45 minutes drive south of Manila is Las Piñas City – where the world’s only organ made almost entirely of bamboo is located.
The Bamboo Organ isn’t just something with a whimsical name – it’s a real musical instrument that can actually be played! The annual International Bamboo Organ Festival is held here every February. International organists and musicians come to the Philippines to get the chance to play (or at least hear) the world’s only Bamboo organ.
It was built by a Spanish priest in 1816 and finished it 8 years later. The whole gigantic instrument was entirely made of bamboo except the tubes were replaced by metal after it was shipped to Germany for restoration in the 70s.
The Bamboo Organ can be found inside St. Joseph Parish Church in the center of Las Piñas City. The church itself is equally historic. It was first built in the 1700s, destroyed by an earthquake, and was rebuilt again in 1819. Its beautiful baroque-style architecture gives the place an almost melancholic feel to it. The sound of the Bamboo organ liven everything up, as we were told.
Bamboo represents the sturdy but flexible character of our peoples. It’s power, strength and versatility embodies our region like no other.