Cebu province (Visayas islands, central Philippines) is known for making the Philippines’ locally made guitars. Fashioned after the so-called Spanish guitar, well-made guitars from Cebu are known for their handcrafted quality and full sound.
Guitar-making in the island is basically a cottage-type of industry often family-owned with the techniques of production passed from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, this artisan type of production receives little incentives from the local or national government, which affects the trade and quality.
Guitar aficionados can have custom-made guitars in Cebu for modest prices compared to expensive imports (usually from Japan). The guitars can be individually decorated depending on the client’s wishes or embellished by popular motifs and patterns created by local artisans. The wood is locally sourced, although in recent years some parts are imported.
In Cebu City, visitors can find guitar shops selling a wide range of variety, quality and prices. Aside from the island’s famous, juicy mangoes (fresh and dried), guitars are among Cebu’s most popular handcrafted export items.
Long live Cebu’s guitar-making industry!