Philippine Folk Dances- History

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  • 8/13/2019 Philippine Folk Dances- History


    Philippine Folk



    Filipino folk dance history is not the history of a single

    national dance of one or two regions. Dances evolved from

    different regions which are distinct from one another as

    they are affected by the religion and culture.FORMS OF PHILIPPINE FOLK DANCES

  • 8/13/2019 Philippine Folk Dances- History


    Perhaps the best known and closest to the Filipino

    heart are the dances from the rural Christian lowlands:

    a country blessed with so much beauty. To theFilipinos, these dances illustrates the fiesta spirit and

    demonstrate a love of life. They express a joy in work,

    a love for music, and pleasure in the simplicities of life.

    Typical attire in the Rural Suite includes the

    colorful balintawakandpatadyongskirts for women,

    and camisa de chinoand colored trousersfor men.A good example of rural or barrio dance is Sinulog. It

    is a ceremonial dance performed by the people of San

    Joaquin, Iloilo, during the feast of San Martin. It

    originated in a barrio of San Joaquin

    called Sinugbahan. It was believed that the image of

    San Martin was found at the edge of a beach, and that

    it could not be removed until the people dance

    the Sinulog.


    The coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century

    brought a new influence in Philippine life. A majority ofthe Filipinos were converted to Roman Catholicism.European cultural ideas spread and the Filipinos

    adapted and blended to meet the local conditions.These dances reached their zenith in popularity around

    the turn of the century, particularly among urban

  • 8/13/2019 Philippine Folk Dances- History


    Filipinos. They are so named in honor of the legendary

    Maria Clara, who remains a symbol of the virtues andnobility of the Filipina woman. Maria Clarawas thechief female character of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.

    Displaying a very strong Spanish influence, thesedances were, nonetheless, "Filipinized"as evidence ofthe use of bamboo castanetsand the abanico, or Asianfan. Typical attire for these dances is the formal Maria

    Clara dressand barong tagalog, an embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fiber. MUSLIM AND MORO DANCES

    Mindanao and Sulu were never conquered bySpain. Islam was introduced in the Philippines in the

    12th century before the discovery of the islands byMagellan in 1521.

    The dances in Muslim however predated the

    Muslim influence. Like Ipat which was a dance toappease ancestral spirits. Before Islam, the

    Maguindanaons held the view that diseases are causedby tonong(ancestral spirits).Thus; a folk healer

    performs the pag-ipatwhile being possessed bythe tinunungan(spirit).

    Another is the dance baluangwhich creates the

    illusion of an angry monkey, and is always performedby male dancers. The popularity of this dance comesnaturally, since the baluang, or monkey, enjoys anaffectionate place in Asian folklore.

  • 8/13/2019 Philippine Folk Dances- History


    Singkilwas introduced after the 14th century. It

    was based on the epic legend of Darangan of theMaranao people of Mindanao. It tells of the story of aMuslim Princess,Gandinganwho was caught in the

    middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by thediwatas, or fairies of the forest.


    Cordillera, a name given by the SpanishConquistadors when they first saw the mountainranges. Meaning "knotted rope", the Spanish termrefers to the jumbled rolls and dips of this long-rangetraversing the northern part of Luzon Island.

    Today, if one is to generalize one of the six ethno-

    linguistic tribes as an "Igorot" is considereddegrading. Living amidst the rice terraces that towerover Northern Luzon are a people whose way of lifeexisted long before any Spaniard or other foreigners

    stepped foot on the Philippines. The Bontoc, Ifugao,Benguet, Apayo, and the Kalinga tribes reign over

    Luzon's mountain terrain.


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    The cultural minorities that live in the hills and

    mountains throughout the Philippine Archipelagoconsidered dances as basic part of their lives. TheirCulture and animistic beliefs predated Christianity and

    Islam. Dances are performed essentially for the gods.As in most ancient cultures, unlike the Muslim tribes intheir midst, their dances are nonetheless closelyintertwined with ceremonials, rituals and sacrifices.

    The only dance that is believed to have evolvedduring the Spanish colonization is the Talaingod

    dancewhich is performed to the beat of four drums by

    a female, portrays a virgin-mother bathing andcradling her newborn baby, named Liboangan. She

    supposedly had a dream, orpandanggo, that she wasto bear such a child. This concept of a virgin-birth may

    have been derived from the Catholic faith.