A Craftsman’s Legacy - December Limited Edition Ukuleles Blog

Tragedy struck a few weeks shy of Christmas– a holiday supposed to be spent with family. 

Last Friday, December 10, Wagas Ukuleles lost a very valuable member of the company, one of its premier local artisans, Elmer Sayson. Upon the news of his passing, supporters, friends, and family flocked to send their messages of sorrow and condolences on Wagas Ukuleles’ memorial post. 

Just a few days ago, Elmer was featured in a Wagas Ukuleles Facebook post, where he was pictured doing the first steps in creating a ukulele from signature block mahogany wood. 

His son, who is also an artist, is burdened with grief in a Facebook post. He remembers Elmer as his mentor, and says he and his father “understood each other well” and “planned to paint so many more paintings”. He also mentions that he bought his father expensive painting materials, which he sadly was unable to use. 

He also notes the unfinished ukuleles in Elmer’s workstation, lamenting on his father’s irreplaceable talent. 

Elmer was one of the artists responsible for crafting Wagas Ukulele’s Limited Edition ukulele series, a limited collection of ukuleles with different designs each month. 

In memory of Sir Elmer’s passing, from the usual five, there will only be three ukuleles sold for the limited edition release this month– one of each design. Designer Gilcy Wagas shares the inspiration for each design. 

The first design is called “the dreamer in the stars”. A pastel twilight dream with a white crescent moon silhouette, this design is perfect for the young and young at heart, especially those working tirelessly to make their dreams come true.

Gilcy shares, “This piece is about our dreams when we were children. The beauty of our dreams in its purest and most naive form.”

The next one is a blue and pink piece reminiscent of the scales on a mermaid’s tale aptly titled “Musical Waves” is said to “symbolize the beauty of our fantasies and imagination.” 

“It taps our inner child for creativity. When we play this piece, our “mermaid” prances through the musical waves,” Gilcy adds. 

The last design is entitled “Summer Cocktail”, which aims to give a “chill summer vibe in December.”  

“With cool tones, it reflects how some things shouldn’t be taken seriously,” according to Gilcy. “About time we relax, play a song, and sip a summer cocktail.”

Each ukulele will be priced at P4,500 pesos, and part of the ukulele proceeds will go to the bereaved family of Sir Elmer. 

Sir Elmer was an employee at Wagas Crafts for more than two decades, a craftsman and an artist in his own right. Before Wagas transitioned to crafting ukuleles, Elmer mastered the art of crafting and painting collapsible baskets which were exported to countries like the US. 

Sir Elmer died of cardiac arrest at just 48 years old.

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