Experience one-of-a-kind Baroque music on a 200-year-old instrument - that took eight years to build - for a unique taste of Manila.
- When? TBC 2018
- Where? St. Joseph Parish, Las Piñas City
- Price: TBC
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Mozart and are partial to playing the piano in St Pancras when you wait for your train home, then you might want to visit Manila when the International Bamboo Organ Festival comes to town.
An international community of organists arrive to perform on this mythical instrument built by the scientist, architect and organist Father Diego Cera, 200 years ago.
The timber used to construct the pipes was cured in sand to protect it from insects and to mature the bamboo to the right standard. Built from Filipino wood by a Spaniard, its resonating music mirrors the two major cultural pillars of The Philippines. 902 of the 1031 pipes are made entirely of bamboo, the remaining 129, unreplicable in bamboo, are constructed in metal.
The instrument is somewhat of a traveller; parts of it were shipped to Germany and Japan in 1973 for repair work. Damage was sustained from earthquakes and typhoons over the years and after its return to its homeland in 1975, it was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2003. The St. Joseph Parish Church where it resides was restored to its 19th century glory in anticipation of the renewed instrument's return and the annual festival has celebrated its singular music ever since.
Under appreciated musically and culturally, a lack of funding threatens the continuation of the festival and the sound of the organ itself. Internationally recognised concert organist Armando V. Salarza, the titular organist of the Bamboo Organ and Artistic Director of the festival, hopes to find a way of resolving this in his search for an apprentice.
Here's hoping those long train delays have let you get in plenty of practice. Impress your fellow musicians and you might land yourself an apprenticeship.
- Get there: St. Joseph Parish is around 30 minutes south of Manila, so take a taxi from the city.
- Stay: You could stay in Las Piñas City, but travel from Manila if you want to see more of what it has to offer.
Visit the official website for more information.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!