DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For more than a decade of performing in different parts of the world, Jason Gildore believes it is time to give back.
The 35-year-old drummer from Davao whose career began in Manila is with four other young professionals travelling around the country to teach music and revitalize the Filipino concept of bayanihan.
On Monday night, September 25, Gildore and businessman Bogs Castro, physical therapist Michelle Azuelo, artist Gregan Pagulayan, and photographer Box Seblario arrived here from a trip in Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.
Castro is their vocalist, Azuelo acts as the group’s manager, Pagulayan is the multimedia artist and the driver, and Seblario is the film director. They have travelled more than 2,425 kilometers starting from Mindoro.
Azuelo described the experience of meeting new people as like giving birth to a growing community.
“Some of them – we only get to know through Facebook, while some would readily welcome us,” she said.
And the drumming has made a huge impact in forging relationships, said Gildore.
“Even if you only see the person for the first time, when you play the drums, it’s like you have known him for a long time,” he said.
The manager, Azuelo, envisions to increase the people’s appreciation towards art in a society where not everyone can afford to train themselves to learn how to play an instrument.
With the bayanihan concept in hand, she said artist communities can create a space where everyone would enjoy music.
Since they embarked the journey, they learned the culture and music of other Filipino tribes which influenced their performances.
Along with the tour, the group has with them “Pintig Project: A drummer’s journey,” a documentary that tells the story of the drummers traversing around the Philippines for the love of music and drumming.
The film is Gildore’s work with his group Adinkra Lumad Djembe Community and Alpas. The two groups are composed of some 39 drummers who wish to teach the community about the Djembe, an instrument that originated from Africa.
The group will also visit Surigao, Tacloban, Sorsogon, Naga, Daet, Marinduque, and Kalinga and Sagada in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Their trips have been supported financially by their network of drumming and flow arts communities.
Apart from cash donations, there was a community who sheltered and fed them while they gave free Djembe workshops in cafes, parks, and wherever there are people gathering.
“I have never been in a Filipino town where I did not tell myself to come back,” said Castro.
Seblario, who has stopped receiving bookings from clients since August, is working on a film that tells the stories of artists from various provinces. They hope to finish the film by December.
“It (the film) should be given attention to so that other artists will be inspired,” Seblario said.
The group said their journey has taught them to appreciate Filipino communities who are always known to be hospitable.
“It feels good to be a Filipino,” Castro said. “When we play the drums, we play as one,” he said. (davaotoday.com)