For some people it’s the food, for some it’s the natural scenery, for some it’s the tourist attractions, or maybe the general feel of the place. For me, it’s probably those little odd encounters with local culture and people that I remember the most about my travels.

 

While riding my motorbike around the eastern part of Siquijor island at the Filipino Visayas, I saw a small little sign next to a dirt road saying "Arts Park". Since the island is really quite simple and tranquil, an arts parks is not something I expected to find there and there was no mention of anything like that in any of my readings about the island.

 

So, why not? I entered, parked my bike next to what seemed like a large performing stage, and was immediately greeted by a very cheerful and friendly lady – Minnie.

 

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

Turns out Minnie has decided to retire and return to the Philippines after having lived abroad for many years. She choose Siquijor, the island of ghosts and medicine, as her home after having gone extensive medical procedures to help her with her health problems (hence ‘bionic’). She is quite proud of her career achievements and now that she is in Siquijor with her husband, she decided she would like to try and make it an arts center by bringing international artists to the Siquijor getaway for them to be able to quietly pursue their artistic passions while offering a bit back to the local community.

 

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

So, welcome to the Olang Arts Park "where arts and nature commune".

 

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

From the performing arts stage…

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

I was taken to the Galleria Cielomia…

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

Where Minnie displays some of the art done at the park by various visiting artists…

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

 

After the arts tour, I was taken to see the rest of the facilities offered to the visiting artists, in what seems like a very nice nature-integrated accommodation and studios…

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

Olang Arts Park : Local Encounters at Siquijor

 

Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

 

Minnie’s been a terrific host, sharing her life, passion and arts-project with me – a random stranger, smiling and laughing the whole way through.

A truly inspiring project by a very memorable lady.

 

There’s not much out there on the park, but more on the park can be found here:



Tags: artists; arts park; gallery; minnie; olang; philippines; siquijor; visayas;


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Too bad I just found your blog today. Would have wanted to check out this place 🙂 Maybe next time, when I get the chance to go back to Siquijor. Thanks for sharing.

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