Retreat from the central-metro crowds and heat to find solace at the glorious Pinto Art Museum, perched high on a hilltop above the city. This cloud-white, Mission-style adobe mansion was established as a museum by patron and collector Dr. Joven Cuanang; today it houses one of the largest collections of Philippine contemporary art in the country. Brightly painted antique doors connect hushed courtyards that lead to surprisingly expansive exhibition spaces. Get lost in riotously colorful large-scale murals, dazzling bronze sculptures, and powerful photography exhibits throughout the galleries. Stop for Thai bagoong fried rice or a cappuccino at one of the museum’s three cafés. Stroll the three acres of tropical grounds dotted with reflecting ponds and sculptures. Or head up to the museum rooftop and claim a lounge chair with a skyline view. For maximum peace and quiet, visit on a weekday: the workday traffic may be a chore, but the reward of a nearly crowd-free day at the museum is worth it.
The route from the Conrad to the Pinto cuts through office and commercial districts in Metro Manila, which can bring traffic to a crawl during peak hours: on weekdays the drive can take upwards of two hours; on weekends it should take just under an hour.