Kulintangan is a product of the indigenous communities of the Philippines and has proudly been considered “the music of resistance” against the harsh realities of Spanish colonization. Folk life traditions such as kulintangan are critical to affirming identity and community. They do so by connecting immigrants to their heritage, facilitating communication between generations, and creating a sense of community that spans the globe.
The national culture of the Philippines is strongly influenced by western civilization, and many of todays Filipinos have grown up with the view of having no other cultural past than a colonial one. For the last 500 years, the Philippines has been dominated by Spanish colonialism, American rule and Western influence. In actuality, a plethora of ethnolinguistic minorities have lived throughout the islands, maintaining customs that date back far before foreign presence. Kulintangan is little known and less frequently practiced compared to such quintessential Philippine folk arts like tinikling, itik-itik or maglalatik, which reflect more than 300 years of Spanish rule and influence.
Below are pictures from a photo shoot with Ernie Pena a few years ago. The instruments and costumes were all obtained during field work research in the Philippines, as these are not readily available in America. PKE Members pictured here include Bernard Ellorin, Raynard Abalos, Sev Reyes, Chris Feraro, Jhoselle Padilla, and Eric Abutin.
Pic 1: Paunjalay; Music: Te-ed
Pic 2: Paunjalay 2
Pic 3: Paunjalay; Music: Te-ed
Photo credit Ernie Pena