Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maasin Hosts Visayan Leg for the 1st International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival

Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival uses bamboo as a prop and a musical instrument for their dance

Less than a week remains to the anticipated launch of the Visayan Leg for the 1st International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival at the Maasin Gymnasium on February 22-26, 2013.  This festival will showcase Maasin, Iloilo as the landmark destination to experience Indigenous cultures and their authentic and diverse music.


Expect an influx of indigenous groups, musical performers and maybe artisans from participating countries such as – India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia and local others, to this entertaining 3-day festival performances. Fall in love with this art and experience a wealth of Indigenous music from indigenous cultures as your appreciation for diversity deepens.


Performances will start on February 23 (Saturday) at 7 in the evening with the opening performances of Manuglayon: Quiling National High School with the Cordillera Music Tutorial and Research Center of Baguio City and the Ensamble Moderu Pailu from Indonesia. A concert follows with performances from Vayali Folklore Group of India, the Manuglitap: Maasin Central Elementary School, the Panay Bukidnon of Iloilo, Manugdabong: Dagami National High School and the Khac Chi Bamboo Music of Vietnam.
 
February 24 (Sunday) at 3 in the afternoon will feature Sabai Sabai Thailand of Thailand along with Manugrara: Tigbauan National High School, Bagobo of Davao City, Manugpusog: Layog National High School and the Ensamble Moderu Palu of Indonesia. The concert at 6 in the evening will showcase Khac Chi Bamboo Music of Vietnam, Manuggama: Maasin National Comprehensive High School, Cordillera Music Tutorial and Research Center of Baguio City, Manugmakan: Saint James Catholic High School and Prasarnmit Performing Arts Alliance of Thailand.

February 25 (Monday) at 3 in the afternoon will highlight Vayali Folklore Group of India, Manugsukdap: Siwalo National High School, Bagobo of Davao City, Binalantak: Burak National High School and Prasarnmit Performing Arts Alliance of Thailand. The closing ceremony at 6 in the evening will have Sabai Sabai Thailand of Thailand, Manuglayon: Quiling National High School, Khac Chi Bamboo Music of Vietnam and Ensamble Moderu Palu of Indonesia.



The Visayan Leg for the 1st Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival provides an opportunity for cultures to showcase their traditional music using gongs and bamboo. The festival’s mission continues with the vibrant energy that got it all started, to preserve the cultural groups’ rich traditions in music accompanied by gongs and bamboos.
 
A gong is musical percussion instrument consisting of a round, thick disk of metal varying in diameter from about 20 to 40 inches. It is made mainly from bronze or brass but there are many other alloys are in use. It is commonly suspended on a frame or a stand.
 
Chinese in origin, a gong is of three types: (a) Suspended Gongs are flat circular discs of metal suspended vertically by means of a cord passed through holes near to the top rim; (b) Bossed or Nipple Gongs with a raised centre boss often suspended and played horizontally, and; (c) Bowl Gongs are bowl-shaped and rest on cushions. Gongs are made mainly from bronze or brass but there are many other alloys in use.
 
It is a popularly used instrument for religious ceremonies, state processions, marriages and other festivals in China and Japan. Gongs are traditionally manufactured in China, Tibet, Burma, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
 
In the Philippines, as early as 1896, musical instruments manufactured in bamboo were popularly used by groups of Filipino musicians organized as bamboo bands. Mostly revolutionaries, the first bamboo bands made their own instruments and played patriotic musical pieces while fighting for independence from Spain. Now, we have improvised western instruments that are more on the electrical side but the instruments are different. Musical instruments such as piccolos, tubas, clarinets, flutes and saxophones are now made of bamboo and the rhythm is the all the same.


Pintados de Pasi Festival with their bamboo prop

The celebration wants to take bamboo and gong music worldwide and incorporate international flavors. It is also an opportunity that allows performing groups to continue passing on their cultural tradition—be it a particular style of music to the next generations.


The International Gongs and Bamboo Festival is an initiative undertaken by National Commission for Culture and the Arts in partnership with the municipality of Maasin for the benefit of the town’s growing economy and tourism appeal. Maasin will be an even more appealing destination for travelers seeking the best vacationing-experience. See you there!

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