If there is anything that defines Mactan Island, Cebu in the eyes of tourists besides world class beaches and Lapu-Lapu Monument, its none other than guitars my friend! And the good news is tourist like you can go direct to the source and visit guitar factories and see how guitars are made by the island’s master guitar makers.
The widely popular Cebu made Classical Guitars
Cebu’s handcrafted guitars are usually made in guitar factories in Abuno, an outskirt barrio in Mactan Island. And the best factory to go to when you are on a hunt for great quality handcrafted guitar is The New Susing’s Guitar. They have been turning out great quality guitars that are painstakingly made by hand since the 1950’s. While there you can also request to check their workshop area and observe the guitar makers at work. Their 30 plus employees are all coming from their community thus creating livelihood opportunity in their barrio. And also because of this, it is not unusual to see three generations from grandfather to father to grandson crafting, polishing, glossing guitars side by side on their factory floor.
The New Susing’s Guitar Factory in Abuno, Mactan
We were fortunate that when we got there Ms Creselda, the manager and a grandchild of Susing of Susing’s Guitar fame, was kind enough to tour us around their guitar factory floor and their showroom.
She shared to us that when Susing’s Guitar started, the American soldiers stationed in the nearby Mactan Airbase were their first avid customers and barter system was the norm, say a Cebu made guitar, a Susing’s guitar in exchange for a pair of Levi’s jeans or American made shirts. Lols.
Play me these pretty Ukeleles!
The New Susing’s Guitar is known for their ukuleles and customized guitars. You can actually specify the guitar you want up to the minutest details or if you need help designing your guitar they have their in-house artist that can assist you. The typical lead time required for costumed guitar is about four to six weeks good thing their showroom houses ready made guitars for those who cannot wait. If you just want a guitar souvenir from Cebu for pasalubong don’t despair for they also have miniature guitars and also decorative ones.
Miniatures of Cebu guitars, cocolele & ukulele
Decorative guitar souvenirs
Not all of the materials used in these guitars are sourced locally for like the abalone it is imported from New Zealand and some of the woods they are using like the Canadian spruce are also imported. They are also into export, these ukuleles are bound for Tunisia at the end of the week. I love this customized ukulele – a bottle opener is lodge at the back, all set for the good time yey!
I just have to posed with a guitar of course!
This is a customized cigar box guitar 🙂
and this is sample of a classic guitar
titus is the model for cocolelebecause he doesn’t know how to play the guitar whereas I do haha
Enough said, let the picture do the talking hehe
Contact The New Susing’s Guitars thru the following:
www.susingsguitar.net // +63 032 5050723 // 09156700680 (Ms. Creselda V.)
How to go to the guitar factories in Abuno, Mactan Island?
Going there : Ride a multicab bound for Tamiya/Mepz II, (fare is P7.50/pax). Once you get to the Tamiya terminal, look for the tricycles queuing in the Pajac / Abuno signboard, ask the driver to drop you off in Susings Guitars, about 10 to 15 minutes from Tamiya (fare is P8.00/pax)
Going back: You have two options, first option is you wait for a tricycle that will take you back to Tamiya terminal and from Tamiya catch a multicab bound for Mandaue. Second option is ride a multicab that is bound for Opon Merkado (the multicab’s route is Abuno-Bankal-Saac-Mactan-Mepz I – MLQ National Highway). If you are headed for Cebu City, it is best you take the multicab and alight in Mepz I/Marinal Mall (fare is P11/pax) and ride a jeepney or a taxi bound for SM.
* Private Vehicle
Err it’s a bit tricky because you are going to navigate lots of inner roads after you pass by Tamiya. Best is to ask the locals on the road as you go along. 🙂
If you want to read more about Cebu guitars like those of Alegre Guitars and Maxand Boyed Guitars, go to this post: Mactan Guitars: Factories, Prices and Options or this one – a post dedicated to the P3,100 standard guitar my brother bought from Guitar Master.