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[Pic Pocket] PUF Ends March on a High Note

Photographer EMMAN PEREGRIN captures ukulele enthusiasts as they participated in this year’s Philippine Ukulele Festival.

The ukulele is one of the most popular instruments in the Philippines right now and those who disagree with that should check out what happened at Eton Centris last weekend.

On March 30 to 31, Happy Music, a retailer and wholesaler of musical instruments, along with other parties pulled their resources together to hold the 5th Philippine Ukulele Festival. They gathered about 300 artists, held a series of performances on both days and showed people just how much musicians in this country have been enamored by the four-stringed guitar. Speaking on behalf of Happy Music, Laurence Dacanay said that the fanfare for the ukulele has been going on for years and there are several reasons for it.

“Compared sa ibang instruments, pwedeng sabihin na madali siya [Compared to other instruments, you can say that it’s easy to learn,]” he told Manileno during a recent interview. He also said that the ukulele is easy to carry around given its size—and this is partly one of the reasons why he got attracted to it as well.

Natuto akong mag ukulele in 2013 [I learned how to play the ukulele in 2013,]” he shared. “And I liked it because relaxing yung sound niya and madali siyang dalhin. [And I liked it because it has a very relaxing sound and it’s portable.]”

What is arguably the best trait of the ukulele, however, is its capacity to be a social instrument. Unintimidating and flexible, it has attracted a myriad of players who have built communities around it. And, a great number of them were represented at the event. During the 5th PUF, ukulele players from across the country and beyond went to Centris to share their love for the craft through their performances. Well-known artists like BennyBunnyBand, Navy Blue Pants, Alamat ni Ug, Talata ni Tala, and Esremborak all performed before the fluctuating crowd. Ukulele groups from various parts of the Philippines came to perform as well. And, beyond the stage, the soothing sound of the instrument could be heard playing all throughout the venue—at the hands of experts, beginners, the young and the old, and everyone in between. The instrument has struck a chord with the Filipino people. And, during the event, Happy Music showed that it is in tune with the times by celebrating this.

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