Artist Jose “Pitok” Blanco began life humbly as the son of a fisherman but quickly became the prodigy of Botong Francisco. Teaching his wife Loreto to paint in his distinctive folk realism style, Pitok also tutored his seven children so they could paint the colorful rural scenes that make the whole family so beloved today. Capturing the Philippines' history, myths and legends in painstaking detail, the Blanco family's artworks have been shown in exhibitions from New York to Manila. Two years after the family's first group show at the Manila National Museum in 1978, Pitok built the Blanco Family Art Gallery in Angono, the arts capital of the Philippines.
At the Blanco Family Art Museum you'll see huge, Diego Rivera-esque murals, which the whole family worked on together. In total, the gallery hosts a collection of over 400 artworks spanning five decades, and you can really see the children's progression of skill as they learned how to paint from Pitok. Some of the paintings were created by the youngest child, Peter Paul, when he was just 4 years old. Though Pitok and Loreto are no longer with us, their talent continues to get passed along the Blanco bloodline; today, even the grandchildren are picking up the paintbrushes to join in the family tradition.
The popular Blanco Family Art Museum is located down an unassuming road, at 1312 Ibañez Stere in Angono. The private museum is open from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 1 to 5 p.m. every day.