Necessity, as the old proverb says, is the mother of invention.
Such is the case for Agustin Lagon, an Ilonggo musician, who one day set out to find a guitar that delivers quality sound. When he couldn’t find one, he decided he’d just build an instrument on his own.
That happened back in the 1970s. Although he didn’t receive any formal training regarding guitar craftsmanship, Agustin was so determined to create the ultimate guitar and started taking several instruments apart piece by piece so he can understand how they are made.
All the experimentation led him to create his own signature guitars, ones that are made of bamboo and other hardwood. Plus his guitars are unique because they have triangular fretwires. He also has his all-bamboo guitar that he named ‘Paglaom,’ a Visayan word that means ‘hope.’
Agustin later founded Lagon Guitars.
While Agustin didn’t immediately thought about venturing on a business, he managed to sell some of his guitars among his peers. Some, however, remained a bit hesitant about his products.
“Bamboo was not a popular material for guitars, so the question of quality was hanging over every sale,” Norwell said. Others dismissed it as “another ridiculously overpriced souvenir guitar.”
What makes his brand stand out, however, isn’t only the distinct build and appearance. CEO Norwell Bautista said it’s the sound that captivates their customers – something that Agustin himself originally set out to do. According to Norwell, their instruments have a “generally bright tone – the treble notes sound clearer.”
Nowadays, Lagon Guitars are being considered as among the best guitars in the local industry. They mainly cater to clients who want to order custom-made guitars. The business is now being run by Lloyd, Agustin’s brother, and Jubal, his grandson.
Norwell shares that he hopes the company will continue to flourish and that their unique products will receive wider popularity. “In the long run, we are envisioning a gold-standard status for bamboo guitars worldwide,” he said.