May 29, 2024
Lee Donghoon playing the haegeum (string instrument).

Traditional Korean music filled the air on Aug. 3 at the Baguio Museum.

There was a fusion of Korean and Cordillera music with dances that left the audience mesmerized. The unique event staged at the museum was the second, the first was at the University of the Cordilleras in 2018 sponsored by the Pines International Academy headed by Inbon Kim.

Hwang Seungju playing his ajaeng (a  large Korean bowed zither having seven strings. Its body is about 62 inches long and 10 inches wide and is made of paulownia wood. The ajaeng’s strings, made of twisted silk, are supported by separate movable bridges.
President Peter Ng with Councilor Mylen Yaranon received the surprise gift (jangdan or hourglass drum) from Kim Won Sun and Hwang Seunju

Invited maestros in their fields were Kim Won Sun, who played the piri (flute), Lee Donghoon (haegeum, a string instrument), Hwang Seunju (ajng, string instrument), Kang Jonghwa (daegeum, a wind instrument played on the left side) and Cho Yongwan (hourglass shaped drum) and Lee Joung Young, a medical doctor from the Jesus Hospital.

The guests came from the Jeonbuk National University and Gugak National Center. Their repertoire included daegeumsanjo, hanobaeknyeon medley, haegeumsanjo, minyo medley, and ensemble sinawi.

The Koream masters Kim Wonsun (piri), Kang Jonghwa (daegeum), Lee Donghoon (haegeum), Hwang Seungju (ajaeng) and Cho Yongan (Jangdan) performing the minyo medley and the ensemble sianawi
The heart sign which  means love. The finger heart is one of the most popular hand gestures used by Koreans. It is made by putting your thumb and index finger together to form a heart shape. This gesture is used to show love or appreciation for someone popularized by K pop idols.

They were joined by the Bebsat cultural performing group who did the tuppaya, sakpaya, chaligcong and the eagle dance.

JumarManzano did the Cordillera hymn and the colors of the wind (kulising). At the end there was a fusion of Korean and Cordillera instruments, a taste of cross cultural exchange promoting global understanding through music and dance.

It was a day to remember.

The Bebsatcultural group with the Pines International Academy organizers and the Korean Maestro from Jeonbuk National University and Gigak National Center.
Cho Yongwan playing the jangdan, or the hour-glass shaped drum.

Guests came from Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguetand as far as Laguna, Dubai and El Salvador who expressed interest in bringing their music to Baguio too.

Prof. Kim Wonsun of Jeonbuk National University assisted by the head of the Pines Academy in Baguio Inbon Kim presented the “surprise gifts (the hourglass drum and flute)  to the Baguio Museum received by President Peter Ng.

The Bebsat dance group gave an enthralling performance. By and large, the performances of both the Koreans and the Cordillerans riveted the audience to a spellbinding experience.

Kong Jonhwa playing the wind instrument on the left side instead of the right side and Kim Won Sun playing the piri or flute.
Jumar Manzano playing the kulising.

The harmony of cultures  brings us to wishing there were more activities like these showcasing differences and similarities of cultures.

Manzano’s rendition of the Cordillera hymn was truly heart-warming. The fusion festival truly brought deeper appreciation and understanding for our cultures.

The Baguio Museum President Peter Ng with Gemma Gardingan-Estolas and Councilor MylenYaranon received the “changgo”  also spelled changko or changgu, an hourglass-shaped (waisted) drum used in much of Korea’s traditional music.
The organizers of the Pines International Academy with the Korean masters, President Peter Ng and staff of the Baguio Museum and the Bebsat cultural group.

Congratulations to the organizers headed  by Inbon Kim and his team  Zenaida Capuyan,  Carlo Nazarro, Rona Dale Ortiz, Sean Dave Ollero, and  Katren Picar.

The Baguio Museum hopes the Korean Festival will be one of its institutionalized activities.


Thank you, Pines International Academy. (Photos by Chino Chow, Vince Dangiapo and Rona Ortiz)

– Stella Maria L. de Guia