27 September 2011

Potenciano Gregorio Sr.(The Man Behind Sarung Banggi)

             Potenciano Gregorio Sr. a bicolano musician was born in Li-bog (now Sto. Domingo town in the 3rd District of Albay) on May 19, 1880, and died on February 12, 1939 in Honolulu due to pneumonia and was buried here in Philippines at the La Loma cemetery. He is the son of  Narciso Gregorio and Canuta Valladolid. At early age he learned to play the violin and was soon recognized his talent. And soon he started to play the bandurria,the guitar and piano. Shortly, he started writing music for the local church by himself and sometimes in collaboration with his older brother Bernardo who manage the local Band de Li-bog. And soon Potenciano became the bandmaster  of the same band until he joined the Philippine Constabulary Band in 1919.

            It is claimed that Mr. Gregorio wrote the Sarung Banggi song when he saw 17 years old but there were different story versions on this matter. The former town Mayor, Hilario Balilo stated that Potenciano wrote the music and the lyrics of the song one night  after when he heard the chirping of birds and the rustling of the leaves. This version of the story was based from the Justo Gregorio, nephew of Potenciano. However, the grandson of Potenciano, Resurrection Gregorio claimed that the song was written during the 1897 Mayon Volcano eruption and was dedicated to Potenciano's fiancee' Dominga Duran, whom he later married.

                Then, Potenciano Gregorio sold the rights to the song to Constantino de Guzman. Aside from this he also wrote the songs Pusong Tagub nin Sakit ( Heart filled with sufferings) and Hinuyop-huyop nin Diyos.

                Mr. Potenciano was also invited to compete with other musicians during the Golden Gate International Exposition 1938.

Sarung Banggi by Mabuhay Singers 

               Sarung banggi (One Evening), one of the famous song of the Bicol Region composed by Potenciano Gregorio Sr.


geopoet said...

I'd like to thank you on your great effort of featuring my great-great-great-grandfather. I'd like to establish correspondence with you, if you like, please email me at geopoet@msn.com.

I'm also a writer, poet and composer in Bicol dialect. You can find my writing gateways at www.wanderlustimagination.synthasite.com

Again, thanks a lot!

mel balino said...


thank you too for having some time to drop by at my blog. and thank you too for being interested establishing a correspondence with me,don't worry sir i will. i just have some trouble writing these past months that's why i wasn't able to update another post in my blog. however, i have decided to improve it and make another blog that will probably feature almost about bicol region.

i am really amazed that you are a relative of the great potenciano gregorio and from that i am ever more grateful.