Friday, February 15, 2013

Resourceful and artistic survivor

I was walking along the streets from Davao City Hall  to Davao Light office in C. Banggoy st. formerly Ponciano st. to pay our electric bill and saw this busy man, sitting on the sidewalk in front of Kapitan Tomas Elem. School. I was curious and stopped to see what was he doing and noticed this flutes made of PVC pipe. I was interested with the person and approached him and ask if i can take pictures of him and he agreed.
His name is Rogelio, 65 years old widower for 27 years with no children and lives at Bankerohan with his nephew. He told me when he was 38 yrs. old, he was married to his wife for only 2 months before she died accidentally of internal hemorrhage. She was carrying their laundry and stumbled on a ladder.
 He started making flutes for a factory somewhere in Boulevard Ave. in 1984 and freelanced in 1995. Since then, he is making these flutes and sells it for a living in the streets of C. Banggoy infront of Kapitan Tomas Elem. School every Monday to Friday and in Bankerhan Public Market on weekends. Rogelio makes flutes with 8 holes for 100 Pesos and 4 holes for 50 Pesos. 
He let me photograph his tools in making the flutes. A knife, chisel, pencil, sandpaper, sharpening stone, metal saw blade, a stick, three drill bits with different diameters and the PVC pipe.  

After our conversation I ask him if he knows how to play his product and he smiled and replied "Syempre!"
(of course) then took a copy of  a song with a written title on it "Brando Bandido". I don't know if it is really the title of the song but it is the famous movie sound track of  an FPJ cowboy film Brando Bandido and he expertly played the song with his flute. He said that everyone who knows him always ask him to play the certain tune.

He have copies of different set of songs that he make just by listening to the song. He then photo copies it and gives each one of it when you buy the flute. Another song he willingly played for me is "May bukas pa" and he actually tutored me with the song. I told him that I will buy one of his small flutes but he insisted that I can have it for free. But I insisted back that he can have the money at least for his time and he agreed and gave me copies of the song "Brando Bandido?" and "May bukas pa". 
I noticed that his eyes is foggy and ask him if he can still see his notes and he said yes, when it's near.
Rogelio survived entirely in selling his flute at least one or two copies of flute a day. I felt pity for his situation but admired his will to survive. I want to help at least by spreading his work of art. It may be made of PVC pipe, but if you play with it, the tone is just right. 

This is the flute and copies of "Brando Bandido" and "May bukas pa" songs Rogelio gave to me.


  1. He is a person worthy of admiration and assistance. If he can do that with PVC pipes, imagine what he can do with real materials for musical instruments.

    1. You are so right Ate Teresa, it is sad that the talented ones don't really have all the resources they need to further on.

  2. I am moved by Mang Rogelio's story. He is an inspiration to all those who do not know how to count the blessings that they have.

    I hope to see him one day as I am interested to have one of flutes. Thank you very much for sharing Mike.

  3. He is an inspiration, indeed.PLaying that instrument is a big plus and I hope he could play in some organizational or community activities considering he has a good talent.

  4. Mang Rogelio is the man. Saludo ako sa iyo na instead of begging alms you have used your talent to the fullest. Sige if ever magkita tayo, bibilhan kita ng 3pcs ng PVC pipes.

  5. I was so touched and teary eyed of mang rogelio. A very talented man that should be recognized. An inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Wow! Great shots! I pray that Mang Rogelio will enjoy God's grace as he is truly using his talents like he should. :)

  7. I hope the local government of some business enterprise owners will provide him financial aid so he can produce more flutes using high-grade materials.

    I like it that he is persevering to use his talents for good and in a very productive way. Kudos!

  8. TFS! He is an inspiration! An eye opener for us all that nothing is really impossible if you have the patience and passion in everything that you do. May God bless Mang Rogelio!

  9. Made me teary-eyed! My heart always goes to the old people, especially to the poor ones. I'm not saying I'm rich or something like that, but I still feel lucky. Luckier than them. I wish I could help them all.

    This Tatay here deserves all the admiration a person can give. ♥

  10. Wow, Floraine, I showed this to hubby who handles Neltex Mindanao, he will show this to his head office in Manila, he is glad the man is using Neltex pipes!

    Thanks for sharing, hubby is a happy man today.


  11. i was so touched and moved reading this post, paulit-ulit kong tiningnan iyong mga pics...anyway, ang galing nya sis, he is so talented, creative and even have his own improvised notes, i admired people like him, hndi sumusuko sa laban ng buhay...i hope he will be able to sell more! :)

  12. Ang galing! Nakakalungkot lang isipin na sa bansa natin, ang daming may mga talentong ganito na di nabibigyan ng pansin.. Yung mga kagaya sana nila yung mabigyan ng pagkakataong mapalawak ang kanilang kakayanan at mabigyan ng pagkakataong makapaghanap-buhay ng maayos gamit ang kaalaman nila.. =(