Suite for Violin and Piano

Batang Laro, a suite of 7 pieces, was inspired by animated scenes of children playing native Philippine games in the composer’s imagination. The rhythmic motifs were drawn essentially from Philippine folk dances ranging from the tuppaya-patung of the Igorots (northern Philippine tribe), the habanera, polka, balitaw, jota, and moro-moro of rural folks in Central Luzon and the Visayas, and the inagung and tinambul of Mindanao.


The impetus for this work came from the composer’s desire to write accessible pieces for violin and piano that could be performed by his then 10-year old violinist son, Okir, and 8-year-old pianist daughter, Amihan.


The pieces were designed to draw his two children through graduated levels of technical difficulty as well as expressivity. The suite has also been adapted for solo classical guitar as commissioned by Angelito Agcaoili and Manual Soriano.

The composer made liberal use of these rhythms, incorporating them into his own original dance-like melodies. As such, the various pieces in this suite can lend themselves to choreographic inventions that can be performed with the music, along the lines of Philippine children’s games specified in each number:

Child Play #1 - Harangang Taga (Tag Intercept)

Child Play #2 - Laglag Panyo (Drop the Handkerchief)

Child play #3 - Helehan sa Duyan (Lullaby by the Hammock)

Child Play # 4 - Banog-Banog (The Hawk & the Chicken)

Child Play #5 - Buwan-Buwan (Moon-Moon)

Child Play #6 - Siklot (Toss & Catch)

Child Play #7 - Agawan Sa Base (Capture the Base)

A guide to the games can be found at the bottom of this page.