Planning a trip? Those who love to travel know the essence of all travel is about you and your enjoyment. Travelers know that the destination is a major part in planning a trip, experiencing and delving deeper into an unfamiliar places, people and culture is paramount.
Expand your horizons and set your sight to the Philippines, an off the beaten path travel site! An undiscovered paradise made of thousands of islands and white sand beaches all around! A tiny dot in the map of the world, and yet a haven for travelers, backpackers, retirees and even passersby.
It offers awesome tourist attractions, magnificent beaches, hot spring resorts, colorful festivals, hundreds of scenic spots and world-class hotels and facilities. Not to mention the tropical climate, the affordable prices as well as the friendly and hospitable, English-speaking people! You will be glad you came, and we’re sure, you WILL come back for more FUN in the Philippines!
BAMBOO ORGAN FESTIVAL
The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church, the parish church of Las Piñas City in the Philippines, is a nineteenth-century pipe organ made almost entirely from bamboo. The organ is declared a National Cultural Treasure of the country.
The builder of both the church and its organ was Father Diego Cera de la Virgen del Carmen, a Catholic priest under the Augustinian Recollects. A native of Spain, he served as parish priest in Las Piñas from 1795 to 1830. Historians portray him as a gifted man, a natural scientist, chemist, architect, community leader, as well as organist and organ builder.
During Fr. Cera’s lifetime, disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons damaged both church and organ. Fr. Cera himself was the organ’s first “restorer.” Down through the years, natural disasters continued to take their toll; the organ was unplayable for years. Somewhat unexpectedly reassembled early in the 20th century, partial restoration took place from time to time up through World War II.
In recent years, several concerted attempts were made to save the instrument. In 1972, a contract for total restoration was awarded to Johannes Klais Orgelbau KG in Bonn, Germany, and it was shipped there in 1973. While the restoration of the organ was taking place in Germany, a massive project was completed at the church. With the help of the community of Las Piñas and many others in the Manila area, the church grounds were restored to its original state.
The restored organ returned home in March 1975, to a joyous welcome by the people of the Philippines. The joint restoration of the church and organ was a triumph of local and international cooperation. Since then, the church have been the scene of many concerts and festivals. The Bamboo Organ is described by many international organ masters as one of the finest old organs in the world. Its construction of bamboo is noted as being one of the major factors that gives it a truly unique and lively sound.
To retain a high standard of quality and reliability, the Bamboo Organ underwent a general overhaul from September, 2003 to November, 2004. This time, the work was done locally by European-trained organ builders of the Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc. who are also tasked with maintaining the instrument so that future generations will be assured of hearing and experiencing the unique sound of a Philippine treasure.
The National Museum of the Philippines officially declared the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ a National Cultural Treasure on March 11, 2004 for its uniqueness and significance.
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