Sunday, 9 September 2012
Cebu is a long narrow island stretching 225 kilometers from north to south, surrounded by 167 neighbouring, smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. In 1898, the island was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War. In 1901, Cebu was governed by the United States for a brief period, however it became a charter province on February 24, 1937 and was governed independently by Filipino politicians. Read more on Wikipedia
Lowry refers to Cebu in his novel Ultramarine; "Whew, Christ it's hot..Reminds me of Cebu in the Philippines. Last voyage we tied up nose-on to the maternity hospital. They say they dump the miscarriages into the ditch. None of the crowd would go in bathing, anyway." (Pgs 70-71); " 'Manila, eh, reminds me of Cebu. That's the place for you, Hilliot, the town of ukeleles. We had a feller flogged his going ashore suit for one. Why he never even learnt to tune the damn thing' " and " 'We went to Cebu on the Plato. We tied up to buoys just alongside the maternity hospital. The mozzies was awful-' " (Pg. 177).
Lowry never visited Cebu on his 1927 voyage to the Far East. Cebu was not a port of call for Blue Funnel Line ships. Richard Eberhart refers to Cebu in his long poem 'A Bravery of Heart' which was an influence on Lowry.
Cebu has a long history of guitar making due to its traditional industry. Most of the guitar manufacturers are family-owned enterprises passed on from one generation to another.The centre of the guitar-making industry in Cebu is in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island. In addition, other string musical instruments made in Lapu-Lapu City include ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins.
The guitar-making industry in Lapu-Lapu City started when the Spanish friars assigned in Cebu needed to repair the guitars they were using. Instead of waiting for the guitars to arrive from Mexico, they commissioned the townspeople of Opon village in Mactan Island to make new guitars and repair the existing guitars they had; thus began the guitar industry in Cebu. Read more