April 2009, the FIL-AM Cultural Dance Group of the association
was formed consist of members of all ages of the association.
Since then, the group has been requested to perform in different
places and occasions. Their regular performance is during
the Annual Filipino Cultural Day which this year was held
on June 11th at the Oceanside Civic Center. This year, three
new dances, were introduced and performed for the first
time - Bumayah, Sakuting and the kids' Tinikling.
group serves as the ambassadors of goodwill promoting the
association and the culture of the Philippines. Requests
and inquiries for their performances can be made through
the feedback page of the association's website.
Here are the Philippine folk dances performed by the group
representing the different regions of the Philippines from
north to south.
literally mean pots. The Banga or pot dance is a contemporary
performance of Kalinga of the Mountain Province in the Philippines.
This dance illustrates the languid grace of a tribe otherwise
known as fierce warriors. Heavy earthen pots, as many as seven
or eight at a time, are balanced on the heads of maidens as
they trudge to the beat of the "gangsa" or wind
chimes displaying their stamina and strength as they go about
their daily task of fetching water and balancing the banga.
DANCERS: TATIANA ROBINSON as
DULIA CANDELARIA MITCHELLE ROTULO
Ifugao people are said to be the "children of the earth."
The term Ifugao is derived from the word ipugao which literally
means "coming from the earth." The Spaniards,
however, changed it to Ifugaw, a term presently used in
referring not only to these people but also to their province.
The Ifugaos of Mayaoyao in Cordillera have hundreds of small
and large feasts called canao. Each canao has a different
purpose: weddings, hope for a good harvest, success in war,
or the death of prominent villagers. The grandest of all
canao is the uayoy. The uyaoy is mainly celebrated by a
Kadangyan or chieftain of the village in order to reaffirm
his social status in the community and his possible entry
to the village's council of elders. Men spread their arms
to imitate the sakpaya hawk's majestic glide and stamp their
feet to affirm their affinity with the cosmic earth. Uyaoy
is a display of various levels of composition, form, depth,
and perspective brought by inspiration and gansa-based music.
Bumayah is an Ifugao dance of thanksgiving to the god
Kabunian. In this dance, performed by both men and women,
the movements mimic those of a rooster scratching the
ground. This joyful dance serves as a prayer of thanksgiving
for a bountiful rice harvest.
is a Philippine folk dance that interprets a fight between
Ilocano Christians and non-Christians. This mock fight between
rival folks is traditionally performed during Christmas at
the town plaza or performed house-to-house as a form of traditional
caroling show. Dancers perform the Sakuting to receive presents
or the local money called aguinaldo. This regional ethnic
dance celebrates cultural heritage and national artistic pride
by portraying Philippine fighting art as a ritual dance. Sakuting
came from the Abra province in the northern part of the island
of Luzon. During the Spanish colonization (1520 to 1898),
the garrison established to protect the Ilocanos who converted
to Christianity became a site for raids by the mountain tribes.
And the Sakuting dance interprets this struggle between the
lowland natives who became Christians and the non-Christian
natives from the mountain region. Sakuting incorporates the
traditional Filipino martial arts called Arnis by using two
sticks as extension of the arms to fight the opponent. Before
the Spanish era in the Philippines, Filipinos commonly used
Arnis for self-protection. The Spanish banned its practice,
forcing Filipinos to utilize it in other forms. They openly
retained the practice by using Arnis movements as part of
folk dances like the Sakuting. While showing the story between
the Christians and non-Christian natives, the stylized fight
sequence revived the use of Arnis as this dance is actually
a two-stick Arnis exercise set to an upbeat music.
is a word that describes an affectionate, friendly and lovable
woman. This dance is performed in flirtatious manner with
fans and handkerchiefs to assist the dancers' hide-and-seek
movements. It depicts a man courting a woman with the restriction
of touching her. During the Spanish times, it was a grave
scandal for a man to touch even the fingertips of a woman
thus, in this dance it shows a demure lady protecting herself
from the man by using scented fan and and a handkerchief as
if playing hide-and-seek. This dance was originated in the
Panay Islands on the Visayan Islands and it was introduced
by the Spaniards during their colonization of the Philippines.
It is related to some of the Spanish dances like the bolero
and the Mexican dance Jarabe Tapatio or the Mexican Hat Dance
that resembles the courtship through the interpretation of
the dancers in the process of dancing. The dance before was
a Maria Clara dance but because of its popularity it has so
many versions around the Philippines.
Origin: Lubang Island, Mindoro (Visayas)
popular dance of grace and balance comes from Lubang Island,
Mindoro in the Visayas region. The term pandanggo comes from
the Spanish word fandango, which is a dance characterized
by lively steps and clapping that varies in rhythm in 3/4
time. This particular pandanggo involves the presence of three
tinggoy, or oil lamps, balanced on the head and the back of
After a good catch, fishermen of Lingayen would celebrate
by drinking wine and by dancing, swinging and circling a lighted
lamp. Hence, the name "Oasiwas" which in the Pangasinan
dialect means "swinging." This unique and colorful
dance calls for skill in balancing an oil lamp on the head
while circling in each hand a lighted lamp wrapped in a porous
cloth or fishnet. The waltz-style music is similar to that
of Pandanggo sa Ilaw.
Itik-Itik dance is popular among the Visayan settlers
of the province of Surigao del Norte. It has many variations
of steps from which the dancers choose and combine. Its
steps are similar to the movements of a duck (itik, in Filipino),
as it walks with short, choppy steps and splashes water
on its back while attracting its mate. The dance is believed
to have originated from the dance Sibay danced to the Dejado
music. The Sibay is a bird dance that came from neighboring
'Visayan' dance was found in Leyte where this dance originated.
Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed
as they skillfully play, chase each other, run over tree
branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Hence
it is named after the bird, tikling. this version of the
dance is done between a pair of bamboo poles.
older people claim that the 'Tinikling Ha Bayo' from which
the tinikling dance evolved is more difficult to perform.
It was originally danced between 'bayuhan', two wooden pestles
used to pound the husks off the rice grain.
T'boli, also known as the Tiboli or Tagabili, is one of the
tribes in Mindanao, the Philippines' southernmost island.
Some sources state that the term "T'boli" comes
from "Tau-bili"; "tau" meaning "small
human creature" and "bili" meaning "fruit
of the wild vine". Others state that Christian settlers
called the tribe "taga-bili" (buyers) in the course
of their barter trade. According to their folklore and traditions,
the T'boli are descendants of the survivors of a great flood,
who were saved by their deity Dwata. Two couples, warned by
Dwata to take precautions, took refuge in a huge bamboo and
rode out the flood. From the first couple descended the T'boli
and the other highland ethnic groups, or Lumads, of Mindanao,
as well as the Muslim tribes. The second couple were the ancestors
of the other Filipino ethnic groups who became Christianized.
Madal T'boli literally means "T'boli dance". It
is perhaps the most common of all T'boli festival dances.
It may be performed by a female dancer who executes bird-like
motions with her arms and manipulates her malong slung around
her neck in different positions as she goes through her dance.
Tiboli dances involve shuffling steps and swooping movements
of the arms and hands, usually incorporating a malong or kerchief.