Here’s Why Today’s Google Doodle Celebrates The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ

If you’ve been on Google at all today then you probably noticed the doodled bamboo structure making up its logo. For those who weren’t able to decipher the caricature, it’s actually a drawing of the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ — the oldest, largest, and only known bamboo pipe organ in existence. And, it’s celebrating its 195th anniversary today!

google doodle bamboo organ

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This bamboo organ, made for Las Piñas’ St. Joseph Parish Church, completed construction in 1824. It took 8 years to finish and is made up of 1,031 pipes, 902 of which are native bamboo. The organ was used until the 1880s, at which point natural disasters damaged it beyond use. Thankfully, a restoration project began in 1972 and the organ underwent a full reconstruction in Bonn, Germany.

It returned to its home in the Philippines in 1975, where its homecoming celebration quickly became the International Bamboo Organ Festival which is now annually held in February. This festival is overseen by the Bamboo Organ Foundation and has world-renowned organists come in every year to perform. During 2003’s celebration, the Bamboo Organ was named a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.

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According to Google, the doodle is meant to honor the organ as “a monument to sustainable building and technological sophistication. [It] stands as a symbol of what’s possible when design draws from native resources, labor, and the ingenuity of its nation’s people.”

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