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Betis Pampanga church to launch Philippines’ 2nd Bamboo Organ for Simbang Gabi 2019

Bamboo Organ Simbang Gabi
The country’s second bamboo organ is being built in Betis, Pampanga, almost
200 years after the original world-famous Las Piñas Bamboo Organ was completed and installed in St. Joseph Parish Church. Credits to Tonette Orejas of Inquirer.

The St. James the Apostle Parish Church of Betis in the province of Pampanga is building the country’s second bamboo organ in time for the Christmas season festivities of “Simbang Gabi (Dawn Masses)” in December 2019.

Diego Cera Organbuilders shared to Good News Pilipinas that they are building the Philippines’ second bamboo organ, the first major acquisition of St. James the Apostle Parish Church in decades.

“Yes, the organ we are building now in Betis, Pampanga is the second Bamboo Organ in the country,” shared Diego Cera Organbuilders.

The country’s second bamboo organ is being built 195 years after Augustinian priest Diego Cera completed the original and world-famous Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church.

The Philippines’ second bamboo organ will stand 4.6 meters tall and 2.4 meters wide and will be played for the public on December 15, the eve of the traditional 9-day Simbang Gabi or Christmas dawn masses.

The bamboo organ, now under construction, will be installed at the side of St. James the Apostle Parish Church altar, a declared national cultural treasure.

The bamboo musical instrument made of 70 percent local Philippine bamboo poles is expected to be completed in the last week of November – more than one year ahead of 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christian faith in the Philippines in 2021.

The project’s trustees and sponsors staged musical concerts to raise more than Php 3 million over 4 years to fund the construction of the Betis Bamboo Organ.

Cealwyn Tagle, founder of Diego Cera Organbuilders Inc., shared that the bamboo pipes used for the instrument underwent modern preservation treatment.

The Philippine bamboo has been proven to be one of the most versatile natural resource in the Philippines. Aside from being used as musical instruments, the Philippine bamboo is also used as material for house and furniture and transportation.

In fact, Pinoy bamboo musical instruments are being given new life through the Bamboo Musical Instruments (BMI) Innovation Research and Development Program, an initiative between the Department of Science and Technology – Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), the University of the Philippines through the Center for Ethnomusicology, and the Philippine Normal University.

Moreover, an all-Filipino team led by CEO and designer Christopher Paris Lacson created the “Green Falcon Banatti“, a Ducati-looking electric motorcycle made of Philippine bamboo which was featured on Top Gear Philippines and BBC.

Filipino-American Bryan Benitez McClelland also conceptualized and developed a bicycle made of bamboo now popularly known as “Bambike” which promotes sustainability, helps the environment, local tourism, and Filipino workers.

SEND cheers in the comments below to the builders and movers of the Betis Bamboo Organ for showcasing Philippine bamboo and musicality!

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Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel is a social media manager and producer-writer who returned to GoodNewsPilipinas.com after working as a writer in Viva Communications Inc. for more than four years. He is a broadcast journalism graduate of DLSU-D, and a heritage and local culture advocate.

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