TFC News

San Francisco 'Kulintang' festival celebrates indigenous Filipino music

Rommel Conclara | TFC News San Francisco

Posted at Jun 06 2023 10:04 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

A musical festival was recently held in San Francisco which centered on the ancient Filipino gong and drum ensemble known as the Kulintang.

Six artists from the Philippines participated in the "Gongster's Paradise" along with guests from several U.S. states.

The event was organized by House of Gongs founders Ron and Lydia Querian, who were looking to bring together other musical genres.

"We can present Kulintang in different ways and maybe reach different audiences that might not be open to a traditional sound," said Ron Querian.

Blending Kulintang music with other genres is not new to Querian. But he said it's important to learn and appreciate the traditional music and dances.

Attendees of the event included Kulintang practitioners from the Philippines, who said they were impressed at how Filipino-Americans are taking the time to learn the music.

"I'm very proud that most people here in the diaspora still really make sure that our culture and heritage, the roots of being a Filipino, is preserved," said Farid Guinomla, a Kulintang master artist.

According to the House of Gongs, the Kulintang predates the religious influences of Islam and Christianity in the Philippines.

It is based on traditional chanting, vocal music, and boat-lute music, which was how ancestors communicated with each other then.