Bantay Kalikasan

Estero Kids Enjoy Free Ukulele Workshop

Frances Anne Guevarra and Angelique Rupisan
June 14, 2018

Happy Music, Inc., Ukulele Underground Philippines organized the Philippine Ukulele Festival with the theme “Happy Ukulele Virus” where kids living near the assisted estero communities of Bantay Kalikasan participated.

On its 4th year, local makers such as OB Ukulele from Pampanga, Cebu’s Ferangeli, and other ukulele makers and suppliers were also invited in the event. Aside from these specialty stores, free workshops were also offered by the UUP members who shared their knowledge in playing ukulele such as the basic chords, basic tunes, and basic notes to the ukulele learning enthusiasts.Local performers were highlighted to prove that Ukulele is one of the best gateway instruments to learn music.

The Kawayan Seven, a member of UkuleleUnderground Philippines, carrying with them their main advocacy which is environmental stewardship, partnered with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig to teach children living nearby estero communities how to play different musical instruments.

The group provided ukuleles, bamboo flutes, and djembe drums to 50 children from Estero de Paco, Estero de Santebañez, and Estero de Pandacan communities. “Aside from educating these children of environmental projects like solid waste management, proper segregation and recycling, they were also given free summer workshops for them to enjoy their childhood,” Melvic Cabasag, Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig’s Site Specialist shared.

On the second day, Kawayan Seven’s youngest member, Jhon Benedict Oliveros, taught these children how to play a bamboo flute followed by the UPP members who continued their workshop in playing ukulele.

Jhon Benedict Oliveros teaching kids how to play the flute.

According to Dave Gregorio, UUP’s Moderator, “Yung mga bata po, kita nyo naman po wala pang 1 hour, nakapag “Im Yours” na at tsaka “One Day” ni Matisyahu. In an hour, apat lang po na chords ang itinuro ko and then they can play the ukulele nang sabay-sabay na po.” (In an hour, the kids were able to play "I'm yours" and "One day".)

"Sana po yung may mga magagandang adhikain maibigay po sa mga kids, lalong-lalo na sa schools, sana po ma-incorporate ang ukulele sa music, sa pagtuturo ng music sa school, mas maganda po ata iyon." he added.(Good intentions like this should be given to these kids, especially in schools,so ukulele can be taught in schools.)

Many people attended the said event, and one of them is Alyssa Macaraya, one of the KBPIP kids who said "Napaka importante po itong event na to. ‘Yung iba po kasi, magtuturo po sila, pero may bayad. Pero ito pong event na to, libreng-libre lang po.” (The event was very important because it’s for free that’s why it’s beneficial for the other kids who want to learn how to play ukulele.)

Ukulele instrument is known to be convenient, easy to learn, and entertaining to play. The Filipino and foreign talents, both amateurs, and professionals were showcased in the event. This is to encourage more people to play the instrument.

Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig is the river rehabilitation arm of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. under its program Bantay Kalikasan. To date, out of 47 tributaries connected to Pasig River, 16 or 17 were already rehabilitated in partnership with Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, local inter-agency committees, and private donors and partners.

Through working together, BK-KBPIP believes in cleaning one estero at a time in order to clean and revive the Pasig River.