Baguio City, Philippines

This post is by my assistant, Lorens, who lives in the Philippines…

In the northern part of the Philippines resides a beautiful culture – The Cordillera Region, the ancestral homeland of the Cordillera indigenous peoples, collectively referred to as the “igorots”, meaning “people of the mountain”.

Two years ago, I decided to move from the farm town where I grew up, to Baguio City and start a life. I thought that life in the city would be like living in a modern society but what fascinates me is that people from this town emerged in the bountifulness of their music and culture.

Session Road, Baguio City

The old and young ones are preserving the music of the Cordillera — the mountainous region where the city is. Every Sunday the Local Government of Baguio City in Cordillera is closing the ‘Session Road’ where people from different cultural dance groups perform their tribe dances and play ethnic music with their instruments while wearing their cultural attires. They perform along with other buskers to entertain the tourists and the locals. 

Most of the houses here have a guitar, and you can see people jamming and singing on their terraces. You can see that families are really close to music here. Grandparents are teaching their grandchildren traditional cultural music. Sometimes I hear neighbors singing together with a guitar while having their “Tapuy” or rice wine from Ifugao province in the Cordillera.

Gangsa — handheld gong instruments

The Cordillera region is known for its unique musical instruments including the gangsa, nose flute, bamboo flute, buzzer, bangibang, tongatong, diwdiw-as, saggeypo, and bamboo zither. 

One of the famous cultural musical instruments is the ‘Gangsa’. A gangsa is a handheld bronze gong with a smooth surface and a narrow rim. A collection of gangsa, with each gong played by a different musician, consists of gangsa that are tuned to various notes, and influenced by local or regional traditions. The size of the gangsa set depends on what’s available and the customs of specific ethnic groups from the Luzon region.

Today, I still can’t believe that I am living in a city with both urban and rural feel. The mountains, the rains, the fog, the warmth of the people, and the beauty of music and culture.

Hi, my name is Lorens, and Nancy’s assistant for nearly three years.

I am based in the stunning archipelago of the Philippines. I have a deep love for hiking and admiring breathtaking mountain views.

Documentaries on music, culture, arts, and historical discoveries captivate me.

I am eager to share more blogs about our rich culture and vibrant music, giving you a glimpse into the beauty of our tropical paradise, the Philippines.

This photo on the left was taken at Bell Church—a Chinese temple located at the top of a mountain in Baguio City, Philippines, where I live. This place is very quiet and open to everyone, offering a perfect spot to relax and breathe fresh air.

Join the Fearless Singers Playground online membership program — a supportive and joyous singing community specially designed for beginners! When you join you’ll get access to great online skills & song lessons, as well as live sing-alongs, workshops, and open mics.

Such a great way to grow as a singer!