Giving guitar-making industry a boost

By Norman V. Mendoza September 13,2017

Maribago Elementary School contingent is declared the grand champion in the street-dancing competiton of the sixth Guitar Festival in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City. The competition was held last Sunday.


Children with colorful costumes highlighting locally made guitars competed in the street-dancing competition in the sixth Guitar Festival of Barangay Maribago last Sunday.

The activity was aimed at boosting the waning interest in locally made guitars in what is known as the guitar-making capital of Cebu.

The street dance competition drew six contingents from students of elementary and high schools in Lapu-Lapu City as they celebrated the festival last Sunday with the theme, “Paghinumdom sa Panginabuhian (Remembering our Livelihood).”

“Mao ni siya’y numero uno’ng panginabuhian sa mga tawo dinhi sa Maribago. Halos tanang balay duna’y nanghimo og guitar,” said Rosell Abing, barangay councilor and chairman of Maribago Guitar Festival.

(This is the number one source of livelihood of the people here in Maribago. Almost every home has one family member involved in the making of a guitar).

He said that because of other available jobs nowadays, the new generation is no longer interested in guitar making, which he described as a dying industry.

“Siguro anaa na lang sa mga 20 ngadto sa 30 porsyento sa barangay ang anaa sa industriya sa pagnegosyo sa guitar,” said Abing.

(Maybe around 20 to 30 percent in the barangay are left in the guitar making industry.)

He said he hoped that the festival would help fuel an interest in the industry and help preserve its history, which Lapu-Lapu City is known for as the guitar-making capital in the province.

Abing said the Guitar Festival started in September 2006 to honor residents who made the first guitars in the area, particularly in Sitio Datag, Barangay Maribago.

Abing recounted how the barangay became the guitar-making capital in Cebu.

The first guitar in the barangay was made by Domingo Abres, a native of Pari-an in Cebu City, who married Potenciana Wag-wag, a resident of Sitio Datag.

One day, Abres was visited by his father who brought a guitar for him. The guitar was a gift from a Spanish friar to Abres’ father.

Since then, Abres started to study how to make a guitar and eventually made several guitars in the 1890s.

Different designs and material innovations were made, and it has become the livelihood of some people in the barangay.

On Sunday, Maribago Elementary School contingent was the grand champion while the Maribago National High School was the first runner-up and Buyong Elementary School placed second runner-up.

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