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Harp player gives Cebuanos a soothing kind of caroling experience

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 27,2023 - 02:27 PM

Harp player gives Cebuanos a soothing kind of caroling experience

Gilbert Quistorio, a native of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, showcases his skills in playing Christmas jingles using his self-made harp. CDN Digital photo | Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A melody from a stringed-instrument played by Gilbert Quistorio, 31, resonated in the early morning of December 27 along D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City.

Quistorio, a native of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, showcased his skills in playing Christmas jingles using his self-made harp.

READ: Celebrating Christmas with Iconic Filipino Artists

Harp player beginnings

He said that he usually would come to Cebu City before Christmas to do caroling or as early as October. He started caroling in Cebu City in 2016.

However, since he would be leaving for his hometown on December 30 to celebrate the New Year, he decided to sell his harp so that he would be “baggageless” when he would leave Cebu.

This was why he placed a “for sale” note in his harp.

He made his five-foot harp for almost a month in Negros Occidental using a mahogany tree, chainsaw, and strings.

“Di nako ni ibaligya og ginagmay ra gyud nga presyo. Mao bitaw’ng wa nako gibutangan diha [og price] kay og di ni siya mahalin, dal-on ra pod gihapon ni nako’g balik sa amoa,” Quistorio.

(I will not sell this in a lower price. That is why I did not put a price there because if this will not be sold, I will still bring this when I go home.)

READ: Turn up the Music with Your Own Christmas Playlist

‘Harp for sale’

He is selling his harp for at least P15,000.

“Barato na gani ni [ang P15,000] kay kini i[baligya] nimo sa online, maka [kita] ka’g P25,000,” he said.

(This is already cheap [P15,000] because if you [sell] this online, you can [see] the price of P25,000.)

He said that when he roamed in some places in Cebu, he saw some harps being sold in the City of Naga and saw the P25,000 price.

And if ever no one buys his harp, he would bring it with him as he is also not pressuring himself to sell it.

“Dal-on ra pod nako…Mao bitaw nga wa nako gibutangan og presyo kay sabutan lang. Sa makaapas lang sa akong presyo, ibaligya gini. Pero kining ni-a gud, di gyud nako ni ibaligya og barato ra gyud kay ingon aning instrumento, talagsaon ang taw’ng makamao ani,” he said.

(I will bring it…That is why I did not put a price on it because we can just negotiate. To those who can afford my price, I will sell it to them. But this [instrument], I will not sell it in a lower price because this kind of instrument, only a few people know how to play it.)

READ: Musical Merriment: Five Instruments Perfect for Christmas Caroling

Back to Negros

“Kung di ni siya mahalin, ako gyud ning dad-on balik [sa Negros],” he added.

(If this won’t be sold, I will bring it back [to Negros].)

He learned to play the harp at the age of 11 by observing other people in their province playing the instrument.

“Sa among probinsya, daghan mang makamao gud didto motukar og ingon ani unya bata pa ko, moadto ko sa among silingan unya naa man sila’y ingon ani. Kadugayan, nakamao-mao nako mao nato nga nagpabuhat ko sa among silingan og ingon ani. Pag naa nako’y ingon ani, diha nako nagsugod og kamao [mo-tukar],” Quistorio said.

(In our province, there are a lot of people who know how to play it and when I was still a kid, I will go to my neighbor and they had this there. Eventually, I learned and that I asked my neighbor to make me something like this. And when, I have something like this, that is the time when I really learned to play it.)

Next year, Quistorio will be returning to Cebu City again to do caroling while bringing his harp.

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TAGS: Caroling, Christmas, harp player, Negros Occidental

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