Free travel home page with storage for your pictures and travel reports! login GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community
 You are here: Member pages
 Forgot password?
sign up

Top 3 members
pictor 112
wojtekd 62
basia 40
Member snaps
dtcwriter Calbayog City - A travel report by Junfil
about me      | my friends      | pictures      | albums      | reports      | travel log      | travel tips      | guestbook      | activities      | contact      |

Calbayog City,  Philippines - flag Philippines -  Calbayog
5552 readers

dtcwriter's travel reports

Samar's Undiscovered Symphony Orchestra

  4 votes
A soft breezy sunrise rouses me as my ship nears the coast and moors at the docks of Maguino-o, off the city of Calbayog Western Samar in the Central Philippine Islands.

Calbayog City travelogue picture
By Junfil Olarte, SE Asia Travel Writer

Taken from the article "A Trip To Samar" at (Photos: Carl S. Bordeos, CKC PR)

Maguino-o seaport really looks like an isolated place. You can hardly notice houses dwelling nearby it. The scene still brings you back to the early years (undeveloped in other words), with meagerly built homes yet pacific, having fresh air and unblemished environment. Perhaps, unlike many travel writers in the country, such a place catches my attention most. Especially, that it does not see even a glimpse of foreign visitors. I know that a lot of exciting activities await me in this part of the island.

Franciscan Father Marlowe Rosales then receives us warmly when we get in at the Friary's refectory, situated right beside the secondary school premises of Christ the King College (a popular OFM run school in Calbayog City). With us in the dining room is Father Marcelo Tubac, the school's OIC President, whom I also ask for some information about the area, along with Father Rosales who has arranged my media visit in the city.

I say that this metropolis in Samar is not touristy: narrow streets as we've meandered through it, having only one or two (yet tiny) department stores with small number of celebrated refreshment centres. Seeing foreign travellers roaming around here is sporadic. However, it does have something very important. The splendour of the city's natural attractions, its colourful culture and arts, historical features and the ancient relics in its museum are simply remarkable, which interest me to even travel 22 hours by sea from my port of origin in Northwestern Mindanao Southern Philippines, with stopover in Cebu, sailing through the island straits of Leyte.

Favourite spots:
Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM and his CKC Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra
Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM and his CKC Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra
We do have natural spots here, Father Marlowe tells me, but still fairly developed. These are beaches and waterfalls; a hot spring that provides therapeutic waters; and a number of caves in its forests (part of Samar Island's vast labyrinth of caves) that hardly ever visited by domestic and foreign tourists. I can assist you going to these attractions if you choose to stay long, Father Marlowe convinces me. I just nod whilst still being seated at the dining room. But tomorrow, he continues, we're going to drive eleven kilometres off this city for the orchestra concert.

What's really great:
CKC Orchestra in a Manila Concert
CKC Orchestra in a Manila Concert
I consume the following time visiting the tourism office. Drenched in the 11:00am sunlight, Joel and I do photo shots on its still quaintly Spanish-looking facade. Just in front of it is Calbayog's very old cathedral the Franciscan Jose Gomez de Huerce had built during the late 1840s. In my appointment with Tourism Officer Erlinda Calesa she gives me a historical book about the city. And it appears that the year 1739 traces the records of Calbayog's earliest establishment.

I head back to the Friary for lunch and, a few hours after, set myself to visit its museum, situated just close to the High School grounds of Christ the King College. Oh, I should keep you in touch with Carl, says Father Marcelo, he can give you details about the museum. Calbayog's Samar Archeological and Cultural Museum is the only one in the Eastern Visayas Region open to the public that keeps some ancient burial jars, human craniums and bones, artifacts recovered in several towns of Samar five decades ago.

CKC Orchestra in Basey, Samar
CKC Orchestra in Basey, Samar
There are vintage brass musical instruments also kept inside the museum, said to be legacy of the late Jose Cinco Gomez, a great composer of Calbayog in the 1960s, otherwise known as the Music Man of Samar. Troves of different ancient relics, including old manuscripts in the 17th century, are put on display inside lined framed glasses positioned at the museum's centre walkway.

A musician member of CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra
A musician member of CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra
The following day finds us driving through a narrow road off the city to witness the said orchestra concert in Migara, situated at the upper vicinity of Calbayog, about eleven kilometres away from the city proper.

Jose Cinco Gomez, in fact, was the famous composer in Samar, who had had his "Colegio de San Vicente de Paul Orchestra" organised in 1930 (renamed the "Cecilian Orchestra" two years later).

Jose Gomez's organised orchestra five decades ago had enjoyed performing its original pieces to Calbayog and its neighbouring towns and even played classical symphony from immense European Legends as Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. However, Samar's piece of music died right after the day Jose Gomez passed away in 1975. And no one, since then, has ever taken his place to revive such rare legacy he left.

Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM with his Orchestra at Mall of Asia Manila
Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM with his Orchestra at Mall of Asia Manila
Father Marlowe then embarked on a great task of reviving Calbayog's symphony, which has been dormant for three decades, and bringing music to young students of Christ the King College. Obtained his "Bachelor of Music in Conducting" and "Bachelor of Music in Music Education" in the University of Santo Tomas Manila in 1998-2001, he began teaching students at CKC such orchestral instruments, including piano, and the reading of its musical notes which is the most difficult and crucial of all. "I say it's tough, really," explains the 38-year-old priest. "I even thought trumpet was just a mere instrument where you simply blow on it in order to create harmonic tunes," Father Marlowe smiles. "In the case of strings," he adds, "I'd had assistance from already learnt students to do a help on others for fast learning."

Calbayog City travelogue picture
The long months of difficult endeavours had turned into one great honour when Father Marlowe Rosales set up the "CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra" in 2007, signifying the renaissance of the island's long lost legacy for more than three decades. The symphony group then did its first performance at the Monastery of Saint Clare on March 9, 2008, followed by concerts at different venues in several towns of the province, and even spent successful performances at Philippine Capital sites as Manila's Century Park Hotel, Mall of Asia, and Forbes Park.

CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra members are composed of high school learners as young as 13 to 16. Many tried, but not all were selected, to become participants of the Orchestra's first chorale set. Persistent interest and discipline on the part of aspirants came to be the basis of the final selection.

Calbayog City travelogue picture
As we draw up to the intended place in Migara, Father Marlowe's colourful story about the symphony revival reminds me of how the Franciscan Friars, from past to present, have bequeathed a wealth of priceless heritage to the people of Samar. "This concert is part of the school's outreach program, so that less fortunate people, especially poor children, can watch the Orchestra at no cost," he explains as we move ourselves to the concert grounds.

CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra will soon perform concerts in the Philippine Capital on the following dates:

*April 1, 2011-Camp Crame, Quezon City*April 2, 2011- Resorts World Manila*April 3, 2011 - Rizal Park Manila*

Orchestra Inquiry & Concert Bookings, contact: Phone (63) (55) 209-3626; 533-9524*Mobile +63 921 821-2148*Email*

Other recommendations:
Calbayog City travelogue picture
Although some uninitiated people do criticise it, CKC Orchestra is the only orchestra existing in Samar provinces (or perhaps, in the entire Philippine Islands in terms of young school artists) that has successfully established itself and even obtained noteworthy publicity from famous Philippine media as ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" and GMA's "Mel & Joey" in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Because of this rare and great achievement (same as the Franciscan Father Cantius Kobak), the City Government Council passed an Official Resolution on October 11, 2010 declaring Father Marlowe Rosales (a native from Ozamiz City, Southern Philippines) as an "Adopted Son of Calbayog".

Published on Thursday March 10th, 2011

send travelogue via e-mail    Publish on Facebook  

Login if you are a member, or sign up for a free membership to rate this report and to earn globo points!

   Accra average user rating for this report
   Bohol average user rating for this report
   Calbayog City average user rating for this report
   Camiguing Island average user rating for this report
   Cavite average user rating for this report
   Cebu City average user rating for this report
   Dumaguete City average user rating for this report
   Manila average user rating for this report
   Samal average user rating for this report
   Surigao average user rating for this report
   Tagbilaran City average user rating for this report
   Singapore City average user rating for this report

Publish your own story!
 More on Philippines

   Siquijor - biya67 average user rating for this report
   Pagudpud - rinnovati average user rating for this report
   Cebu - biya67 average user rating for this report
   Batangas - wondrous22 average user rating for this report
   Banaue - mistybleu average user rating for this report

  Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy    Press    Contact    Impressum
  © 2002 - 2024 Findix Technologies GmbH Germany    Travel Portal Version: 4.2.8