6 romantic art destinations near Metro Manila

Rhea Claire Madarang

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6 romantic art destinations near Metro Manila
Perfect places just a few hours from Metro Manila to visit this month of arts and hearts

MANILA, Philippines – Just a few hours from Metro Manila are already some well-known and well-trodden destinations for nature lovers, like the mountains and waterfalls of Rizal and the beaches of Zambales.

In these same provinces, though, are also destinations perfect for art lovers.

ROMANTIC ART TRIPS. Places like Pinto Art Museum, which blends art and nature, are perfect for enjoying art. Photo by Jac Vidgen. All other photos by Rhea Claire Madarang unless otherwise specified

Below are some art destinations perfect for dates, or even for just a quick art getaway with friends or family.

Angono, Rizal

It is no exaggeration to say that art is everywhere in Angono, the Philippines’ art capital. From the typical art fare of galleries and museums to sculpted street art and restaurants and cafes with art – one even an artist’s atelier and training ground for his apprentices – art is almost everywhere you look in Angono. It also has the reported oldest artwork in the Philippines, the Angono Petroglyphs cave carvings.

Walk around, take in the street art, and enter any gallery or museum that catches your fancy. Have lunch at one of Angono’s art restaurants or cafes, particularly the Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery serving traditional Filipino cuisine, and the Nemiranda Arthouse Atelier Café and Restaurant. All of these can be explored on foot, save for the Angono Petroglyphs, which you will have to charter a tricycle for. (READ: 6 ways to enjoy beautiful, underrated Rizal)

STREET ART EVERYWHERE. Walk around Angono town’s streets to see art sculpted on walls outside houses and galleries.

ARTISTS’ LEGACY. Among the galleries and museums you can visit on your art walk, Blanco Family Museum is perhaps among the best. It showcases artworks of the Blanco Family, with works by artists as young as 6 years old.

EATING WITH ART. Have lunch or snacks at one of Angono’s restaurants or cafes, like here at Nemiranda Arthouse Atelier Café and Restaurant.

OLDEST ARTWORK. Ask a tricycle to take you to the cavelike rock shelter carved with the Angono Petroglyphs.

How to get to Angono: Take an Angono-bound van from EDSA-Shaw. Travel time is usually less than an hour.

Antipolo, Rizal

Angono’s neighbor Antipolo has its own share of galleries and museums, as well as a pottery workshop and café where you can learn pottery. Spend the morning exploring both the art and the surrounding manicured gardens of Pinto Art Museum, then head on to lunch at Crescent Moon Café and Studio Pottery, and possibly a pottery class or another art class in the afternoon. Just contact the Crescent Moon beforehand for lunch reservations and for pottery class schedules.

ART AND NATURE. Enjoy walking inside and around Pinto Art Museum’s whitewashed gallery and charming gardens. Photo by Jac Vidgen

ART GARDEN. At Pinto Art Museum, sculptures like these blend organically with nature. Photo by Jac Vidgen

MUSEUM INTERIORS. Also inside the museum are artworks like this sculpture, "Oblivious" by Stephanie Lopez. Photo by Jac Vidgen

POTTERY AND MORE. At the Crescent Moon, the studio of potter Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, you can also learn pottery and other art. Photo courtesy of Crescent Moon Café and Studio Pottery

LOCAL FOOD. Crescent Moon also serves local food like this salad featuring alagao leaves. Photo courtesy of Crescent Moon Café and Studio Pottery

How to get to Antipolo: Take an Antipolo-bound van or jeepney from Cubao or EDSA-Shaw. Specific destinations can be reached via tricycle. Travel time is usually less than an hour.

Paete, Laguna

As Paete is known as the woodcarving capital in the Philippines, you can easily find artists carving in their workshops and even on the streets as you walk around. Some artists give lessons, too. Others can be generous as to let you use their tools to get a feel for carving for a few minutes.

WOOD CARVING CAPITAL. Walk around Paete town and you will see most likely artists at work on the streets. Photo by Jherson Jaya of lonelytravelogue.com

What is also unique about Paete is its papier mâché figure collections. Here you will find anything ranging from fruits and vegetables (that look real!) for kitchen display to toys like the bright red painted horses also locally known as taka and other home decor. There are also unpainted papier mâché figures you can bring home to paint on yourself.

PAPER SCULPTURES. Paete town’s streets burst with the vivid colors of papier mâché figures like these.

PAPER HORSES. Bright red and plain papier mâché horses for painting.

Paete also has visual art galleries like Kape Kesada, which is also a café.

Here, you can relax after walking around and exploring the town.

ART AND FOOD. At Kape Kesada you can take in artworks while enjoying your snacks. Photo courtesy of Jherson Jaya of lonelytravelogue.com

How to get to Paete: Ride a Sta. Cruz-bound bus from EDSA, Buendia, or Alabang. From Sta. Cruz, ride a jeep to Siniloan and get off at Paete. Travel time is around 3-4 hours.

San Pablo, Laguna

While San Pablo is known for its seven lakes, one of which is Sampaloc Lake, it also has charming art cafes and bed and breakfasts, as well as some galleries.

Sulyap Gallery Café and Hotel is among the well-known art and heritage bed and breakfasts in San Pablo. Sulyap’s gallery café, museum, and hotel are rescued and restored old ancestral houses from other locations in the Philippines. Artifacts from old houses can be found in Sulyap’s museum, while artworks by local artists hang on the walls of its café and hotel rooms.

Art exhibits are regularly held at Sulyap. Sometimes local artists make art on the spot.

ART IN OLD HOUSES. Art can be found at Sulyap’s restored ancestral houses from other areas in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Sulyap

MUSEUM. Its museum houses historical artifacts. Photo by Paula Anntoneth O

ARTIST AT WORK. Sometimes, you can chance upon artists painting at Sulyap. Photo courtesy of Sulyap

Another art-themed bed and breakfast in town is Casa San Pablo. It is a sprawling garden property with a hotel, café, and art spaces with occasional exhibits and workshops. The owners are artists themselves, regularly making clay figures called the “Clay Storytellers.”


How to get to San Pablo: Ride a Lucena-bound bus from EDSA, Buendia, or Alabang and get off at San Pablo. From here specific destinations can be reached via jeepney or tricycle. Travel time is usually over two hours.

Tagaytay, Cavite

Most known for its cool air and view of Taal Volcano and its surrounding lake, Tagaytay has something to offer for art lovers too. One of its best art galleries is arguably Museo Orlina,  which houses mostly the glass sculptures of artist Ramon Orlina.

GLASS SCULPTURE. One of the glass works at Orlina Museo. Photo by Jherson Jaya

SCULPTURE GARDEN. The garden outside the museum also has towering sculptures. Photo by Jherson Jaya

Some Tagaytay restaurants also hold art exhibits. Balay Dako’s first exhibit was of artworks by Julyan Harrison, a young artist living with autism.

RESTAURANT ART EXHIBIT. Artist Julyan Harrison’s vibrantly colored works were exhibited at Balay Dako. Photo courtesy of Rachel Harrison.

Tagaytay also has Dreamland, an arts and crafts café with a Bohemian atmosphere bursting with dreamcatchers and vivid prints. (READ: Tagaytay road trip? 5 must-try destination restaurants)

Dreams won’t work unless you do! So be productive to be positive everyday and it will all come true for sure!  @pattipascual Dreaming to see you soon fellow dreamers and let’s dine and dream together over love for arts and crafts plus good food inside our cafe full of good vibes! ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ Dreamland Arts & Crafts Cafe – Tagaytay By: Indie Green Culture OPEN 24 HOURS! Located at Purok 157 Brgy. San Jose, Tagaytay City Proper, Tagaytay, Philippines 4120 (near Cityland Condo, beside Verazza Hotel, 200meters/2mins. walk from Tagaytay Rotunda) Dreamer’s Hotline: +63 917 652 9075 ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ Online shop for our handmade goods, humble clothing and indie finds: Fb.com/indiegreencultureshop ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ #dreamlandph #indiegreenculture #dreamlandartsandcraftscafe #dreamers #whenindreamland #dreamlandtagaytay #whenintagaytay #tigasouthkaba #tigasouth #DMTravelseries #wheninmanila #travelph

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Dreamland is also a bed and breakfast, and you can stay at tents like the one below:

IRIE VIBES ROOM⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ Dreamland Arts & Crafts Cafe – Lipa + Bed & Breakfast By: Indie Green Culture We are open daily 8am-10pm. 157 Narra St. Villa Lourdes Subd. Brgy. Tambo Lipa City. (the entry to Villa Lourdes Subd. is in front of De Lasalle Lipa near the overpass) Fb Page: fb.com/DreamlandLipa Dreamer’s Hotline: +63 977 826 3271 ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ Online shop for our handmade goods, humble clothing and indie finds: Fb.com/indiegreencultureshop ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ #dreamlandph #indiegreenculture #dreamers #whenindreamland #dreamlandartsandcraftscafe #dreamlandlipa #wheninlipa

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How to get to Tagaytay: Ride a Nasugbu- or Balayan-bound bus from EDSA or Buendia. From Alabang you can also ride Tagaytay-bound vans. Travel time is around two hours or less.

San Antonio, Zambales

San Antonio is not just home to beautiful beaches like Anawangin or Nagsasa Cove. (READ: Breathtaking Nagsasa Cove, beauty from destruction)

It is also home to art spaces, most prominent of which is Casa San Miguel. Casa San Miguel not only houses art galleries and museums, but is also a school for young artists, founded by violinist Coke Bolipata. (READ: The ballad of Coke Bolipata)

During weekends you can take in not only the visual art from the place’s galleries and museums, but also watch the musicians performing. You can also dine at their restaurant and stay overnight at their bed and breakfast. Just book ahead of time.

The Doll Collection

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Below is a video of their musical ensemble: 

Ensemble B (8-12 yes old) playing Canon! Watch them here at CASA San Miguel.

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San Antonio is also home to other art places like Ohana Art Café, a native hut blooming with brightly-colored arts and crafts.

When things in the real world get too stressful, take a short while to close your eyes and visualize something nice. Go to your happy place in your mind and think of things that make you smile. Your imagination can help improve your mood more than you think. -Dr Anil Kr Sinha See you at Ohana mga bes! Free Fish Spa Free Wifi Free Massage Free Life/Love Advise (Madam Kleng-Kleng) Free use of Board Games Free Hugs from ASIA and EUROPE (Golden Retriever) Free Nap/Sleep/chill Free meet and greet with NEMO and Friends Free unlimited instagramable picture spots Kiddie Art Materials Toys for Kids Cactus and Succulents Haven Kindly like follow us!!! FB Page: OHANA ART CAFE IG: @ohanaartcafe #ohanaartcafe #pundaquit #sanantonio #zambales #philippines #home #travel #traveller #tourist #globetrotter #hawaian #fishspa #emoticon #doglover #dogcafe #foodporn #foodies #itsmorefuninthephilippines #experiencethephilippines #wowphilippines #art #artcafe #restaurant #cafe #goodfood #goodlife #goodvibes

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Appreciate local art with a special someone. Have a hassle-free journey to these destinations when you ride with Uber.

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Rhea Claire Madarang

Claire Madarang is a traveler, writer, biodiversity communications practitioner, and facilitator of nature play activities. Follow her adventures, travel tips, and reflections on her blog Traveling Light and on her Instagram