Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble would not have been possible without the extensive field research and cultural exchange dimensions that have been carried out since 1994. Funding for these activities was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and in-kind donation. In the first phase, from 1994 to 1997, Kulintang Master Danongan Kalanduyan traveled from PI and introduced the authentic music of Maguindanao and Maranao people to the rondalla musicians and percussionists of Samahan Fil-Am Arts and Education Center in San Diego, California. “Guru Danny” provided intensive workshops on the agong, babandil, dabakan, and gandingan instruments of the ensemble as well as private lesson on traditional kulintang pieces from ethnolinguistic groups of Southwest Mindanao. In phase two, Samahan formed the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble and began to share the musical tradition throughout Southern California through lecture and performance. A CD was released and the group performed at the 12th annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC), the largest festival of its kind in the U.S. In the summer of 2003, practitioners traveled to the Philippines as part of the KulArts Tribal Tour to gain first-hand experience and training from local masters and to bring back costumes and instruments for future demonstrations and study. Further field work has been carried out since 2003, as part of post-graduate studies for Bernard Ellorin at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Pictured here: Danny Kalanduyan, Bernard Ellorin, Chrustine Quidim, Eric Abutin, Mitchell Almoite, and Melody Batuyong.