Reviving the Musical Tradition and Heritage by Empowering People through the Loboc Music Program
The municipality of Loboc had always been known for its musical heritage. Musicians from Loboc had been recognized and invited to perform within and outside Bohol Province. However, the municipal government observed the decreasing number of musicians in Loboc. In a bid to revive the municipality’s musical heritage, the Loboc Music Program was launched to provide free education to the youth to encourage them to take up music as a profession. The program offers alternative sources of livelihood while promoting youth development for its constituency.
In implementing the program, the municipality collaborated with the Loboc Youth Education Association (LYEA) composed of representatives from the municipality, private sector and community of Loboc musicians. The LYEA operates and manages the Loboc School of Music which was established in 2008. Barangays were also instrumental in the implementation of the program. In the program’s initial years, the barangays contributed PhP 10,000.00 each to buy the initial set of musical instruments. They had continuously extended their support through the provision of annual budget allocation of PhP 5,000 from each barangay
A multi-stakeholder management committee was created to further enhance the program. It is composed of representatives from the municipality, the private sector, the Parents’ Association, Department of Education and teachers, as well as other sectors. The management committee meets quarterly to tackle issues and concerns involving the program, and conducts oversight in the implementation of the program.
Since its establishment in 2008, at least 1,436 enrollees to the program became trained members of the Loboc Youth Ambassador’s Band in the Loboc School of Music. The cost of enrollment is covered through the pooled resources of the Loboc municipality and the LYEA. Free classes were offered to students from third grade to highschool. Mini-concerts were held to enable the students to apply and hone their skills as well as share their talent to the public.
Engaging local teachers and musicians to pass on their skills through the trainers’ training and continuing education program contributed to the positive results of the program. Local musicians and music teachers were organized to serve as a pool of trainers. There are at least 30 musicians living in Loboc today who have been tapped to share their knowledge. The students also earn from their performances to augment and cover school expenses. LYEA partnered with different colleges and universities in Bohol Province to accommodate the growing number of students of the Loboc School of Music. Of the 298 current members of the Loboc Youth Ambassador’s Band, around 69 youth are currently provided with college scholarships from different educational institutions in the province. As a result, the literacy rate of the municipality increased from 98.9% in 2010 to 99.3% in 2015. It also partly led to the decrease in poverty incidence from 38.6% in 2009 to 24.7% in 2015.
The program significantly changed the lives of the program’s beneficiaries by increasing their employment opportunities while promoting the municipality’s musical heritage. The program provided employment to successful graduates which resulted in fixed income for their families. Having a stable source of livelihood did not only improve the people’s well-being but also empowered them to become productive members of the community.