Welcome to El Sistema - Philippines

(Open Hands Harmony Global Project)

Providing the best Musical Orchestra Education for Kids for FREE!

"Music has to be recognized as an agent of social development, in the highest sense because it transmits the highest values - solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion. And it has the ability to unite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings." — José Antonio Abreu

El Sistema - Philippines SEC registration

About us

What is El Sistema - Philippines

El sistema - Philippines is a voluntary sector music education program registered under the Securities and Exchange commission as "El Sistema - Philippines (Open Hands Harmony Global Music Project)" founded by Alcides Felipe Maestre Blanco.

History of El Sistema - Philippines

It all began when Alcides Felipe Maestre Blanco introduced his Global Music Project vision to Ernesto M. Balili via the social media.

The communication between Ernesto and Alcides Maestre began to spark a new level of intensity that would offer hope for many Filipino children, especially the empoverished and less fortunate kids in various depressed areas of the Philippines (as seen by the maestro), beginning in Mindanao, Visays and Luzon.

Maestre risked a first time visit to the Philippines to meet his Facebook friend and discussed with him the El Sistema - Venezuela project, which has helped hundreds of thousands of empoverished kids in their country and he offered the same hope for the children in the Philippines. The latter received his proposal about the potential of the project to impact the less fortunate kids in the Philippines especially its contribution for social development in collaboration with various sectors of society which Blanco proposed to eradicate poverty among the prospective children in the country.

Not very long, the two agreed to legally create El Sistema - Philippines with the vision to impact communities and society and to offer hope to children. They soon agreed to elect members and officers of the board. The idea was to create a national team that would reach out to partners and appoint leaders in many communities that would make the necessary steps for the furtherance of the El Sistema project for the Filipino children as well as to find ways to attract funding from LGUs, NGOs and business sectors inside the country.

Ernesto chose the 12 people in the board, and Alcides began to invest his time and energy with hundreds of kids in different communities armed with this OFFER OF HOPE for the Filipino children, just as he did many cities in several countries. The founder's vision rapidly found public acceptance in many poverty affected areas in collaboration with parents, leaders, teachers and was beginning to spark interest in the government sector. Kids and young people in every strata of the society were very much excited about Alcides Maestre's offer to teach them FREE MUSIC!

Finally, El Sistema - Philippines (Open Hand Harmony Global Music Project) was later legally registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission on the 14th of July, 2016 (see SEC photo) during the second visit of Alcides Maestre to the Philippines to meet with the previously formed "national board members and incorporators" of the first active El Sistema project in the country, in order to reinforce hope to empoverished children in the Philippines. This time, communities received Alcides Maestre with even much more enthusiasm than his first visit and thousands of kids with and parents participated in the El Sistema - Philippines program and just as the founder projected, it became the deciding factor for the need to expand from city to city all over the country.

Today Music Centers (Núcleos) for kids orchestras to empoverished kids are being formed and/or in progress in the following cities in the Philippines: Cagayan de Oro City, Ozamis City, El Salvador, Cebu and Manila.

Our dream conservatory just like the conservatoy of music in Slovenia in Europe.

Dream Conservatory hall
Dream conservatory music room

Dream Conservatory hall
Model Dream conservatory building

Dream Conservatory studio
Dream Rehearsal Studio

Dream Conservatory soloist studio
Dream Recital Hall

About the Founder

Music Director, Phil-Karajan Kids and Youth Symphony Orchestra

Alcides Maestre Blanco started his musical studies in El Sistema Núcleos, Sucre, in Güiria(Venezuela) and he continued his study in Simòn Bolívar Conservatory in Caracas (Venezuela). He got his conductor studies with Rodolfo Sanglimbeni in Venezuela, Francisco Garcia Nieto in Spain, Georges Hursin England, Francisco Navarro Lara in Spain and Jean Jacques Wernerin France.30 years ago, he founded his first orchestrain Carúpano and later, several other orchestras and ensembles. Afterwards he move to France to do his master and doctorate studies. At this time, the Association El Sistema France contacted him and he became the National Director of El Sistema France. With this association, Maestre Blanco created the first Pilot Orchestra in Gorges.

Maestre Blanco had the musical missionary vision in 2012 he got his first international music missionary trip at India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for three months. In 2014 was his second international missionary trip in East Africa: Kenya and Uganda. In April 2016 he arrived for the first time in the Philippines to introduce his musical project. Maestre Blanco created the Open Hand Harmony Global Project with a vision to bring the Music Orchestra in many countries in the world.


Cagayan de Oro City is the Pilot project in the Philippines. This pilot project is currently divided into different locations in the city and they are as follows: Timely Breakthrough Academy, Bulua; Vamenta Boulevard Carmen; Carinugan, Balongis; Cogon, and J.V. Serina street, Carmen. In the future, there will be only one music center in Cagayan de Oro where all the aforementioned classes will be consolidated as one.

Philippines in the World Map.

Venezuela in the World Map.

Phil-Karajan Kids and Youth Orchestra
Kabataan ng mga mag-aawit choir
Music Center at Apovel

Music Centers in progress

Over the Philippines, we have many music center in progress as the work expands to other areas such as in Osamiz City, El Salvador, Bukidnon, Cebu and Manila.

Cebu, Philippines
Cagayan de Oro City
Ozamiz City, Philippines

El Salvador, Misamis Oriental
Manila, Philippines
Manila, Philippines

Music teachers

Incoming Music Teachers:

Sara Millán
Singer, Conductor and Poli-instrumentist: Violin, Violoncello, Piano, Guitar, Cuatro, Mandolina, Flute, etc. She has her history in El Sistema - Venezuela. She studied with Alcides Maestre, Carlos Andres Millán, Yury Hung and others. She created her first Youth Symphony Orchestra in Aragua de Barcelona. Nowadays, she's living in France, and she is the assistant of maestro Alcides Maestre at the music project of Apprentis d'Auteil foundation in Gorges, Loire Atlantique, France. Pablo Emilio Maestre
He started his Oboe music studies with Jesús Beltrán Acosta. Nowadays, he plays in the Simón Bolívar band and he currenly teach at La Hoyada music center in Caracas, Venezuela and sometimes he is invited to teach in other cities thereof as well as in other countries.
Irene Millán
Singer and Violinist. She started her music studies in Río Caribe, Venezuela with Carlos Andrés Millán and Alcides Maestre. She served as a teacher in that Youth Symphony Orchestra. She plays the traditional instrument Cuatro and Mandolina. She belongs to a family of famous musicians in Sucre, Venezuela.

Music Missionary teachers

Incoming Music Missionary teacher(s):

Nurvia Noriega
She began her music studies in Güiria, Venezuela. She spent and played Violoncello in several symphony orchestras: Caracas Youth Orchestra, Youth Bows Orchestra, principal violoncellist at Antonio José de Sucre Symphony Orchestra, Municipal Orchestra of Caracas, etc. The founding staff of the Carúpano Youth Orchestra and founding member and Principal Violoncellist, Antonio Vivaldi chamber orchestra. She is an experienced violoncello teacher at El Sistema - Venezuela. She is also a singer and plays some traditional instruments such as cuatro and guitar. She often serves as worship leader in several christian churches.

EL SISTEMA in the world

  • Vision - El Sistema – Philippines (Open Hand Harmony Global Project), Inc., exists to provide a Musical Missionary Vision to the poor kids and give all the children the opportunity to have music education, all for free.
  • Mission - To contribute musical education programs that promote peace and harmony, uphold social development through Open Hand Harmony Global Project by opening doors of opportunities to impact the growing society as responsible citizens in favor of musical education to impoverished kids.
  • Core Values - El Sistema and its partners are advocating against poverty, drugs and criminality in favor of human flourishing, social development, true spirituality and promote moral values.
  • Goals:
    • - Develop Leaders and musicians who live God's will.
    • - Develop compassionate, honest, empowered students and train them to be sensitive to the needs of humanity.
    • - Strengthen linkages with various sectors of society through responsible and sustainable community outreach programs for social development.

National Board Team


El Sistema – Philippines developing negotiations:

  • Nanuri International School, CDO - Teaching Engagement.
  • Pilgrim Christian College, Capistrano - Akut streets, CDO - Classroom(s) and musical class.
  • Bethany Christian School - Talakag, Bukidnon
  • Government Sector - Proposal to city mayor: Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental; Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental; El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental; Emilda, Zamboanga Sibugai.

Support El Sistema Programs in the Philippines

You can support the El Sistema programs in the Philippines by any of the following:
To donate €7,000.00 (EUR), for stringed insturements campaign, click the button below:
To donate €6,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

Pledge: €5,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

Pledge: €4,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

Pledge: €3,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

Pledge €2,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

Pledge €1,000.00 (EUR), click the button below:

To choose your own amount, click the button below:


You can download the volunteer document here.


Organize kids in your area and connect with us for social transformation in your community.


Create a legitimate committee in collaboration with El Sistema - Philippines and organize with us for social development programs involving the kids in your community.

What is El Sistema

El Sistema is a publicly financed voluntary sector music education program in Venezuela, founded in 1975 by Venezuelan educator, musician and activist José Antonio Abreu which later adopted the motto Social Action for Music.

History of El Sistema - Venezuela

In 1975 Maestro Abreu gathered eleven youngsters for a rehearsal in an underground car park, and told them that they were making history. At the next rehearsal, there were 25 musicians; the following day, 46; the day after, 75. In the heady days of the Venezuelan oil boom and at a time when there were just two symphony orchestras in Venezuela, both employing largely European musicians, he managed to win government funding for his scheme from the department of health, arguing that the well-being of children at risk was at stake. El Sistema, formally known as the Foundation for the National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela, was born.

A translated quote from a recent interview with executive director Eduardo Méndez: "In principle, it should be noted the recognition by the Venezuelan State in 1979, of the system as a social action program and as a public policy that has been deepened through the implementation of programs aimed at rescue of children and Venezuelan youth, which has shown that the inclusion and access to a massive scale musical education is the basis for the transformation and well-being of a society. The second significant event was the consolidation of the National Children of Venezuela Symphony in 1994 that, after several years of orchestral training in the various regions of the country, allowed to raise the technical level of implementation of children at the highest level. This selection strengthened the national network and later became the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra Simón Bolívar, who led an international impact, and where Gustavo Dudamel as one of the figures of the currently recognized orchestral conducting arises. Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela is made up of many of those early members of the first National Children."


José Antonio Abreu Anselmi (born May 7, 1939) is a Venezuelan orchestra conductor, pianist, economist, educator, activist, and politician. He is Catholic.[1] He was honored with the 2009 Latin Grammy Trustees Award, an honor given to personalities that have contributed to music by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

Politics and Academics: Born in the city of Valera, Abreu graduated ¨Summa Cum Laude¨ as an Economist at Universidad Católica Andres Bello and he was awarded a PhD degree in Petroleum Economics from the same university in 1961.[2] Abreu also did some graduate work at the University of Michigan.[2] He served as a Deputy at the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress of Venezuela (1959-1964). After his political career, he also worked as a professor of economics and law at Universidad Simón Bolívar and his Alma Mater. He would return to politics in 1983 to serve as Minister of Culture and president of the National Council of Culture. Abreu even served as president of the Economic Planning Commission but a combination of disillusionment and health problems made him leave politics and "devote myself entirely to music".

Music: Abreu began to study music with Doralisa Jiménez de Medina in Barquisimeto. Later, he attended the Caracas Musical Declamation Academy in 1957, where he studied piano with Moisés Moleiro, organ and harpsichord with Evencio Castellanos, and composition with Vicente Emilio Sojo. In 1967, he received the Symphonic Music National Prize for his musical ability. It was in 1975 that he founded El Sistema, formally known as the Foundation for the National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela. This was an innovative youth education method in which music was the primary avenue for social and intellectual improvement. He received the National Music Prize for this work at El Sistema in 1979. Under Abreu's guidance, El Sistema has participated in exchange and cooperation programmes with Canada, Spain, Latin American countries and the United States.

Awards: In 1993, El Sistema was awarded the famous IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize in the institution class.[3] UNESCO also appointed Abreu as a Special Ambassador for the Development of a Global Network of Youth and Children Orchestras and Choirs in 1995[4] and as a special representative for the development of network of orchestras within the framework of UNESCO's "World Movement of Youth and Children Orchestras and Choirs". This project was created in the context of an inter-disciplinary project "Towards a Culture of Peace". He co-ordinates the programme through the UNESCO office in Caracas. He was also designated a Goodwill Ambassador by UNESCO in 1998.[5] In 2001, Abreu was honoured with a Right Livelihood Award and was honored with the World Culture Open Creative Arts Award in 2004.[6] Among his numerous awards are the Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon (Japan, 2007),[7] the Glenn Gould Prize (Canada, 2008), the Puccini International Prize (Italy, 2008), the Q Prize with former student and protégé Gustavo Dudamel (USA, 2008) and honorary memberships at the Royal Philharmonic Society (2008, United Kingdom) and the Beethoven-Haus Society (Germany, 2008).[8] Abreu is also co-founder and vice-chairman of YOA Orchestra of the Americas.[9]

When the B'nai B'rith Venezuelan brand gave Abreu their B'nai B'rith Human Rights Award in 2008, Abreu succinctly summarized the goal of El Sistema and of his life's work by saying, "In the struggle for Human Rights, let us vigorously incorporate children's sublime right to music, in whose bosom shines Beingness in its splendor and its ineffable mystery. Let us reveal to our children the beauty of music and music shall reveal to our children the beauty of life.".[10]

In 2008 received as director of El Sistema the Prince of Asturias Awards for arts. In 2009, Abreu received the Crystal Award of the World Economic Forum and the TED Prize, which consists of 100,000 dollars and one wish to change the world. The description for his awards is a clear description of the work he does at El Sistema as it reads, "the maestro who's transformed the lives of tens of thousands of kids... through classical music".[11]

On May 12, 2009, Abreu was awarded the Polar Music Prize, given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.[12] Abreu and Peter Gabriel, who also won, were presented with their awards by King Carl XVI Gustaf at a gala ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 31 August. The Royal Swedish Academy of Music said about Abreu:[13]
The Polar Music Prize 2009 is awarded the Venezuelan conductor, composer and economist José Antonio Abreu. Driven by a vision that the world of classical music can help improve the lives of Venezuela’s children, he created the music network El Sistema, which has given hundreds of thousands the tools to leave poverty. José Antonio Abreu’s successful creation has promoted traditional values, like respect, fellowship and humanity. His achievement shows us what is possible when music is made the common ground and thereby part of people’s everyday lives. Simultaneously, a new hope for the future has been given children and parents, as well as politicians. The vision of José Antonio Abreu serves as a model to us all.

In 2010, Abreu was awarded Erasmus Prize. In 2012, Abreu was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Institute of Education, University of London in recognition of his services to music education and social change.

In 2012, Abreu was awarded a Honorary Degree from Carleton University for his “outstanding contribution to the advancement of underprivileged youth through music and education”. He was awarded this degree, via video, on March 29, 2012 at Carleton University. The renowned Venezuelan Simón Bolívar String Quartet performed in honour of Dr. Abreu. They were joined by the OrKidstra Quintet. OrKidstra is Ottawa's very own El Sistema program.

Success of El Sistema

Gustavo Dudamel, current musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, had his beginnings in El Sistema.

Carlos Izcaray conductor of Alabama Symphony Orchestra is also a product of El Sistema.

Edicson Ruiz: Contrabasista, the first South African person in the the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has his beginning in El Sistema."

Christian Vasquez: Chief Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

Diego Mateuz began with El Sistema and is conductor Simón Bolívar Orcheastra and as director of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Alcides Rodriguez clarinetist of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra also has his beginning at El Sistema.

In 2015, according to official figures, El Sistema consisted of over 400 music centers and 700,000 young musicians. The program provides 4 hours of musical training and rehearsal per week day after school, as well as work on the weekends. (Wikipedia)

El Sistema Best Orchestras

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV), founded in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu.
Teresa Carreño symphony orchestra

The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra is the national high-school-age youth orchestra of El Sistema, made up of the best young musicians from throughout Venezuela.
Symphony Orchestra of Caracas

Symphony Orchestra of Caracas (Orquesta Sinfónica Venezuela) the First Orchestra in Venezuela, founded in 1930. One of the best Orchestras of El Sistema in Venezuela.

El Sistema testimonials

El Sistema Best Orchestras

Find our our location

Provided in this map, Cagayan de Oro is located in Southern Philippines, in the Northern area of Mindanao.

Feel free to contact us

Please send us an email at: elsistema.philippines@gmail.com, or use the form below to send us your message. Please specify your email address in the form provided below.