The Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas

Ingenuity is something that binds us across cultures and generations. For me, it is the essence of our humanness.

A late 18th century Catholic priest who wanted a pipe organ for his parish located on the other side of the then ‘known’ world is a small and shining example of that. As a human being, I am moved by his ingenuity.

My imagination takes me back centuries, into the heat and humidity. To a much simpler place and a community bound to a common purpose. Select bamboo, treat and cure against insects in seawater, bury for at least three (3) years, construct and install. Protect.

The bamboo pipe organ and the church is a testament of ingenuity not just of the man who conceived and designed it, but the people who have followed. The people who have saved the church and its organ through at least four (4) major earthquakes and countless typhoons.

Here are some additional photos (for my Uncle Richard) taken from my visit to the St Jospeph’s Parish of Las Piñas, Manila, Philippines. My uncle is more than a pipe organ enthusiast and I know he will appreciate them. PS: there are a lot of photos in the slideshow below so it might take a few minutes to load.

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© 2015 Melinda Irvine

Written by Melinda J. Irvine

Melinda J. Irvine is a freelance writer, poet, and blogger — writing slick sales copy for clients from all over the world. And blogging poetry. In her spare time, Mel is busy building (and writing) a free online learning centre for the marginalised kids of Estancia, Philippines.

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