on November 19, 2005
A very musical people, these Cebuanos are, and Cebu is said to be the home of the best guitar craftsmen in the Philippines: good-quality guitars at incredibly affordable prices. The trip is also a cultural excursion and will give you an up-close look of traditional guitar-making processes.Getting to the row of family-owned guitar factories is no easy feat. The easiest thing if you don't have access to your own vehicle in Cebu is to hire a taxi for an afternoon to take you to the row of guitar factories in Abuno, Mactan Island, and wait for you there so you have a ride back. Alegre Guitar Factory has the most impressive looking guitar factory in Abuno. The standard guitars and other stringed instruments are neatly arranged in a showroom. The top-quality guitars are in a separate showroom. The personnel can also take you to the back of the lot where you can watch the guitar craftsmen at work in different stages of guitar-making. These guitars are exported to Japan and North America.For the serious music hobbyist, however, the best-sounding guitars (in our opinion) are made and sold by Susing's Guitars, a few meters down the road from Alegre. Some of the guitars sounded at least as good as Yamahas, for half the price. A musician and one time OFW guitarist who seemed to be a friend of the owner even played several tunes for us, to our delight.If you have the time to come back, all the factories can custom-make a guitar for you, according to yor body and hand measurements, and using the wood of your choice. If all you want is a souvenir to bring home and adorn your living room with, each factory also has decorative mini-guitars and ukeleles for sale.
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