.Sapagkat ang Isipang Mulat ay Hindi Kailanman Pasisiil Maging sa Inyong mga Baril at Bomba

(For the Conscious Mind Shall Never Succumb even to Your Guns and Bombs)

For Kulintang and 11 Percussionists

Program Notes

"Lumad" is a collective term for various non-muslim/Christian indigenous groups that live on the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines, and surrounding small neighboring islands. These groups consist of ethnolinguistic groups such as the Bagobo, Manobo, Mansaka, Tiruray, T'boli among others. In general, it can be said that the Lumad peoples, while they may culturally and linguistically differ from each other, nevertheless share a deep connection with their ancestral lands and this commonality binds them all together as a strong coalition of indigenous people. Since the dawn of urbanization in the early 20th century Philippines, the Lumads slowly lose control of much of their land; since there has been a lack of laws that protect indigenous domain and the Lumads' traditional land ownership traditions (i.e. oral and communal), their lands are often grabbed by logging companies and wealthy businessmen. In their pursuit of reclaiming their lands and place in the Philippine society, these peace-loving people are often targeted by the military as the former are unjustly tagged as rebels. There have since then many reports about Lumad leaders being assassinated by the military, and even the current Philippine president himself threatens to bomb the Lumad schools as he claims that those serve as "training grounds for terrorists."


During the 2017 Labayan ng Pambansang Minorya, which is an annual march of various Philippine ethnic minorities held in the University of the Philippines, I met and talked to a young Lumad child named Ipoy who told me various stories about how the lives of people in his community are perpetually in peril under the military. "Sapagkat ang Isipang Mulat ay Hindi Kailanman Pasisiil Maging sa Inyong mga Baril at Bomba" draws inspiration from my short interaction with Ipoy and the Lumad community during the aforementioned event. This piece employs a Kulintang ensemble, which is a common musical heritage among the Lumads, although this piece utilizes a Maguindanaoan Kulintang mode (Maguindanaoans are part of the Islamicized Moro ethnolinguistic group).


Usually, the Kulintang Ensemble consists of the Kulintang, Dabakan, Babandir, Agung, and Gandingan, however, I have decided to replace the latter four with various kitchen items as a replacement and for practical reasons. Lastly, the Kulintang Ensemble is surrounded by two groups of multipercussionist that play western instruments; this is to symbolise the never-ending oppression the Lumads and various ethnolinguistic groups suffer under the fascist government.

6 minutes

Estimated Duration

Sinulog a Bagu




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Ryle Nicole Q. Custodio

University of the Philippines Diliman College of Music,