Ihudyat means to “give the signal” in Filipino, but in military parade and reviews, particularly of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), it means “sound off”. When the order “ihudyat” is given, the band marches towards the grandstand, then paces the frontage of the entire troop as it proudly performs its best musical piece.
Ihudyat was first used during the presentation of the Corps of Sponsors to the Board of Regents on August 18, 1962. That was the day when the University of the Philippines Reserve Officer Training Corps (UP ROTC) first used Filipino commands. On the same day, the UP Rayadillo Honor Guard Batallion was inaugurated upon the initiative of then UP President Carlos P. Romulo.
Almost 55 years after the inception of ihudyat, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), University of the Philippines Diliman Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (UPD-OICA), and the UP Vanguard Makati Chapter, joined forces to mount Ihudyat! 2017.
Ihudyat! 2017 is a showcase of the finest Philippine marching bands. It boasts of the participation of the nonpareil bands of the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, and Philippine Marines (Navy Fleet) as the competing marching bands. In addition to these, the Imus Youth Symphonic Band of Imus and the Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas Cavite join as guest bands.
On March 25, 2017, these six marching bands delighted the crowd that filled the UP Academic Oval Parade ground. While darkness blanketed the area, several spotlights were trained on the ladies and gentlemen who moved like well-oiled machines while playing their musical instruments.
Ihudyat! 2017 performances included works of National Artists for Music, Col. Antonio Buenaventura and Maestro Lucio San Pedro, with the former’s popular folk song “Pandango sa Ilaw” and the latter’s masterpiece “Lahing Kayumanggi” as a couple of notable pieces.
According to the welcome remarks of Vanguard Philip Sigfrid Fortun, Chapter Commander of the UP Vanguard Makati Chapter, the long-term goal for Ihudyat! is to transform it into a national and eventually an international event.
Based on the level of skills of the participating bands and the warm and encouraging reaction from the audience, that is not very far off in the future.
Just like 70% of the words written above, the images (except one) and content that follow are from the program given to Vanguard members. My personal account of Ihudyat! 2017 performances is on a separate entry.
The Marching Bands of Ihudyat! 2017
Philippine Air Force Band
The Philippine Air Force Band was established on May 15, 1952. It was organized by Colonel Lauro L. Albano, who served as its conductor and first Commanding Officer. The Philippine Air Force is now composed of four majorettes and 50 musicians from different Philippine Air Force base bands. It is currently under the command of Captain Junwedn A. Hamor. It is part of the 523rd Honor Escort and Ceremonial Group.
Philippine Army Band
The Philippine Army Band, previously known as the Philippine Constabulary Band, was organized on October 15, 1902 by Colonel Walter H. Loving of United States Army. Currently, the Philippine Army Band has 67 well-trained members under the leadership of Captain Ron Michael M. Soriano. The Philippine Army Band is called the King of Marches. I have to agree. 🙂
Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band
The Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band, formerly known as the PCG Band, was organized on August 24, 2000 by then Superintendent, Coast Guard Training Center, Capt. Reynaldo D. Generillo PCG GSC. The PCG Symphonic Band had 24 original members. From then on, they took pride and honor to represent the PCG in different parts of the country, be it for entertainment, advertisement or for keeping the Command’s vision, mission and core functions through musical entertainment.
Today, the Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band has 93 members, which include both senior and junior ranking non-commissioned officers, under the tutelage of its musical director, CDR Heminigildo Ranera PCGA, Ph.D. Through the supervision and guidance of Commo Rolando D. Legaspi PCG, Commander, Coast Guard Education and Training Command, the Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band strives to continue to promote PCG’s mission and major functions as its part in the fulfillment of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) mission and vision.
Philippine Marine Drum and Bugle Corps
Members of the Philippine Marine Drum and Bugle Corps are first and foremost marines. To be a member of this proud and elite team, an aspirant must endure the rigorous six-month marine basic training and acquire the minimum number of years of combat duty with an operating rifle battalion.
Though different generations have passed, this group of young marines continues to preserve the musical legacy left by their predecessors. The Philippine Marine Drum and Bugle Corps is the only drum and bugle corps in the entire AFP, the team is commonly hailed as “AFP’s Ambassadors of Goodwill”. Whether they carry rifles or musical instruments, they continue to abide by the shibboleths of the Philippine Marine Corps: karangalan, katungkulan at kapabayanihan.
The Guest Bands of Ihudyat! 2017
Imus Youth Symphonic Band
The Imus Youth Symphonic Bands was founded by Mr. Abdoncito “Dasoy” Constantino on December 23, 1983. Starting with mere eight members, Mr. Constantino taught young Imuseños the fine art of music. The band grew in number as the years passed, and with it, the accolades garnered by Imus Youth Symphonic Bands increased directly proportional with the size of the band.
Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas
The Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas (CBBD) was formed in 1989 by a non-government organization, the Citizens’ Brigade of Dasmariñas, in response to what the people of Dasmariñas felt was the increasing appreciation for music in the historic town. It was formed through a summer workshop and through time, the band started to represent the town in various local and national competition. In 2013, Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas represented the country in Malaysia World Band Competition.