Alegre Guitar Factory

Alegre Guitar Factory

One of the many things Cebu is known for are the handmade guitars and there is one king of the hill and that is the Alegre guitar Factory.

Alegre Guitar Backings

For those not familiar with the area, Mactan Island is just off the mainland where the city of Cebu sits and is connected by a couple of bridges.

In the neighborhood of Abuno in Lapu Lapu City, Mactan you will find many guitar factories and stores. Most if not all of the owners are related somehow and go back several generations in the guitar making business.

Alegre Guitar Woods

The most well known and probably the most expensive is the Alegre Guitar factory. The factory is currently owned and operated by Fernando Alegre who is himself a professional musician.

Arriving at the factory after a bumpy motorized tricycle ride on a combination dirt and concrete road you are greeted by a paved parking area and the factory.

Alegre Guitar Maker

Once you walk in to the factory a salesman will approach but as I learned later these are no ordinary used car salesmen.

Alegre Guitar Maker

The factory, where the guitars are made is outside. Now this may just be for the tourists and a room full of little workers could be hidden away somewhere.

Alegre Guitar making

The salesman will explain how the guitars are all made by hand using wood from all over the world. All the guitars are made using glue to hold them together and vises and twine to hold the guitar parts in place while drying.

Alegre Guitar maker

Alegre Guitar Maker

Alegre Guitars being made

Once you have checked out the making you enter the showroom where the walls are lined with guitars made by this guitar making family.

Alegre Guitars Showroom

There are guitars of every type and a section for left handed guitars as well.

Filipino Bandurria

Not just guitars but a Philippine version of the Mandolin; the Bandurria; Bass Fiddles and even Cocolele’s.

Alegre Guitar Showroom

What is a Cocolele? It is the Philipine version of the Hawaiian Ukelele only using Coconuts for the body. In case you think it is a child’s toy wait to you hear the salesman demonstrate the sound.

Alegre Cocolele

Alegre Cocolele’s

Our salesman, a fellow named Jun, has been working at the factory for 18 years and can play any instrument in the place. He plays pretty damned good too.

Alegre Guitar salesman

Salesman Jun demonstrating one of the higher end guitars

Besides the imported woods used to make the guitars they also make use of the indigenous woods and shells with Philippine Mahogany being one of the favorites.

Alegre Bass Fiddle

Jun tells me the factory used to export to Canada and other countries but quit awhile back because the factory could not keep up with demand. He says they get a lot of orders and people from all over come to buy the guitars made here. When I was there a Japanese female was on her second trip to buy 3 guitars having purchased 5 on an earlier visit.

Alegre Guitar Prices

The guitars range in price from around 2000 pesos (46 USD) to over 35,000 pesos (814 USD).

Alegre Guitars makers tag

I am told some of the factories have better prices but if you are going to buy a handmade guitar in Cebu why not buy from the most well known factory?

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About thetravellingfool

Bob aka: The Traveling Fool is a History buff, cigar lover and enthusiast of different cultures and places. He has had the privilege of living, working and traveling all over the world. A proponent of getting off the "tourist path" and experiencing all that the culture and people have to offer. Happiest on a white sand beach in SE Asia or anywhere Tropical.Written By: Bob follow on Twitter @thetravelfool

Comments

  1. Nice bit of history with a twist of how things work (or are made to work).
    Maria recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Liquid ArtMy Profile

  2. That looks so cool! Being a guitar player and lover, Dale would have loved to visit this factory.
    We had a similar experience in Italy, we visited a small place where a guy made handmade guitars by himself, it was awesome!
    Franca recently posted..Weekend Photo Theme – Buddhist MonksMy Profile

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