Tongaton: characteristics, prices, and history of folk instruments


Tongaton is a traditional Filipino musical instrument. It is a bamboo tube that is played by hitting an instrument on the ground. The length is about 25-50 cm, and you can make a sound by holding the instrument with both hands and hitting it against the ground. It is an instrument that can make a scale difference by adjusting the length of bamboo. It is considered to be a traditional instrument of the Kalinga people, and although it is an instrument running in the Philippines, it has not yet spread worldwide and is not very well known.


This instrument was born in the Philippines.

About the price

The price ranges from a few thousand yen to several tens of thousands of yen.

History of Tongaton

Tongaton is a Kalinga tool that lives in the northern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. It’s a kind of stamping tube made of bamboo, and it’s very easy to make by just cutting near the knot. Traditionally, Tongaton is an instrument made for the Karinga people to communicate with the spirits and is known as the instrument used in ceremonial occasions in the Karinga people. In modern times, it is used as part of an ensemble. Originally used to accompany dance related to Akumaharai, it is now used as an instrument.

Characteristics of Tongaton

Tongaton is called Papayu in Balangau. Hold the bamboo tube with one hand and hit it against the ground or a hard surface with the closed end down. One palm partially opens and closes the open end to change the lumber. It consists of 6 tubes in total, each of which is struck and played. Tongaton can produce different tones by changing the length of the bamboo. The length is around 25-50 cm, and you can change the sound by adjusting the length. The tone is very warm, and it is an instrument that goes well with marimba. Although Tongaton is used as an entertainment instrument today, it was used in the Karinga rituals in the past and was used to dispel evil spirits.

Tongaton song

Tongaton is played in traditional Filipino music.


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