Many travelers to Cebu have made the trip to Lapu-Lapu City to purchase a hand made Mactan guitar. No machines are used, making the creation of these instruments a specialized craft, with each finished piece a work of art.
There are many stories, apparently, about guitars made in the Philippines. These range from very well made to the other extreme, where there are instances of warped wood and cracked necks. This was attributed to the wood used, where the change in climate (humidity) produced the stated defects.
As in any instance, demand for a product yields quickly made cheap souvenirs in order for merchants to stay in business. The more well known craftsmen, usually from a long line of guitar making families, have the expertise to create a guitar that will stand up to the test of longevity in playing a well-made instrument. It all depends on the quality of the wood and the craftsmanship.
Mactan Island is the source for the guitars sold in Cebu. Allegre Guitars is one of the better known guitar makers. Its location is somewhat hidden on a strip of road that can barely fit more than two vehicles abreast. But once we found the shop we could witness the handi-work being performed in the creation of the instruments.
Many of their finished products are sold/shipped throughout Asia and the rest of the guitar loving world.
Until next time!