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  • LARO: Child’s Play at the Cultural Center of the Philippines

    Back to our roots, in a musical way.
  • LARO“Leron, Leron Sinta. Buko ng papaya…” while the song elicits from the older generation fond memories of growing up in more innocent times the ditty will probably result in blank stares from the youth of today. 

    “These songs are traditional play songs that today’s youth are no longer are familiar with,” says Irene M. Araneta.  

    Araneta is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Young Musicians Development Organization or YMDO, a non-profit organization whose main objective is to support young Filipino musicians and nurture the Philippine symphonic band tradition. The fruit of their efforts is the Philippine Youth Symphonic Band – a group of young, talented and highly trained musicians from various regions of the Philippines. They act as ambassadors tasked with preserving our national musical heritage through their performances.

    According to Maja Olivares-Co, Executive Director of the YMDO Board of Trustees, “Only 30% of our own PYSB kids knew some of the songs in parts only whereas the rest were unfamiliar!”


    “Leron Leron Sinta”, “Dandansoy” and “Sarungbanggi” are not just classic songs from a bygone era. The songs are called play songs, precisely because the rhythmic and often repetitive lyrics of the songs would lead or accompany children at play. Imagine the days of our mothers and fathers, when children would play tumbang preso and piko in the streets while singing these upbeat tunes.

    These songs speak of the experience of an older generation of Filipinos whose grandchildren are now more familiar with the pop songs and experience of another culture – whether American or Korean pop. 

    “There will be a real loss of Pinoy identity if there is no continuity of community memory,” laments Irene.

    Maja’s own personal experience with her 12-year-old son Rama led her on a crusade to push for PYSB’s latest project, “Three years ago I made him listen to the LARO songs and he found the melody too boring. This pushed me to propose to the YMDO board that we rearrange the music to appeal to a younger generation.”

    The LARO concert and demo CD was born – featuring the traditional Filipino play songs in modern musical arrangements.


    Click here to learn more about LARO.

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