[Updated] The first batch of Mayor Lucilo Bayron’s free basic guitar lessons received their certificates of completion during the Monday morning flag-raising ceremony at Puerto Princesa City Hall.
Michie Hitosis-Meneses, senior operations officer and chief of promotions marketing of the City Tourism Department (CTD), said the guitar lessons started on March 15, 2022, with 30 students enrolled and divided into two groups. The first group practiced every Monday and Wednesday at the learning pad in Balayong People’s Park, and the second group practiced every Tuesday and Thursday. The city bandmaster, Dr. Concepto Magay, taught both groups.
She clarified that of the number who enrolled, only 18 completed the basic guitar course and received their certificates.
“From original 30 na nag-start, naging 18 na lang kasi yung iba siguro wala talagang passion kaya hindi na sila tumuloy,” she said.
She also said that the program was started by the mayor with the help of Emily Parangue, the head of Balayong Peoples’ Park and an architect, Demetrio Alvior, the head of CTD, and Magay.
“Sa assessment ng kanilang teacher, karamihan sa mga batang ito, they really don’t have any knowledge tungkol sa gitara and even playing the guitar. So, after one month ng training, natuto sila ng rudiments of music. Natuto silang magbasa ng notes, and after a while, they were taught how to play, the exercises and fingerings, and right now, sila ay nakakatugtog na ng melodial songs,” Meneses said.
Before receiving their certificates, the group, which calls itself the Tropang Balayong because of their newly acquired skills, gave a recital.