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Home Philippine Festivals 36th IBOF - Bamboo Organ Festival 2011

36th IBOF - Bamboo Organ Festival 2011

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The International Bamboo Organ Festival of Las Piñas is no ordinary music festival; it may well be the only festival that has for its centerpiece a unique music instrument that has been officially named a national treasure besides.

Crafted by Spanish priest Diego Cera, the Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas had purely religious beginnings.  It was used exclusively for liturgical purposes, but the residents were eventually inspired to turn it into the focus for a full-fledged festival of sacred music.  Now on its 36th season the Bamboo Organ Festival has earned for itself a reputation both nationally and internationally, and is the source of great pride among all Filipinos, not just those from Las Piñas itself.

Far from being an oddity, the Bamboo Organ is a serious instrument in the classic Spanish style, and a number of the world’s best-known organists have enjoyed its charm and color.  Fr. Diego Cera de la Virgen del Carmen was responsible for both the organ and the church that houses it.  An Augustinian Recollect, he was parish priest of Las Piñas and the son of a family of organ builders in his native Spain.  Records show that he was also an unusually gifted natural scientist, chemist, architect, community leader, and organist.

This festival has sparked interest and brought Philippine music, culture and tradition to the international stage. It has opened avenues for international artists to showcase their talents and gifts.

There is a rich history attached to this festival that goes beyond deep faith and tradition among the people. The festival is a source of a deep sense of pride among Filipinos. From its creation, the Bamboo Organ has brought together parishioners, townsfolk and artists in a celebration of life. National Artists Alejandro Roces, after an extensive study on the different fiestas of the Philippines, has included the Bamboo Organ Festival in his upcoming book about Philippine fiestas – truly a testimony of the value festival in the Philippine history and culture.

Concert Program

The annual International Bamboo Organ Festival recently unveiled its plans for the 36th edition of the event, to be held on February 17 to 23, 2011.

Excerpts from some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s more celebrated cantatas will be featured in the opening concert entitled Back to BACH, making use of the recently acquired complete collection of scores of the more than 250 cantatas of the composer.  To be heard are well-known choruses, sinfonias and organ concertos which will illustrate why JS Bach is the most beloved of all composers of the Baroque period.

Subsequent concerts will have several choirs as performers: the Las Pinas Boys Choir, champion of the 2008 World Choir Games in Graz, Austria, the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir, the University of the East Chorale, and the Imusicapella Chamber Choir.  Two noted Filipino conductors will also take center stage - Joel Navarro and EudenicePalarauan; along with visiting artists Luc Ponet (Belgium), organ; Guido Segers (Belgium), trumpet; and Raphael Leone (Austria), flute.  Filipino soloists will be Armando Salarza, organ; Gina Medina, violin; Rey Casey Concepcion, viola; and Renato Lucas, cello.

An innovation in the Festival’s programming will take place with the chamber music concert that will end the festival, and which will feature Baroque compositions rarely played in the country.  Starting this year with the invitation of the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir are plans to invite other childrens’ choirs in the future.  This year will also mark the premiere of a commissioned choral work Jubilate! Composed by Alejandro Consolacion II, who also arranged a cycle of popular Philippine Folk Songs.

This year’s Festival is being presented by the Bamboo Organ Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Tourism, PAGCOR, Embassy of Austria, Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr., Congressman Mark A. Villar, Mayor Vergel Aguilar and the City Government of Las Piñas, Most Reverend Bishop Jesse E. Mercado, DD and the Diocese of Parañaque, St. Joseph’s Academy and The Parish of St. Joseph, with the help of the following major sponsors: Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc., Via Mare, Novellino, Bote Central – Serenity Coffee, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Meralco, A.O. Infinite Trading, Lamoiyan Corporation,  OOCL, Marilag Corporation, BDO, Menzi Trust Fund, Inc. Astro Import and Export Corporation, Riguera Realty and Development Corporation,  Casimiro Development Corporation, Cablelink, BPI Foundation, Pamatec, Royal Air Charter Services, Inc., Innovative Educational Materials, Inc., St. Bernadette Publication, Inc., Col. Pedro Rolan, Dr. Sonny V. Zulueta, Garampil Garden,  Paraiso Digital Photography and Video, FGOgraphics, all media friends and partners  and the sustaining members of the Foundation.

For ticket inquiries, please call the Foundation Secretariat at tel. nos. 820 0795 or 825 7190, Mobile no. 0999 5087838, email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or log to our website www.bambooorgan.org.


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