antiques / architectural genious / handicrafts / maranao artifacts / tugaya


By: Jehad Zacaria Pangcoga

​Agong means gong in English. It is a musical instrument commonly used by people in South East Asia including Muslims in the Philippines. No body knows the Chinese man who first made the gong. But the industry and the use of gong became common to the Malayan world because it turned out to be a common symbol of royalty and nobility in the area. There are many kinds of gongs found in South East Asia. The concern of this paper is about the hanged gong made in Tugaya, a Muslim locality at the South of Philippines.
​Gong from Malaysia and Indonesia are manufactured through melting pot which produced low and not favorable sound effect. The hand-made gong in Tugaya is producing sound effect heard around 3-kilometer diameter area with more refined tone. It is used with sets of ensemble Kulintang, drum and mamander to produced sound of festivity including enthronement of datus, wedding and other happy gatherings of indigenous peoples in the South Philippines today.
​The gongs made from Tugaya are exported to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunie starting from 60’s to the present day. The reason is that the quality of product and tone are good. The skilled workers of gong in Tugaya are still producing quality agong but on made-to-order basis. In a small shop of Hadji Zacaria Disomnong Moka, the father of incumbent Sultan of Tugaya, Mohammad Muid Zacaria, is still producing quality agong sellable to local buyers in Mindanao.
​Gong is not only intended for musical purpose. It is a symbol of nobility and aristocracy in the community. The Sultans, everywhere in the Malayan world, keep their gongs. They are beating gong to summon their people for a meeting.
​Gongs, when used for musical instrument in Muslim festivities, are paired with Kulintang (graduated Xylophone), Dubakan, Babander, gandingan to produced melancholy sounds with meanings and interpretations.


  1. Tugaya is not one of the paramount sultanates and alsonot one of the supportng sultanates.What is the function.Sultanof a city ?Thank you. Yours sincerelly: DP Tick facebook Donald Tick

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