Learn more about the world-famous Bamboo Organ, a Philippine National Treasure

The Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas City is the most famous bamboo organ in the world. Its total number of pipes is 1,031 of which 902 are made of bamboo and the remaining pipes are made of metal.

The genius who adapted this European instrument to the Filipino climate using the native material, was a Spanish missionary from Graus (Huesca, Spain) Fray Diego Cera Dela Virgen Del Carmen (1762-1834). When Fr. Cera arrived in 1792, he was immediately assigned to construct a large organ for the mother church of the Recoletos in San Nicolas, the present site of Manila Bulletin. In December 26, 1795, Fr. Cera was assigned as parish priest to Las Pinas.

Fr. Cera used bamboo for its durability and performance. As Las Piñas is a coastal area, Fr Cera buried the bamboo he would use for the organ under the beach sand to wash them and remove any trace of sugar and starch.

It is also in Las Piñas where Fr. Cera is believed to have established his workshop and train skilled organ builders. It is most likely that he built in Las Piñas the 3 more organs for Intramuros between the years 1797 until 1813. Fr. Cera spent the rest of his life in Las Pinas until his death on June 24, 1832.

As natural disasters struck, a typhoon followed by an earthquake destroyed the roof of the church in the 1880’s so that stones and water fell inside the organ case which made it unplayable for several years.

Fr. Victor Faniel, CICM reassembled the instrument in 1917. Then in 1972, the Bamboo Organ was sent to Bonn, Germany for its total restoration. The restored organ came home in March 1975 to a joyous welcome by the Filipino people. To celebrate, an annual International Bamboo Organ Festival is held every February in honor of this historic instrument and the organ culture it brings with it to the delight of local and international tourists and music enthusiasts.

On November 24, 2003, the National Museum of the Philippines officially declared the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ as a National Cultural Treasure.