Bamboo musical instruments showcased in Science & Technology concert

Bamboo musical instruments DOST
Joey Ayala, together with the Dipolog Community Rondalla, premiered his new song “Pamilyang Magsasaka” as a tribute to the life and sacrifices of farmers.

Filipino bamboo musical instruments were showcased by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in a concert during the National Science and Technology Week.

Viewers from all over the country were treated to a morning of ethnic music and cultural appreciation thru DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute’s (DOST-FPRDI) “Musika ng Kawayan, Yaman ng Bayan” virtual concert held on November 27, 2020, simultaneously streamed live at the Facebook pages of DOST and NSTW 2020.

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One of the featured activities in this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), the concert showcased Filipino talents from across the country, putting the spotlight on locally-made bamboo musical instruments (BMIs). It was organized by DOST-FPRDI’s BMI Innovation R&D Program.

The performers from Luzon were Joey Ayala; Prof. Armando V. Salarza who played the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ; Kalinga’s Dr. Beniccio Sokkong who used his own version of the nose flute (tonggali) and kolitong; Philippine Normal University’s Himig Kawayan; Pangkat Kawayan; and DOST-FPRDI’s Himig Agham Kawayan.

From the Visayas, the musicians were Huni Ukulele and Joseph Gara, 40th Cebu Pop Festival Grand Winner, and Leyte’s Dulag Karatong Festival Performers who gave a rousing number showing their symbolic recovery from Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation in 2013.

The Dulag performers used karatong (bamboo slit drum), karatuktok (bamboo lyre), hagubhob (open tube drum), pagakpak (bamboo clapper) and marimba.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Norte’s pride— the Dipolog Community Rondalla— with BMI maker Jay Sarita, represented Mindanao.

Bamboo musical instruments DOST
Composed of 20 FPRDI staff, the DOST-FPRDI Himig Agham Kawayan was formed to showcase the BMI prototypes crafted by the Institute.

“The concert was a celebration of science, the creative arts, and Philippine culture,” said DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan. “Thru the event, we were able to show the versatility of bamboo as a superior raw material for musical instruments.”

“The DOST-FPRDI’s BMI Innovation R&D Program aims to apply science in developing and improving BMIs. With locally developed technologies, we hope to improve the processing and hasten the production of these instruments,” explained Program Leader For. Aralyn L. Quintos.

Aside from developing technologies, the initiative also “seeks to awaken our people’s appreciation for BMIs and how these are closely interwoven with the lives of indigenous groups, and therefore, our own.”

“With the hard work of the BMI Team and the help of all our partners, we have good reason to look forward to an invigorated BMI sector in the future,” said DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.

“We will continue to help our local artisans by finding ways to extend the service life of these bamboo instruments while improving their aesthetics and playability at the same time. In the meantime, I hope all of us will count ourselves avid supporters to the cause of promoting and preserving this priceless legacy of Filipino music.”

The BMI R&D Program is a collaboration of DOST-FPRDI, UP Center for Ethnomusicology, UP Electronics and Electrical Engineering Institute and Philippine Normal University. It is also under DOST’s recently launched Science and Creative Arts Program.

Bamboo musical instruments DOST
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña used “kawagong” (bamboo tube) and DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara used marimba.

Composed of 20 FPRDI staff, the DOST-FPRDI Himig Agham Kawayan was formed to showcase the BMI prototypes crafted by the Institute.

Gamely performing to the delight of the audience were DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara. Sec. de la Peña used “kawagong” (bamboo tube), while Usec. Guevara used marimba.

Joey Ayala, together with the Dipolog Community Rondalla, premiered his new song “Pamilyang Magsasaka” as a tribute to the life and sacrifices of farmers.

Bukidnon’s Talaandig tribe musical heritage preservation is aided by the UP, PNU, and DOST scientists.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the DOST staff with Joey Ayala for showcasing bamboo musical instruments in concert

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.