Talaandig artist enthralls audience in DC for Nat’l Heritage Month
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Indigenous musician Waway Linsahay Saway, an artist and musician from the Talaandig tribe of Bukidnon, Philippines enthralled his audience at the Philippine Embassy’s Chancery Annex on May 23.
Sentro Rizal Washington DC and Tanghalang Pilipino Washington DC hosted Saway for the concluding celebration of National Heritage Month.
“Let us also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Filipino artists, the artisans, the cultural workers, and to the indigenous communities in the Philippines for strengthening the fabric of Filipino society,” said Sentro Rizal Administrator and Public Diplomacy Officer Darell Artates. “Their contributions to the progress of our nation are priceless and should always be remembered.”
Saway demonstrated the use the two-stringed musical instrument “koglong” in playing indigenous music for courtship and lullabies, and proceeded to do a set of indigenous musical presentations to the delight and fascination of the audience. He also introduced his tribe and the Taalandig Tribe Band as custodians of the Kitanglad Rainforest in Bukidnon through a video presentation.
Saway stressed the importance of taking care of our rainforests saying that everything that indigenous people need for their survival is provided by nature. “When the forest is destroyed, the inspiration of indigenous music is also destroyed,” he said.
Waway also engaged the audience in an interactive demonstration of the musical instrument “kubing,” a type of Philippine jaw harp made from a hand carved piece of bamboo. Members of the audience got to perform with Waway using their own kubings.
Tanghalang Pilipino Washington DC member and community leader Jon Melegrito served as the emcee of the program. Melegrito together with Tanghalang Pilipino’s Yvonne Reyes led and coordinated the efforts to ensure the success of the event.
A simple Filipino merienda was also prepared and served to the guests prior to the start of the program.