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MANILA, Philippines - February is not just hearts month, but also arts month – a time to celebrate the work and talent of Filipino artists. And while this arts celebration is nearing its end, art lovers and travelers can still go off on art-filled adventures, some even long after this month.
Here are some places to check out and activities to do for a happy marriage of art and travel:
1) Angono, Rizal
What better place to do some art tripping than in the art capital of the Philippines? You’ll be hard-pressed not to find art here as it is almost everywhere, including the streets. Angono is home to two National Artists, Carlos “Botong” Francisco (painting) and Lucio San Pedro (music), as well as to other prominent artists, including a family of gifted artists, the Blanco family.
Aside from the art galleries and street art, here you will also find the Angono Petroglyphs, the oldest known artwork in the Philippines.
For inquiries, you may visit Angono Tourism Office’s Facebook page.
2) Art and music festivals
The Philippine Arts Festival is ending this month, but you can still catch some of the art events on the last week of February. For those traveling to Visayas this weekend, you can catch theater performances in Abatan River and other heritage sites in Bohol. There will also be literary festivals in Tacloban, Leyte, and Capul, Northern Samar.
And, at the south of Metro Manila is also a music festival, the Bamboo Organ Festival. You can hear music from the only organ made almost entirely of bamboo in the world, with the performances of local and international artists alike. The annual Bamboo Organ Festival in Las Piñas will run from this weekend until February 27. You can check out the program and schedules here.
Below is a video of a performance at the Bamboo Organ Festival last year. Hearing its music in person, though, is an altogether different experience.
Even though the national arts festival is ending this month, you can still check with the local government website or tourism office of your next travel destination if there will be any festivals during your visit. So in addition to beach bumming and city touring, you can do some art tripping.
3) Local destinations’ arts and crafts
Art is not just about artworks displayed in museums or large exhibits. In many travel destinations around the Philippines, art is also a way of life and livelihood for locals. Have a more culturally-rich travel experience by watching locals create art before your eyes.
Watch locals in Sagada, Aklan, or Zamboanga weave clothing and home decor, and watch Capiz locals make capiz. Wherever you go, it is likely you will find locals making art for a living, if you know where to look. And, when you buy from them, you support their livelihood too.
If you are unsure where to find these local artists, your safest bet is to coordinate with the local tourism office.
Arts month or not, you can make your local travels rich not only by experiencing the natural beauty of beaches and mountains, but also the ingenuity of Filipino artists. - Rappler.com
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