Baby it’s the Guitar Man

Lapu-Lapu City is the center for guitar making in Cebu


Cebu has a long history of guitar making. Most of the guitar manufacturers were family owned enterprises, which are passed down from one generation to another.

The centre of guitar making is in Lapu-Lapu City, Here ukuleles, banjos and mandolins are made besides guitar.

The guitar industry started when the Spanish Friars stationed in Cebu needed to repair the guitars they were using. Instead of waiting for the guitars to be repaired in Mexico (which would take a year or more by ship), they commissioned the local people of Opon Village in Mactan Island to make new guitars and repair the existing ones. Hence the guitar industry in Cebu was born.

Woods used for Cebu made guitars are soft and hard woods like jackfruit, narra, black ebony and other imported woods. Some guitars have simple designs while others are decorated with intricate designs or inlaid with shell crafts.

There are a local pool of very talented craftsmen and artisans who are dedicated to their crafts. Training is through long periods of mentorship.

These guitars are made for the local as well as the export market. Very often tourists visiting the factories would end up buying an instrument home. I was also tempted to buy one even though I do not play the guitar.

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A craftsman working on the neck of the guitar


Ukuleles are also made in this guitar factory


Straightening the metal wires to be used for frets


The sound boards are glued together. Here the cords are used to hold the sound boards together until the glue is dry.


Craftswoman puts the finishing touches to the final product.


A showroom where the products are displayed for sale.


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