Have You Been To This Awesome Art Haven in Marikina?
There are more things to love about Marikina City aside from shoes. The city is home to quaint and almost secluded restaurants, a museum of miniatures, and art.
DITO: Bahay ng Sining has been a haven for artists and art enthusiasts since 2013. Jay Crisostomo and his co-owner Claudine Delfin decided to establish the café both as a space for the former to hold theater projects, and for the latter to hang her paintings.
Jay himself describes the café as a place for creative thinking, where various kinds of artists spend their time showcasing their talents or honing their crafts. DITO: Bahay ng Sining has been featured in several magazines, television shows, and websites, and has attracted individuals who want some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The café is home to all types of artists – theater actors, writers, painters, and dancers – and every almost every week, DITO hosts events to cater to these individuals. For instance, there’s Starving for Art, where the café lends the stage for free to performers and allows craftsmen to sell their merchandise. Comic books, stickers, bags, and accessories are sold, while the rest of the crowd listens to the open mic session (anything goes, whether the performer wants to sing or deliver spoken word poetry). In one of these events, there was a cultural dance number and a nude painting session.
Another event, KKB (Kanya-Kanyang Brush), is held regularly at DITO. For only Php250, artists get a paint buffet, canvas, and alcohol. The café will soon start an open platform for indie filmmakers called Indie ‘To. The café also hosts stage plays, Jay being a playwright himself, featuring two of the country’s top thespians – Teroy de Guzman and Judy Ick.
The Players’ Arena
DITO is not just for artists; it is also for people who love games – be it board games or card games like Magic: The Gathering (MTG). One can order a cup of black coffee for Php60 and enjoy playing The Game of Things with his friends. For the more adventurous and geeky, the café also holds MTG tourneys for Php250, inclusive of drinks. Non-players may still seek the cozy interiors of DITO for their reading pleasures, for the café has a tiny corner with a shelf of books for every bookworm.
Not an Ordinary Rabbit Hole
It is easy to spot the café if one is looking in the right direction. Part of DITO’s charm lies in its half-hidden quality. In a busy town such as Concepcion Uno, the café provides the right kind of solace and quiet. Located on the second floor of a building along J. Molina street, DITO is not the ordinary rabbit hole. The moment a customer enters its doors, he will find more and more ways to appreciate the place. There are beautiful paintings and posters on the wall. One could even purchase artworks, or use them as inspirations for their own paintings.
With such a small venue, there are large possibilities and opportunities for people to meet and greet, and more important, to grow as an artist. I would definitely come back and sell my stuff there, or just hang out with friends. There are so many lovely places to discover in Marikina, and DITO: Bahay ng Sining is one of them.
DITO: Bahay ng Sining
Address: J. Molina Street, Marikina City