A Festival of the Finest Philippine Marching Bands dubbed as IHUDYAT! 2017 will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4pm, at the UP Diliman Amphitheater. The festival highlights the participation of elite bands of the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Marines (Navy Fleet), The Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas, Cavite and the University of Luzon (Pangasinan) Drum & Bugle Corps. IHUDYAT! 2017 is a joint project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the University of the Philippines Diliman Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (UPD-OICA), and the UP Vanguard Makati Chapter.
IHUDYAT! 2017 includes works of National Artists for Music Col. Antonino Buenaventura and Maestro Lucio San Pedro, who made significant contributions to what Philippine marching band music is today. Buenaventura’s popular folksong “Pandango sa Ilaw” and San Pedro’s masterpiece “Lahing Kayumanggi” are some of the pieces that will be performed, with the latter as the contest piece.
The festival also aims to further elevate a kind of music that has become a huge part of Filipino life and culture. Owing to its Hispano-Catholic heritage, the Philippines is popular today as a country of “fiestas”. Filipinos are known to be people who celebrate life and salvation almost the whole year round. In honor of their Savior or patron saints, they welcome friends and strangers alike into their homes to savor their finest delights, while an interminable procession of beautiful and bountiful blessings are paraded in the streets.
As soon as one hears the processional music, one says “hayan na ang dagundong ng mga tambol at haginit ng torotot” (“here comes the roar of drums and the cracking sound of the horn”). Soon, the people excitedly spring towards widely opened windows and they wiggle for the best spot to view the arrival of a spectacle. The faint distant sound of melodious brass winds and the rhythmic beating of the drums anxiously build up into a climax as the band, clad in its most colorful gala, marches right before them.
Such is the kind of music that adds spice to every Filipino’s life. Street marching band music, especially in the provinces, is evident in baptismal rites, birthday parties, sporting events, graduations, funerals and practically every event celebrating life. Community organized bands show how interconnected, well governed and organized its people are. Bands have been a source of pride and have somehow saved many Filipino youth away from societal menaces such as drugs.
With IHUDYAT! 2017, the country celebrates the significance of street marching band music in Filipino culture, and acclaims the many wonderful ways it has enriched Filipino society and humanity.