A homegrown craftsman, Danilo Utanes learned about playing harp at age 12 under the tutelage of his late father who earned a living from making harps. He was only a high school freshman when he made his first harp. Over the years, he toiled to perfect his craft with other Cagayano harpists.

His effort did not go unnoticed. In 1996, he joined a group of harpists from Cagayan to “Dayaw: Philippine Cultural Communities Arts Festival.” It was a project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines to showcase the Filipino indigenous culture and arts. Since then, he has been invited to many performances and exhibitions like the annual “Indigenous People’s Visual Arts Exhibit” in Tuguegarao City. Danilo has become famous and is even known to be the last harp maker in Cagayan Valley. At 64 years old, this artisan is ready to impart his craft to interested and able craftsmen of the next generation.

Danilo takes on commissions for his diatonic harps (non-pedal) with the characteristic round sound holes at the rear middle stave (flat soundboard). He uses tonewoods like narra, langka, and santol for their bright and sharp tones.