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antomina Catanduanes (Part 6)

posted 29-May-2010
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2.3 Pantomina Catanduanes, the History
Pantomina refers to the dance and the song. This is one dance that requires a
particular melody. Nolasco (1994) underscores the fact that this dance is
performed only with the traditional particular song that has become popular
through time. If there is a live band, a soloista, (soloist), usually a male, is
identified from the crowd to sing the lyrics. A female may join him in the
No one claims authorship of the composition of the songs even when Nolasco
(1994) studied them in 1994. She approached Ms. Cathy A. Vargas, music
teacher of the CSC Elementary Laboratory School, for the notation of the
popular versions sang by the soloistas. Before that, the songs were never
written nor formally taught. Like the dance, they were passed on and learned
Today, the Pantomina Minor and Pantomina Mayor versions of Ibalong Records
owned by Mr. Domingo V. Zafe have popularized the song throughout the
country, particularly in the Bicol Region. He has also recorded
other Pantomina versions of other regions, particularly Kuratsa of Samar and
Leyte and Sinalampati of Sorsogon. He has also produced a documentary of
these dances.
2.3 Other Versions
This dance is said to have been one of the first folk dances with steps recorded
in the "Philippine Folk Dances and Games, " the first folk dance book by
Francisca Reyes Aquino published in 1926 (WikiPilipinas, 2009). It was
called Salampati orSinalampati. (dance of the doves) during the Spanish times.
(Aquino in WikiPilipinas, 2009). Tia Esteling Tioxon (Mrs. Estelita Tioxon),
teacher from Gogon and director of comedias, Philippine drama form in the
Spanish period, and veladas (show) during her time, was asked by Ms. Aquino
to perform the dance for the researchers benefit. Today, this is
the Pantominaversion popularized by Sorsogon City and featured in
their Pantomina sa Tinampo, one of the highlights of KasanggayahanFestival.

This merrymaking is held every third week of October. It focuses on the

graceful movements of mating doves.
Here lies the difference. Pantomina Catanduanes is more aggressive, more
playful. Movements stick to the engao for men and the flirty waltz steps for the
women accented with a slight raising of shoulders and hands lightly resting on
the upper buttocks. The paso sticks to the proud strut-walk of the rooster. The
dance is performed by two pairs in an entrecuatro with partners exchanging
and cross changing places like a quadrille or the square dance.
to Kuratsa or Pantomina
Catanduanes is
Samar. WikiPilipinas (2009) reports it to be a wedding dance that originated
from Bicol. Both are described as dances performed by newly wedded couples
or as "battle-of-sexes cpouple dance (WikiPilipinas, 2009) termed kigal, an
imitation of mating birds. The paso (Catanduanes) or paseo (Samar) is
supposed to be danced like a leisure walk. To the Catandunganon, this walk is
a combination of step-close steps which later progress to march-walk, later
enriched by improvisations like taking one oblique step back after making three
forward steps. They also have the palanat steps where the male chases the
female. This is similar to the bukod of Catanduanes version. The dagit (a
swoop) aand the sagparak (a heated cockfight) are peculiarities of the Visayan
interpretation. They remind us of the Catanduangan sarisid (courtship)
and sigay (flirting) which are ardent but never shown as a fight. Both versions
translatebinanog as "hawk." In Catanduanes, this is a dance form showing
inverted T position, with both arms stretched like a V imitating the hawk in
flight. The Visayan version is a simple inverted T position.
The same source mentions that the musicians stop at a certain point to allow
for the participants to wipe their perspiration. This does not happen in the
Catanduanes version. The dance begins with the paso and ends in
the saludo. It is danced by a single couple in weddings and joined later in
the bacayao by the parents of the bride and groom and by their godparents.
During social gatherings, it is danced in an entrecuatro. The last portion has
the male dancer chasing the girl partner. This step is like
the bukod in Pantomina Catanduanes but this is not the end of the dance.
There is a part where the male partner spreads a panuelo on the ground and
entices the girl to step into it or touch it with one foot as a sign of capture.

The Pantomina is said to be popular in Allen and Capul, Samar. These places
both face the Bicol region. Was the Pantominabrought to the Bicol region? Or
did the Bicolano bring the Pantomina to the Visayas? Wikipilipinas (2009)
favors the latter making the Pantomina an original dance of the Bicol region
with each province coming up with its own version.
Isle of the Eastern Seas
by: Macario T. Arcilla
After seven decades of Catandungan Pride and province-wide celebration of
autonomy, the locals are now turning another page in their history as they look
forward to a new and improved festive spirit in 2016. This October 2015 will
be their last Catandungan Festival as they gear up for next year's Abaca
Festival, which showcases Catanduanes' cottage industry.
The annual Catandungan Festival of Catanduanes province used be held every
year towards the end of October. It was often a three-day celebration running
from October 24 to 26.
In 2015, Catanduanes held its final Catandungan Festival. This was so the
focus could shift to a new annual festival celebrating the Abaca fiber, a symbol
of resiliency representing the indomitable ability of the Catandunganons to
overcome challenges such as typhoons which often batter the island.
he provincial government has finalized the events of the Catandungan Festival
set this Oct. 20-23, the last to be held after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
okayed an ordinance replacing it with the Abaca Festival starting May 2016.
Anchored on the theme Celebrating 70 years of Catandungan Pride, Gearing
up for More, the festival will commemorate all the people and the events that
made the celebration of the provinces founding anniversary meaningful in the
years that passed.
May the farewell of Catandungan Festival remind us of what we are capable of
as one province and prepare us for what we can do more in the years to come,
the organizers said as they looked forward to harness the same festive spirit in
next years Abaca Festival mandated by Provincial Ordinance No. 021-2015.