12.03.2007

PHILIPPINE FOLK DANCE HISTORY

Philippine Folk Dance History

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.

Mountain or Igorot Dances

Long before the Spaniards, the indigenous people in the mountainous regions had already their folk dances which reflect their worship, their celebrations, their wars and even their everyday lives. Scholars refer to them as mountain dances which consisted of different mountain tribes. When Spaniars came, they called them Igorots.

They dance to appease their ancestors and gods to cure ailments, to insure successful war-mating activities,or to ward off bad luck or natural calamities. They dance to congregate and socialize, for general welfare and recreation, and as an outlet for repressed feeling. They also dance to insure bountiful harvests, favorable weather, and to mark milestones in the cycle of life.

So the dances evolve as they need them to express their feelings, their sadness and their anger.

Muslim and Moro Dances

Mindanao and Sulu were never conquered by Spain. Islam was introduced in the Philippines in the 12th century before the discovery of the islands by Magellan in 1521.

The dances in Muslim however predated the Muslim influence. Like Ipat which was a dance to appease ancestral spirits. Before Islam, the Maguindanaons held the view that diseases are caused by tonong (ancestral spirits).Thus, a folk healer performs the pag-ipat while being possessed by the tinunungan (spirit).

Another is the dance baluang which creates the illusion of an angry monkey, and is always performed by male dancers. The popularity of this dance comes naturally, since the baluang, or monkey, enjoys an affectionate place in Asian folklore.

Singkil was introduced after the 14th century. It was based on the epic legend of Darangan of the Maranao people of Mindanao. It tells of the story of a Muslim Princess, Gandingan who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies of the forest.

Tribal Dances

The cultural minorities that live in the hills and mountains throughout the Philippine Archipelago considered dances as basic part of their lives. Their Culture and animistic beliefs predated Christianity and Islam. Dances are performed essentially for the gods. As in most ancient cultures, unlike the Muslim tribes in their midst, their dances are nonetheless closely intertwined with ceremonials, rituals and sacrifices.

The only dance that is believed to have evolved during the Spanish colonization is the Talaingod dance which is performed to the beat of four drums by a female, portrays a virgin-mother bathing and cradling her newborn baby, named Liboangan. She supposedly had a dream, or pandamggo, that she was to bear such a child. This concept of a virgin-birth may have been derived from the Catholic faith


Maria Clara Dances

The history of the Philippines is that of a country constantly melding its culture with that of outsiders, a narrative that is exemplified well by Filipino folk dance history. For example, the 300-year Spanish occupation of the Philippines profoundly influenced folk dancing. The ‘Maria Clara’ style of dance is named after a Spanish-style dress, and its performance includes Spanish footwork with Filipino modifications such as bamboo castanets and Asian fans. Contact with ancient Indian civilization is also evident through Indian-influenced dance, which thrives particularly in the South. Numerous other influences including Muslim and Indonesian can be found throughout the Philippines.

The coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century brought a new influence in Philippine life. A majority of the 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 Filipinos. They are so named in honor of the legendary Maria Clara, who remains a symbol of the virtues and nobility of the Filipina woman. Maria Clara was the chief female character of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere. Displaying a very strong Spanish influence, these dances were, nonetheless, "Filipinized" as evidence of the use of bamboo castanets and the abanico, or Asian fan. Typical attire for these dances are the formal Maria Clara dress and barong tagalog, an embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fiber.


Rural and Barrio

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 the Filipinos, these dances illustrate 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 include the colorful balintawak and patadyong skirts for the women, and camisa de chino and colored trousers for the men. The dances developed during the three hundred years of Spanish colonization.

A good example of rural or barrio dances 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.

Maria Clara Dances

The coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century brought a new influence in Philippine life. A majority of the 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 Filipinos. They are so named in honor of the legendary Maria Clara, who remains a symbol of the virtues and nobility of the Filipina woman. Maria Clara was the chief female character of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere. Displaying a very strong Spanish influence, these dances were, nonetheless, "Filipinized" as evidence of the use of bamboo castanets and the abanico, or Asian fan. Typical attire for these dances are the formal Maria Clara dress and barong tagalog, an embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fiber.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

lagay nyo po history of ilocana nasudi dance at costumes at step po thx god bless

Joie Anne said...

elOw..!,thank yOu..!cause I finished my project because of this link..!

Anonymous said...

wala po ba kayong Mga folk dances sa philippines na Malayan INfluence..please kac kailangan ko po yan para sa report namin...

Anonymous said...

Kailangan ko po ang history ng Binuyugan dance..thank you & Godbless

Anonymous said...

Give at least 5 literature of Bicol Folk Dances. Thanks!