Philippine High School for the Arts

photo-8I haven’t done a travel post in a while, so I hope you enjoy my discovery of a magical place just an hour south of Alabang.

The Philippine High School for the Arts is a government funded secondary school carved into Mt. Makiling in Los Baños. An average of 35 gifted children from around the country are chosen each year to be part of a four-year scholarship that focuses on their selected art majors: theatre, dance, visual arts, creative writing, etc.

The school was founded in the late 70s and designed by National Artist Leandro Locsin. Imelda Marcos was a frequent patron and it’s been said that she would arrive via helicopter and expect the students to greet her with song and dance numbers as she set foot on campus. “They were her dolls,” was the way a former alumnus of the High School explained it to me.

photo-9The St. Marc’s Chapel is one of the first structures that greets you upon entering the school’s property. It was designed by Leandro Locsin and Vicente Manansala.  How beautiful is this place of worship? It would make the perfect venue for a small intimate garden wedding or baptism.

photo-10The school’s Outdoor Theatre is used for a various performances that are open to the public on weekends. You also have the option of sitting on the benches under a blanket of stars with Mt. Makiling’s curvy silhouette in the background, just like in the first picture above.

photo-12For those who’d like to stay overnight, Executive House is available for rent.  This is a well-maintained abode that has enough room to accommodate a large family or a small company outing. It also has a sala with a gorgeous view of Laguna de Bay and a fully functioning kitchen. Imelda was a frequent guest, it’s said that her room of choice was # 8 because it had the best view and that she would host lavish parties for all her friends around the pool. If only that chair and table could talk.

photo-11The Visual Arts students at the High School often have gallery exhibits that are open to all. This work was being done by a grade 11 student. The level of talent in this school is exceptional.

For more information on their lush campus, scholarship program, or about upcoming shows and exhibits, please visit the PHSA website.

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