Monday, March 31, 2014

A Saturday well spent at Pinto Art Gallery

One of the places that I have listed on my 'to go to' lists this summer was Pinto Art Gallery.   My parents are both art enthusiasts and have exposed us to appreciating art at an early age.   My mom has been there several times and I have been wanting to visit it.  So, last Saturday, my Dad took us to Upper Eastside, a.k.a. upper Antipolo for a Saturday of art appreciation (and running for R).

I think it was a 30 minute drive, coming from L.A. (lower Antipolo).  We pretty much expected it to be a sweaty but fun morning.  Upon entering the gates of Pinto Art Gallery, I felt like I was transformed into another place.  Despite the heat and the endless running of my son, the place has this way of making you feel relaxed.  Probably it is because of the beauty of its surroundings which is just enthralling.  This is also why Pinto is not only popular to art collectors or enthusiasts, but has also become a popular spot for pre nuptial shoots, magazine and cover shoots and even weddings.

Sculptures are scattered all around together with several wrought iron beds and retro garden pieces.  Artworks are housed in Mexican inspired architecture which adds a rustic feel.  The gallery was also built respecting the natural landscape of the property, hence you will have to brace yourself going up and down a flight of stairs.  If you are going with your kids, make sure to always keep a watchful eye on them.  

If contemporary art does not appeal to you, don't fret because the architecture of this hectare wide  property is already a feast for the eyes. Honestly, I am not much of a fan of contemporary art.  I was more drawn to the women sculptures by Daniel dela Cruz and to the architecture of the place which was built by Tony Leano.

They also have a restaurant inside which is managed by Bizu.  We did not get to dine there because we were all sweaty (TMI, hehe) and wanted to go somewhere with air condition.  But,  I would love to go back and eat here with the hubby in tow, just the two of us to peacefully enjoy the surroundings.

When you enter the gates of Pinto, this is what welcomes you.    Entrance fee is P150 per person.  

The main house with a roof deck overlooking the Silangan gardens.

The pool was just so inviting. I was tempted to take a plunge! One of the workers said that this is where majority of wedding receptions are held.

This is the chapel where Julius and Tintin Babao renewed their vows.

                                         Here are some of sculptures in the gardens of Pinto.  
                                                 The left one kinda freaked out my son.

My favorite sculptures by Daniel de la Cruz.    The sculpture pictured on the left depicts a pregnant woman.  The sculptures on the right show several women seemingly flying down from a wall.  Such a unique concept.  

Inside one of the buildings that houses Salingpusa and Garibay's works.

                                                        Gallery of contemporary art.

                                                                     Mixed media.

More paintings. The place is so spacious and airy.

I can live in here! 

Doors, windows, hallways and a dining area.

This has got to be our favorite spot.  That's my dad sitting by the steps.

I am in love with this place.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Preschool searching

The search for a pre school is on!  For the past week, I have been researching for preschools in Marikina and Antipolo.  I shared in a previous post here that we wanted to enroll our son in I.S.Y.C. for SY 2014-2015 after his summer school experience.  I received a text message from the Directress that they were opening their slots last January.  When I called after two days, both the morning and mid-morning classes were already closed.  The only class that is open is the afternoon class which will run from 1:30pm to 4pm.  As much as I wanted my son to go to I.S.Y.C., the afternoon class will interfere with his nap time.  He is just two years old and I do not want to stress him out at an early age and deprive him of his nap time.  I did not realize that the slots will run out that fast, lesson learned.

I resorted back to the Internet to search for possible schools in our area.  Female Network has been a very helpful resource in getting feedback.  It is also important that you also take time to visit the school and observe a class to help with your decision.

In narrowing down on what schools I will visit, my criteria is as follows:

1.  Proximity - I prefer schools near Marcos Hi-way and Marikina Sports Complex
2. Teacher to student ratio - A small teacher to student ratio is ideal, but with a montessori set up, their ideal class size is at 20 since it's a mixed level class
3. Tuition - Maximum fee at P75K.
4. Facility - I prefer that the school has its own facility and not a house converted into a school.  However, this may change because it will really depend on the layout of the school.
5.  Teachers - I don't think I really need to elaborate on this.  But of course other than being able to properly teach my kid, the teacher/s also need to look pleasant and has a very good command on the English language.

Here is my short list and a little background of each school:

Integrated School for Young Children (I.S.Y.C.)
-located in Marikina
-Tuition for SY 2013-2014 is at P75K
-Max of 10 per class 
-3 options to choose from for the classes: am, mid am and afternoon
-5x a week, 2.5 hrs
-Facilities:  a 2 storey building, outdoor playgound, air conditioned Multi-purpose hall, Kitchen
-Teachers: Teachers are very pleasant and speak English well, a lot of the teachers are graduates of Miriam college
-My son attended the Summer camp last 2013 (see my review here)

Montessori at Kent
-located inside Filinvest East, Antipolo and is quite a travel from the village's entrance
-Tuition is around P50K+
-max 20 per class, mixed level
-Morning class only from 8-11am
-5x a week, 3 hours
-Facilities: a house which was converted into a school, small outdoor playground
-I was able to speak directly to the School Directress/owner who was very accommodating and explained to me the Montessori Curriculum

Kidstech Learning Center
- located in Lark St., Marikina, just across the Sports Center
-Tution :approximately 52k
-Morning class is from 8:30am-10am, mid morning class is from 10:30am-12nn
-5x a week
-Max 10 per class, 1 teacher and 1teacher aide
-Facilities : 1storey, small outdoor playground on the side

Kids on focus (now managed by Family montessori preschool of Loyola)
-located at Pine St., Marikina
-Tuition : 60k + 10k miscellaneous fee (no uniform, exclusive of snacks and field trips, etc), snacks are billed on a monthly basis (P400/month)
- morning class: 8-11am or 9am-12nn
-5x a week, 3 hrs
-max 20 per class (with 1 head teacher, 1 assistant teacher, 2 aides)
-Facilities : newly renovated school since they took over KOF last year, clean classroom, new materials, small covered area outside the classroom where kids have snack, read books, etc, tiny outdoor playground, with security guard
-Head Teacher was well versed with the Montessori curriculum and very accomodating. She has also been with the school for 7 years
-I visited the school during class hours to observe and was immediately impressed at how the kids were well behaved and were independently doing their respective work.
-*** Update: They now also have a 4 hour program.  Tuition for SY 2014-2015 for this program is at P80K exclusive of snacks and field trip fees

The next question is, where will my son finally go?  


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