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MusicSpeaksJune 26, 2015. The Municipality of Dalaguete, over the years, has produced magnificent musicians and lovers of music. These wonderful men and women have in them the talent and inherent penchant for the delights of songs and instruments. Music is synonymous to being a Dalaguetnon. It is part of their identity—their immortal souls. This facet of culture, therefore, must be nourished and developed in the rising generation. Fostering the heritage of music in the Municipality is an obligation of our elders and those in authority.

Today, photographs, compositions, instruments, and citations for Dalaguetnon musical excellence are arranged neatly on and in glass cases inside the Museo sa Dalaguete. They gather dust through time and are left unnoticed. They are aging stubbornly as they defy decay. The collection of mute pictures of urbane men in suits, with their oiled hair and proud looks, look back to onlookers. These masters hope the day where their young claim the musical instruments in their stead.

Like their precursors, the rising Dalaguetnons expectedly to great things in music. How will they do it? Well, music workshops are one of the ways. Then, in partnership with music foundations, local musicians and teachers will craft after school and summer music programs, teachers’ training, and concerts. These will make people inspired, not only to like music but also enliven to be the music. They will not only the like the songs; they will be ones making songs. And they will not only love musicians; they will be the next musicians worthy in their endeavor.

Consequently, the Sistemang Pilipino Incorporated, an organization devoted to bringing world class music and training to Filipino children, reached out to Dalaguete. The Dalaguete Music Foundation (DMF) founded by Mrs. Ester Buenconsejo-Hana, a Dalaguetnon pianist-singer now based in Chicago, USA, brought the group to town. In partnership with the Municipal Government of Dalaguete (MGD), the team organized a Music Appreciation Workshop and Concert for young Dalaguetnons on June 26, 2015.

Ms. Lianne Sala President/CEO of the Sistemang Pilipino, Inc. came to Dalaguete on June 11, along with Mrs. Ester Hana, to discuss how the workshop will be had. The format of the program will be short lectures on the music to be performed, proper concert etiquette, different ways of listening to music, and an open forum. US-based performers, Michael Allen (Cellist) and Esther Hana (Pianist and Singer) herself will be leading the activities together with selected Cebu-based singers.

In the pre-workshop agreements, the organizers composed of Ms. Sala, Mrs. Buenconsejo-Hana, and Mr. Leo Carlo Casinillo of the Dalaguete Municipal Education Office, decided that there will be three workshops for June 26. Each workshop will have a maximum of 300 pupils. It was also agreed, as suggested by the Ms. Sala, that a registration fee of twenty pesos (P 20.00) will be collected from the pupils.

The first workshop is at 10:30 AM to 11:30 (Dalaguete Central ES, venue: DLRC), next is at 1:00 to 2:00 PM (Dalaguete NHS, venue: DNHS Covered Court) and last is at 3:00 – 4:00 PM (Cawayan Central ES, venue: Cawayan CES Session Hall).

Originally, the team decided to cater only to Grades 3-4 audiences, and thus, the second venue will be at Mantalongon Elementary School. However, due to ongoing road works at Paling-paling Pass, the organizers opted to forego Mantalongon. The alternative was the Grade 7 students of Dalaguete National High School. Venue, sound system, and other resources were considered in the transfer. Also, the group wanted to try the program to an older age group.

All three workshops were done smoothly and successfully. Mrs. Gresilda Bustamante, Mr. Roger Banogbanog, and Mr. Jose Bobby Beldad, principals of the schools visited, were keen in seeing to it that details of the workshop are given attention. The venue and sound system provided by the schools met the requirements of the group. Pupils and students too were very receptive of the experience. This was evident in the positive responses they gave in their exit cards. The MGD also graciously provided the pupils assistance for their registration fees. The MGD also took care of conveying the organizers and the performers in the three venues and in transporting them back to Cebu City. For their part, the Sistemang Pilipino brought with them top-grade performers, linkages, and technical expertise in the field of music.

After the workshops, the organizers and performers, took a hearty merienda and talked on the next step on how to keep music alive in the municipality. The group decided to meet again in Dalaguete on July 10. Music teachers and volunteers will be invited in the next activity. It will now be the conceptualization of the Dalaguete After-School and Summer Music Program.

The day ended with a new beginning for Music in Dalaguete. The organizers hoped that what they left with the children during the workshop will grow and become the motivation that would fuel their passion to love music. After all, for anything to be sustainable, the desire should come from within.

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