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         It is without doubt that Filipinos are very religious.  They have embraced the Catholic faith as soon as the Spaniards have set foot in the Philippines almost 500 years ago.  And along with  faith came the music of worship.

        Church music in Spanish Philippines, as with the rest of Europe, was brought alive with the Pipe Organ.  It is believed that the Spanish missionaries have brought with them organ builders from Spain or Mexico to build beautiful pipe organs all over the archipelago, housed in the baroque churches in the north to the far flung missionary settlements in the south.  The pipe organ is indeed an integral part of the history of Catholic faith in the Philippines.  It is estimated that the country had more than two hundred (a conservative guess!) pipe organs built during the Spanish Colonization Period.

Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas

        Unfortunately, majority of these valuable instruments have deteriorated through time.  They have been neglected, and have been supplanted by modern musical
instruments like guitars and electronic organs.  Out of the two hundred or so Spanish-era pipe organs, only fourteen (14) are left. And out of these fourteen historical organs, only three (3) are playable.

Pipe Organ in San Nicolas, Intramuros destoyed in WWII

Source:
George A. Miller. Interesting Manila, Revised Edition. Manila, E. C. McCullough & Co., Inc., 1912

        One goal of this web site is to educate the Filipinos, particularly the young, of the importance of these instruments.  With knowledge comes the appreciation and the drive to preserve the remaining pipe organs in the Philippines.  We hope to restore these valuable Philippine pipe organs in their historical glory for future generations of Filipinos.

        Another goal is research -- we want to to document all Philippine pipe organs, and trace their roots here in the Philippines and other countries like Spain and Mexico.  The builders of the few remaining Spanish era pipe organs are unknown, except for the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ, built by Fr. Diego Cera.

 

 

Contact Information

Cealwyn S. Tagle   

Telephone (+63 2) 801 2412
FAX  (+63 2) 801 2412
Postal address
Blk 2 Lot 15 Molave Street, Admiral Village, Talon, Las Piñas City 1747 PHILIPPINES
Electronic mail
cealwyn@yahoo.com
 

 

Send mail to cealwyn@yahoo.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2001 Philippine Pipe Organs
Last modified: June 14, 2001
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