Cultures in Harmony enjoys a longer history in the Philippines than in almost any other country, having conducted successful projects there annually from 2006 to 2009 and returning in 2014. With St. Scholastica’s College, we present workshops, master classes, and rehearse in preparation for a final concert at St. Cecilia’s Hall. The Casa San Miguel offers children from low-income families the opportunity to study music in their picturesque brick home by the South China Sea. In 2008, we traveled together to do an outreach concert for the Aeta tribe, one of the oldest indigenous groups in the Philippines.
After working with the Cartwheel Foundation on an outreach concert tour of Mindanao in 2006, we embarked on an extraordinary and unique series of residencies in indigenous communities. In 2007, we worked with the Tala-Andig tribe in Miarayon, Mindanao; in 2008, we worked with the Umajam tribe in Cabanglasan, Mindanao; and in 2009, we worked with the Ichananaw tribe from Kalinga province, Luzon. Each year, we helped the youth from the indigenous community create musical compositions about their heritage.
We returned in 2014 to work with Cartwheel to help the Tagbanua indigenous community in Culion. In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, the Tagbanua had endured the destruction of many buildings. Our work celebrated their culture and helped revive the role of traditional music by collaborating with traditional musicians and bringing their work to the attention of Tagbanua communities where the traditional music had been forgotten.