Last Sunday in Angono

Stone Art but No Petroglyphs

I don’t even know why I’m writing an entry for this one because I never found what I was looking for but I was glad in a way that I didn’t.

Why?

Because the Angono Petroglyph, being inaccessible means that its protected from our fickle and playful friends. I know somethings wrong if you believe that in order for a place like this to be conserved that it must be kept away from the public but you know there has been reports of vandalism even after it was placed under the National Museum.

We’re talking about art that had been made at around 3000 BC here.

I’m not saying that most of us are irresponsible but there’s just some of us who doesn’t seem to care about heritage. Given this foolishness, our local and national authorities inability to look after the site would be catastrophic for the petroglyph. Left out exposed to such elements it would just be a matter of time before that ancient stone art is lost forever.

So its better, at least for now, that it can’t be easily reached.

But this lack of knowledge, of course, comes with a price. Out of around 10 people I asked about the Angono petroglyph (they refer to it as “Kuweba”) only 2 were aware of its existence. And these two were volunteers for the municipal government.

The late Carlos “Botong” Francisco, who discovered the petroglyphs, will certainly be unhappy with this.

Not the petroglyps but stone art just the same. One of Botong's greatest masterpiece made into a mural in the street (located in Poblacion Itaas) where he grew up. The same street produced Lucio San Pedro (Sa Ugoy ng Duyan) another national artist!

A stone marker dedicated to Botong and Francisco Al

Angono Ang Bayang Malikhain

The reputation of the town being the center of Philippine art is deserved. Two National artist and clusters of clans engaged in painting and wood craft is proof.

Add to this “Angono art” is the ancient stone art that I never saw! either I bring a car or rent one – tricycles refused to go there because the road is steep.

Other Interesting places to visit is the Nemiranda Art House in Dona Justa Village and the Blanco Museum in Calle Ibanez.

La Iglesia de San Clemente de Angono

Since I wasn’t able to go to where I was supposed to go – I decided to walk around town and see some sights. I started with their church which was surprisingly modern, I’m not sure what happened to it.

There were also no extant old houses. At least none that I’ve seen.

Art is is everywhere in Angono. From the house galleries of its Family of painters to the municipio’s entrance gate of an ancient Tagalog legend, you get the feel that they know their artful history very well. They’ve devoted an entire street for their greatest son, Botong Francisco, and had its walls made into a mural of his unforgettable works. Most of it we have already seen.

Art is everywhere here. Even in street signs.

The Higantes of Angono

A popular fiesta dedicated to the saint is the Higante Festival. This fiesta is held every November 22 and 23 in honor of the pope Saint.

Higantes on parade. The municipio of Angono was playing host to one of those degrading shows called "Face to Face". Well, on the bright side, if it were not for that show I wouldn't see these.

One interesting story that’s has been perpetuated by many is the story of how the Angono people made used of the Higantes to slight their landowners. This is unfounded but such legends persist today.

Can’t we just enjoy and appreciate something without getting into these things?

The history of using paper mache (papel pegado) for festivals has been a long tradition in Mexico. The Spaniards taught the locals to create them because they’re made of cheap materials. The artistic towns (i.e., Paete) in the country still continue this wonderful art.

The Angono Symphonic Band enjoying the TV 5 special

At the end of the day, and this some will find offensive – Fiesta represents our communities “greatest expression” (borrowing from Don Anding) – so powerful that it unites a town, a province, a nation. This socio-religious activity provides an identity so unique that those who leaves it could not wait to get back to their towns to once again be part of it. Memories of it sticks to those who grew up seeing it. We’ll never see the end of Filipinos saving up to go back to their old towns to join the fiesta.


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