GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store: A Customer Review from Mitochondria Iligan

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)
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4 out of 5 Stars (Retrieved from Amazon Rating Factors at grahampmarsh.com) High-end Instruments, Good Customer Service, July 21, 2016

By Mitochondria Iligan  Courtesy of Iligan City's Mitochondria band

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About 15 minutes on foot from McDonald’s at H.V. Dela Costa to the Yupangco Building at Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila, I arrived at the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store at 8:00 am.

I was greeted by the guard on duty who asked what my business was… then told that the “Showroom” won’t be open until 9:00 am.

Thanking him, I went on my way.

At Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave/Buendia Ave with Mapua Institute of Technology Building and SMDC Jazz Residences Tower A in the background.

At Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave/Buendia Ave with Mapua Institute of Technology Building and SMDC Jazz Residences Tower A in the background.

The SM Jazz Mall nearby won’t open until 10:00 am so I went inside the 7-Eleven convenience store located at the Ground floor of Crown Center, Jupiter Street across the Yupangco Building to get something.

SM Jazz Mall. Nicanor Garcia, Makati, Metro Manila (Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

SM Jazz Mall. Nicanor Garcia, Makati, Metro Manila (Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

 

I sat outside the 7-Eleven store at exactly 8:10 am and waited for one hour, giving a full 10 minutes after 9:00 am to make sure the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store was already open.

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The guard smiled at me when he saw me coming and welcomed me, which made me very excited to see what they have in display.

As I walked inside the showroom, I saw a small office on my right and another office ahead with a woman behind a desk (I presumed was the manager) and a gentleman talking and three other staffs near them.

As I look around and stopped to check out some items on display nearby, I realized I was the second customer in the store after they opened.

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

The woman and the gentleman from Butuan City at the office were talking about making arrangements on how to ship the grand piano the gentleman just bought.

Afterwhich, the woman stood up and lead the gentleman to the other office and referred him to another employee to further assist him with his transaction.

When she returned back to her desk she turned her head and greeted me and asked me how can she be of any assistance.

I greeted her back and answered that I was still looking around in the store, and thought, wow, their showroom’s big with lots of products on display.

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Guitars, Basses, Percussion instruments, Professional Keyboards, Upright and Grand Pianos, and an Organ, Amplifiers, Gadgets, gears, various accessories.

High-end Instruments!

Brands like Zemaitis, Fender, Godin, Seagull, EVH, Washburn, Yamaha, MarkBass, Boss, Roland, Sabian and many more.

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After spending almost an hour looking around, I finally called one of their staff for assistance.

Having a thing for “pointy and horned” electric guitars and basses, two guitars on display caught my eye.

Washburn HM Heavy Metal Series, "Vindicator" Silver Metallic V Electric Guitar (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Washburn Heavy Metal Series, “Vindicator” Electric Guitars at GA Yupangco Co., Inc.Showroom Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Although they also had “Jackson” guitars like the JS32T Rhoads, King V and Warrior on display (which were on Clearance Sale for only P9,999.00 each)…

Jackson Guitars at GA Yupangco Co. & Inc. (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Jackson Guitars at GA Yupangco Co. & Inc. (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

…the two “Vindicator” guitars caught my attention not because of their rare Offset/Modified Flying V shaped bodies but both have cracked guitar necks.

Seeing that they had an ongoing promo and hoping to get a bargain on any of these two damaged guitars, I had to ask the staff how much they were selling the guitar’s.

Promo (Retrieved from yupangco.com)

ongoing promo (Retrieved from yupangco.com)

The staff replied that “the guitar’s are for display only and not for sale because of their cracked necks.”

“How much was its price then before…?” I rephrased my question and added that I’m really interested in buying it.”

He told me that he will check it out for me but before he left, I asked, “Is it okay to take pictures?” he replied, Yes, and hurriedly went to the office to get more information.

2008 Model WV40 "Vindicator" (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

2008 Model WV40 “Vindicator” at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

When he got back he told me that they no longer have that information and that the guitars are “for display only because they’re no longer ‘playable’ and that there are no luthier’s near that can fix it.”

Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

So I said to him, “What if I know of one ‘Master Luthier,’ who’s not from here, who can fix that, are you still going to sell it ‘as it is’ if I’m really interested to buy it?”

“Actually, the price and detailed product information is no longer found in our computer database,” he answered.

Okay, I said and then I just moved on to take more pictures.

Professional Keyboards and Upright Pianos Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Professional Keyboards and Upright Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

As I was walking towards the left-hand side of the showroom, towards the rear, where other professional keyboards, digital percussion’s, pedals and effects were displayed I could hear the song “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica being played on an electric guitar.

When I reached the spot, I saw that it was another employee playing the guitar. He then stopped playing the guitar when he saw me, greeted me and asked what was I looking for.

Digital Percussions, Roland Professional Keyboards, Boss Stompboxes & Multi-Effects at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Digital Percussions, Roland Professional Keyboards, Boss Stompboxes & Multi-Effects at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

I greeted him back and said that I’m just taking a look around for the moment.

Grand Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Grand Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

As I was about to leave, I went back to the office to thank the staff for his help, he nodded his head at me and said, “One of our fellow employee knows the price of the guitars but he’s not here. It’s his day off.”

So I said, “Okay, I really appreciate that” and turned to leave.

MarkBass Cabs & Combos, Washburn Bass guitar at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

MarkBass Cabs & Combos, Washburn Bass guitar at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

On my way out, I also thanked a couple of employees on the office near the exit who were busy talking but managed to turn their heads when they heard me and thanked me also, and yes, the guard thanked me too, when I got out.

Rodgers Artist Series Organ at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Rodgers Artist Series Organ at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

“Overall, my visit to GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. at their Yupangco Building Showroom was positive. I really had a good time and received ‘good customer service.’ Their showroom is big, and that doesn’t include the section of the store inside I didn’t mention, that was cordoned off for renovation. The friendly staff was really patient and helpful in addressing my ‘probing’ queries. Too bad the Washburn’s HM Series, WV40 ‘Vindicator’ had no price, would have bought it otherwise. If money is no object, then this is definitely one of the stores to get high-end instruments.”

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Washburn Heavy Metal Series, Model WV40 “Vindicator”  Electric Guitar

The “Jackson” guitars on sale offered bargains galore.

Pointy "Jackson" Guitars: JS32T King V, Warriors and Rhoads [Photo taken with permission from Staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan]

Pointy “Jackson” Guitars: JS32T King V, Warriors and Rhoads [Photo taken with permission from Staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan]

Tantalizingly “Pointy” as the Jackson guitars may be, one can always find them in any JB Music branch nationwide, as they are now the “exclusive” official distributor of Jackson Guitars.

"two 'pointy' guitars..." (Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

“two ‘pointy’ guitars, WV40 ‘Vindicators'” (at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. PTWPFS/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

But as for the WV40 “Vindicators,” It was the first time I saw it in person.

“Hot Licks!”

These rare “Offset/Modified” Flying “V” shaped body guitars somehow looks like a slightly smaller variation of one of them “Limited Edition ‘Reverse’ Flying V” of Silverhawks Lt. Colonel Bluegrass’s “Hot Licks.”

Lt Colonel Bluegrass, 2nd in command and pilot of the Silverhawks with his Sonic Guitar "Hot Licks." His pilot aid and weapon (retrieved from Tuesday Toonsday: Get to know the Silverhawks, Oct 14, 2014 at saturdaymorningcartoons.com)

Lt Colonel Bluegrass, 2nd in command and pilot of the Silverhawks with his Sonic Guitar “Hot Licks.” His pilot aid and weapon (retrieved from Tuesday Toonsday: Get to know the Silverhawks, Oct 14, 2014 at saturdaymorningcartoons.com)

A “groundbreaking” guitar built specially for shredders, the Vindicator’s bottom “pointy tips” seems to be in a “directionally oriented position,” making the guitar appear to take flight.

Stock Humbucker Pickups: Randall (UL Neck, Ultra XL Bridge), Stop Bar Tailpiece (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Body: White with Black bevels, Tune-o-matic bridge, Stoptail bar, Passive Stock Humbucker Pickups: Randall (UL Neck, Ultra XL Bridge), (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Feels like this “Bluegrass’s ‘Sonic Guitar’ reverse look-alike” can give you that “Sonic Boom” boost, defy gravity and blast you, sending you whizzing through space as you shred away.

“Master Luthier”

Regarding the two Vindicator guitars “cracked neck” issues which made me look it up in the net, I found out that there was one that had a broken neck that got damaged after shipping but was repaired, and one that had a crack in its headstock.

Repaired Washburn Vindicator H.M. Series (WV40 repaired broken headstock damaged from shipping, retrieved from https://reverb(dot)com/item/544398-repaired-washburn-vindicator-h-m-series)

Repaired Washburn Vindicator H.M. Series (WV40 repaired broken headstock damaged from shipping, retrieved from reverb(dot)com/item/544398-repaired-washburn-vindicator-h-m-series)

The cracked necks of the Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instruments Store didn’t really pose much of an issue, they would’ve been easily repaired by any “Master Luthier.”

Vindicator with a crack in headstock (retrieved from ebay(dot)com/itm/discontinued-washburn-wv40-vindicator)

Vindicator with a crack in headstock (retrieved from ebay(dot)com/itm/discontinued-washburn-wv40-vindicator)

A Master luthier like Iligan City’s Renowned Custom Guitar Maker, Sir Edgar R. Rabago, who said, “the reason both guitars had similar cracks on their necks at the same spot is that maybe because both their necks were made of or came from the same batch of wood.”

“Priceless”

In my research I also found out that these Washburn WV40 Heavy Metal Series Models, released in 2008, have been discontinued already.

Too bad those “rare” Metal machines were “for display only” at the GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instrument Store.

Washburn HM Series Vindicators, WV40 Model, "for display only" at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc., Showroom, Yupangco Building,Poblacion, Makayi 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

“Priceless” Metal machines, built for shredders, The Washburn HM Series Vindicators, WV40 Model were “for display only” at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc., Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Too bad they didn’t have the “price” for a guitar that’s seemingly “priceless” today.

Because getting any one of them would’ve made a great addition to ones collection… a short-term cure for ones Symptoms of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.).

GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) Propulsion System

These GAS thrusters anew has propelled me to pay an old friend a visit in another one of this case induced episodes.

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City’s talented guitarist, had one guitar that drew out this GAS case from remission.

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City's talented Guitarist with his Dean ML Axe (Photograph Courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City’s talented Guitarist with his Dean ML Axe at Pinch (Photograph Courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

During my visit to Yobz, I was astonished to see he had quite a collection of Axes.

When he brought out his Razorback Lightning Guitar from its case, I couldn’t help but feel that GAS building up relatively quickly.

Snapshot after drinking coffee at Yobz Office. (l-r) Yobz and Danzoy of Mitochondria Iligan with Yobz "Axes," a B.C. Rich Mockingbird and a Dean "DIME" Razorback Lightning Guitar (Photo courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

Snapshot after drinking coffee at Yobz Office. (l-r) Yobz and Danzoy of Mitochondria Iligan with Yobz “Axes,” a B.C. Rich Mockingbird and a Dean “DIME” Razorback Lightning Guitar (Photo courtesy of Yobz Tolentino/Mitochondria Iligan)

Like being struck by lightning (holding it in my hands), I only wished I had the means that time for a “Dime!”

Sadly, I had to pass up a good one.

Adept

A former neighbor and classmate in classical guitar that lasted for only a couple of sessions, Yobz was able to get a classic red “Stinger” electric guitar thereafter that really helped him start out.

Mitochondria was able to purchase their first guitar, also a Stinger, sometime later.

Yobz soon moved to Iloilo City to study and while he was there, Yobz became a member of a College Rock band named “Turning Point” which later on became “Mjah,” playing their own compositions and was able to release a record on their own.

He was able to jam with Mitochondria Iligan (more than a decade ago) after he got back from Iloilo City playing his recent acquisition, a “PRS” style Custom Made Guitar.

Yobz Tolentino with his guitar "El Tigre" (Photo Courtesy of Yobz, retrieved from Yobz's FB)

Yobz Tolentino and his Tiger looking “Jimi” Guitar (Photo Courtesy of Yobz, retrieved from Yobz’s FB)

His dynamic guitar skills kept growing since then and like the current guitars in his collection, it was quite surprising.

Yobz Tolentino’s “Spontaneous Aeolian Metal Bliss of the Senju Clan” (Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel)

Having joined several bands and done countless sessions with other musicians, Yobz has become one of Iligan City’s highly skilled guitar players to date.

Currently, he is a member of a band named “Agalon.”

Agalon – Playing Gods Excerpt (bass and 2nd lead guitars) Video Clip – Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel

Thank You

The Plight of Mito

ChannelFix.com National OPM Tournament (retrieved from channelfix.com)
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War of votes as the battle rages on

The battle has been joined!

As the Video Song Tournament at the ChannelFix.com website reaches the second round (The Top 8), the war of votes rages on.

Top 8

Top 8 Battle (retrieved from channelfix.com)

And as the Top 16 battle came to a close barely two days now. Iligan City’s Mitochondria Tagalog song “Lumalaki” and English song “Gazpachos” both qualified for Round 2.

Mito’s third song in Visayan, “Amiga,” failed to qualify.

Lost the battle but may have won the war

As the only Visayan song that made it to the Top 16, “Amiga” lost to votes against her #3 match-up in this Nationwide OPM Tournament’s search for the finest Filipino music.

Ami valiant effort 5 mins

Mito’s third song in Visayan, “Amiga” failed to qualify (retrieved from channelfix.com)

However, Mitochondria’s “Amiga” surprisingly won her new admirers from a number of first-time listeners then turned first-time voters coming from Iligan City according to a reliable source.

In deep introspection

As fate would have it, the two “Mito” qualifying songs locked horns with each other as they match-up in this single elimination tournament’s bracket.

square off

“‘Mito’ qualifying songs locked horns….” (retrieved from channelfix.com)

But whatever the outcome is, as this is a “People’s Choice” Tournament that is based on online votes, it’s the people that will decide whom to vote for, they have the last say.

The Plight of Mito

War of votes as the battle rages on in the Top 8 with five days to go before the next round begins, The Top 4!

The band hopes to get more support out there… hoping for the best!

Thank you and Good luck Iligan!