Did a quick web search and found this interesting article...
Music Makers of Lapulapu City | tribong_upos on Xanga
Hey there Dong,
Not sure if this is still the case, but years ago while touring some guitar factories in the Mactan area it seems they spoke of their local models and their export quality models. maybe someone like Rhoody who has been around there for a while has some input on the export quality ones. I am a mandolin player and recently purchased an Eastman MD515.
hi there Dong!
There are indeed some serious luthiers in Mactan & they make superb guitars. One that I deal with is Ferangeli Guitars owned by a 3rd generation guitar maker by the name of Andoy. Andoy Dagoc is the only Filipino luthier that is recognized in Spain. Some of the top Classical Spanish guitars sold in Spain have their origins in Andoy's humble workshop. If you make a trip to Cebu, make it a point to visit Ferangeli Guitars in Mactan, I'm sure you will fall in love with one of his guitars & take it home.
I bought a classical guitar at Mactan some years ago. Solid top, but made out of local wood, Nice finish and appearence but terrible tone. Brought it back to Australia as well as another one made from the wood of the jackfruit tree but with the intense heat here in Australia they soon cracked. They can make nice looking guitars but have never heard one that plays sweetly or even nice. They are just guitars made for the average Filipino to strum on, or to sell to tourists. Just about every filipino house has one hanging on the wall and the occupants will strum on them to occompany their singing. They used to build turtle shell guitars, but they are banned here and probably in the Philippines also. Terrible sound but great talking point. Poor turtles. Personally I have a Yamaha, set up for flamenco and happy with the quality and sound. I doubt that you will find a guitar made in the Philippines that comes up to the standard you require.
Is electric guitar better than acoustic guitar?
Thanks for the replies.
I gave up on finding an affordable Philippine made guitar that has high quality construction and good sound/playability.
I did find a Samick dealer on the 4th floor of SM City Manila, over on San Marcelino st. And, I bought a "Gregg Bennett" OM-5. It's got a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, with grover tuners.
To me, it's very well made, and cheap enough at 8,000 pesos, set up with quality strings and a padded gig bag.
The neck is comfy, action is good, plus it's got a "stepped bridge" and the intonation is perfect.
Not the best sounding piece I've ever held, but could easily compete with most I've tried in the $500 and below price range.
It's got a pretty good finish, with sound hole rosette and it's the smaller Orchestra body style.
So do most of the Makati music stores have new or used acoustic and electric guitars by Yamaha or Epiphone available?
"I dream of things that never were, and ask 'why not?'" Robert Kennedy
Guitar Makers???? There are a lot of tourist bus lining up at the different guitar stores in Cebu... Its located at the streets of Abuno, Lapu-Lapu City Cebu...a few minutes away from the Mactan International Airport. Its one of famous Guitar destination in the Philippines, they have different kinds of guitars there made from different hard woods...you can also do made to order.
The music stores here in Metro Manila usually don't ever deal in used instruments.
I've only found a few Yamaha nylon string classical style guitars.
I saw a Godin arch top acoustic in Makati, but it was priced at 25,000 pesos. It had the off set f sound holes, and looked really cool. I had a hollow body electric bass years ago, that I really liked made by Godin. I actually considered pulling the trigger on the arch top, even though it was more than double what I planned to spend.
But after sitting down with it a few times I decided against it. It had a real mellow tone, and I just couldn't get into the sound when playing lead riffs on it. It wasn't made for that anyway I guess, since an arch top acoustic really needs heavy gauge strings to get the top moving enough to bring out it's true tone, and my fingers aren't tough enough anymore for heavy strings.
Then I found some low end Ovations. But in my opinion, they were over priced, and the salesman didn't want to haggle with me.
I saw one Gibson "Kramer" acoustic for 4,000 pesos, but it sounded really flat. I guess it's made for the Chinese market.
I saw several Ibanez electrics, and acoustics including jazz boxes, but they were all made in China, the hardware is really cheezy, and they just seemed cheap and over priced.
Yes I know Mactan and Lumanog are famous Philippine made guitars, and most are inexpensive and made with beautiful hardwoods.
For a musician looking to actually play the instrument, there are other factors to consider. Namely sound, playability, durability and price. I'd rather play a beat up guitar with a hole knocked in the top, that has great tone, than a pretty guitar made to hang on the wall.
And so would this guy-
Tourist buses lining up at a music store isn't an indicator of a quality music instrument, since tourists are usually looking for a pretty, cheap guitar as a souvenir, and couldn't care less about sound and playability.
Thanks for the post though. I'll def check them out if I'm ever in Cebu, but after my Lumanog experience, I won't be making a special trip.