Danny Dalena House-Museum

Located across Pakil’s Centuries-Old Church of San Pedro de Alcantara is the ancestral home of painter and illustrator Danny Dalena.

Every time we’re in Pakil, we end up admiring the artworks that can be seen from street through the huge windows of the reconstructed bahay-na-bato. In one of our visits to the town, we’ve been fortunate to have entered the Dalena House-Museum and met artist Danny Dalena.

Danilo Echavaria Dalena graduated with a fine arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas. He became known for raising the standards of editorial art in the Philippines during the early 1970s with his political cartoons and illustrations for the Free Press and Asia-Philippine Reader.

Some of his famous works are the powerful Jai-Alai series of paintings from 1974 to 1979 and Alibangbang series in the 1980s, which depicted sordid details of a once popular beer joint located in Cubao.

Dalena returned to his native Pakil where the artist found new artistic inspiration in folk customs and lifestyle of his hometown. The walls of the Dalena residence display a collection of the artist’s works.

Location inspires artistic creation. Art and design writer Alessandra Hermano had observed that an artist’s studio “offers a more intimate view of an artist. It is a mythical place where his or her imagination is transformed into material reality. In the studio, surrounded by objects, views, sound and smell that engender and foster the creative acts, artists have an environment that supports their life’s work.”

Viewing the artworks in the Dalena House tells about stories of Pakil and Dalena’s family history. Paintings that depict his views of modern life and the local customs are line the wall along the stairs.

Huge windows of the bahay-na-bato allow fresh mountain breeze to enter the ancestral home. A vintage barber’s chair below the staircase is a perfect spot for people watching.

Art and culture thrives at every corner in Pakil. However, the Pakileños artistic expressions are not just limited to colonial religious art and traditions and contemporary artworks. The town is also famous for the Delicate Art of Wood Shaving.


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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi sir Danny, you’re so famous to us as one our best professor in art we learned so much from you, i still remember when you helped me do the proper ways of shading and my model was my owned shoes, which you asked from all us that your model will be our shoes…and one of the most memorable one was when you attended a party with us in the home of Yvonne in Marikina i think that was December…those days were something to remember…God bless you sir Dalena.

  2. Hello Sir Danny Dalena,i was a Fine Arts student then shifted to Architecture @FEU-IARFA and I used to admire your works while you were teaching Fine Arts, which inspired me so much,I am now an Architect and a Licensed Interior Designer,I do Visual Arts and Cartoons,I just finished a 300 Page Comics Book entitled “PACBOY & NOYSKI”which will soon be off the press,my utmost thanks for the inspiration during my College days @ FEU.

  3. Hello Sir, this is Myrna Dela Cruz, your student at FEU IARFA way back 1970s. Sir, I still have the sculpture you gave me, remember this black painted balloon with cement inside? What a classic!
    We miss you Sir, everytime we (Tikboy, Max, Danny, Edwin, Yvonne, Joy, Blessie, Malu, Alex and the rest) have a chance to communicate, we always will be reminded of those school days when we were still with you. Those days that we were having our painting class in Quiapo underpass and on the roof and other adventureous moments we had under your class.
    We hope we can see you in the near future.
    Best regards,

  4. Hello Sir this is your student from FEU IARFA. I cant forget what you told me that you like my sketches and try to practice it,it really helps me a lot to my profession as an artist.I really admire your works,cartoons,your manner of style,kudos to you and hoping for your reply,Romualdo “Jay” Ylagan-Disneyland, California U.S.A.

  5. sir,kamusta na?taga kamuning ako,do you still remember me,when i met you at the house of atty francis serrano music record shop…pamangkin nga pala ako ni ceasar de vera na taga k4th noon..i’m currently working here abroad..God bless!!

  6. sir,kamusta ka na,? isa ako sa mga estudyante mo sa feu.sana ur in good health.how can isee u in person,hope u have an exhibit coming.tnx.

  7. […] Danny Dalena House Museum #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: […]

  8. How much do you think is the worth of Danny Dalena’s oil painting of a portrait that is quite huge. He did the painting sometime in 1979.

    • I have no idea Lehman. I think most of the paintings in the house-museum are part of his personal collection.

  9. Hi,i’m jm echavaria…maybe he is my relative or what….

  10. Ops… I think I got it all wrong, this is not Danny Dalena’s blog? Sorry for the wrong message.

  11. Hi Mr. Dalena,

    I am wondering if how is the town of Pakil after the recent Pepeng, Ondoy and Santi typhoons? Are your paintings still intact?


  12. I’ve been to Pakil when I was young. I had seen the house you featured in this blog, which is the Dalena’s residence. Pakil is such a nice little town. I love the swimming pool and the Turumba.

    To the author of this blog, have you seen the painting of an old man sitting on a reclining seat? I’m just asking because I knew that old man.

    • Yes Ron, Ive seen that painting.

  13. Excellent blog! Interesting article and very informative! I will necessarily subscribe for this blog. http://onlineoneru.ru/map.html

  14. Thank you for the correction Juana. I’ve have updated that information.

    It is my pleasure to feature the creations of Danny Dalena and the historic Pakil town.

  15. Danilo E. Dalena is a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas ;-), not the University of the Philippines. Thank you for posting this nice travel journal about him and Pakil Laguna.

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