located near the town proper.  It served as our home during our 2 day tour. With its spacious rooms, function halls, adult and children's pool, it's also a good option if you're looking for a venue to hold your teambuilding or company outing. 

Villa Jhoana
Address : 1070 Ibanez St. Carebi Subdivision, Brgy. San Isidro, Rizal, Angono, Philippines
Phone:  +63 2 542 8975
Mobile:  +63 917 453 5311
Website :http://www.villajhoanaresort-rizal.com/
To reserve, click on this link  (this goes to the resort's website)
Rates :
2,800 Pesos-5000 pesos depending on room type

Angono celebrates Higantes Festival every November. For a comprehensive schedule of activities, please check out my post. Click here. 

For more travel information and  to receive regular updates on what's happening in Angono, please hit the Like button on their Facebook page, Angono Tourism

Shout out to  fellow blogger Celine Reyes and Lady of Angono Tourism for inviting us to explore Angono's joyfully edible side. 

Please click here for my post on art galleries in Angono! :) 

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