The 2015 Jose Maceda Project Series: Masterclass and Workshop in Philippine Music

“Now that we have learned Cordillera music with the masters themselves, we can teach our students what we ourselves learned and not only from the videos we see on the internet or the stories we read in the books,” – these were some of the words of Ian Gonzales, a Department of Education teacher in Antipolo, during the final synthesis and discussion of the Jose Maceda Project Series: Masterclass and Workshop in Philippine Music. Held in Baguio City from May 1 to 3, 2015, 27 participants learned to sing, dance and play music instruments from the Kalinga, Ifugao, Benguet, and Mountain Province.

Kalinga Courtship Dance 3

Teachers, students, and facilitators coming together for the Kalinga courtship dance.

Dr. Benicio Sokkong and the Cordillera Music Tutorial and Research Center welcomed the students from the Department of Music Education, Department of Musicology and teachers from the Continuing Education for Music Teachers of the College of Music Extension Program at Maryhurst Seminary where they were given a background of the region before being divided into groups. Each group had two hours to learn the music and dance before they moved on to a different ethnic culture. By the end of the first day, everyone was able to experience what all four tribes taught.

The next day opened with the singing of various songs. After which, the whole group was divided into two and they rehearsed what they learned, exchanging ideas while reviewing with each other. In the afternoon, the participants learned how gangsa, the flat gongs, are tuned and how the bamboo instruments are made. A trip to the instrument workshop in the house of Dr. Sokkong showed the participants where and how the family lived.

Dr. Beni Sokkong making a tongali

Beni Sokkong making a tongali – in real time.

On the third day, a ritual called cañao was celebrated. The mambunong or shaman led the cañao and prayed for the safe travel of the participants back to Manila. Here, the students and teachers had the chance to interview the people involved in the workshop – not only the facilitators but also those who prepared the meals and assisted in the playing and dancing. Other students finished collecting data like the measurement of the instruments and local terms used for the dance and playing patterns.

In three days, not only did the student and teacher participants learn how to play bamboo instruments and flat gongs, dance, and sing songs from the Cordillera but they also experienced musicological field research through interviews, data collection, and data processing. More importantly, they got a sampling of how rich Filipino culture is through the lives of those from the Cordillera.

This project was supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the UP Diliman Office of the Chancellor.


  1. Jonalyn Reynera
    July 20, 2016 - 10:08 am

    I am interested to join in any of your workshop especially related to music education. Please extend your communication to Visayas and Mindanao Regions since we also taught Philippine music, Asian, Western and Contemporary music. We are very much interested to join, please send us communication or invitation. I believe in a collaborative learning and discovery. This is my email add: ( from Music Teacher, Davao City) Thank you

    • Grace Ann Buenaventura
      September 13, 2016 - 2:28 pm

      Dear Ms. Reynera, thank you for your comment. We will make sure to include you in our directory so that you can receive news directly from us. Please also make sure to follow us on where we post updates about our activities. Hope to have you with us soon!

      Grace Buenaventura

  2. Dear Jerome, thanks for leaving a reply. We are happy that you were part of the Jose Maceda Project, we are looking forward to having you with us as well in the events to come. Kudos!

  3. Jerome John S. Llagas
    May 23, 2015 - 7:17 am

    Proud to be one of the participant of this once in a blue moon event… Thanks UP College of Music especially to the UP Center for ethnomusicology for this opportunity.. God bless.

Leave a Reply