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Sakuting is a Philippine folk dance that interprets a ght between locano Christians and non!Christians"
#his $ock ght between rival folks is traditionally perfor$ed during Christ$as at the town pla%a or
perfor$ed house!to!house as a for$ of traditional caroling show" &ancers perfor$ the Sakuting to
receive presents or the local $oney called 'guinaldo"

Philippine Folk Dances as Fight Dances

(ost )ilipino dances tell a story" n the Sakuting* it is a story of locano Christians and nonChristians
ghting during the Spanish colonial rule in the country" + locanos are the people living in the locos
region in ,orthern Philippines"- #his regional ethnic dance celebrates cultural heritage and national
artistic pride by portraying Philippine ghting art as a ritual dance"

Regional History

Sakuting ca$e fro$ the 'bra province in the northern part of the island of .u%on" #he locos /egion
o0cially includes locos ,orte* locos Sur* .a Union and Pangasinan" 'bra* (ountain Province and
enguet were also parts of the region before separating as the Cordillera 'd$inistrative /egion" 'll these
provinces are ho$e to the locanos who are natives of the lowlands and the #ingguian tribes who are
natives of the $ountain areas"


&uring the Spanish coloni%ation +1 23 to 1454-* the garrison established to protect the locanos who
converted to Christianity beca$e a site for raids by the $ountain tribes" 'nd the Sakuting dance
interprets this struggle between the lowland natives who beca$e Christians and the non!Christian
natives fro$ the $ountain region" Sakuting incorporates the traditional )ilipino $artial arts called 'rnis by
using two sticks as e6tension of the ar$s to ght the opponent" efore the Spanish era in the
Philippines* )ilipinos co$$only used 'rnis for self!protection" #he Spanish banned its practice* forcing
)ilipinos to utili%e it in other for$s" #hey openly retained the practice by using'rnis $ove$ents as part of
folk dances like the Sakuting" 7hile showing the story between the Christians and non!Christian natives*
the styli%ed ght se8uence revived the use of 'rnis as this dance is actually a two!stick 'rnis e6ercise set
to an upbeat $usic"

M sic

(usic used for the Sakuting has Chinese and Spanish backgrounds" #he traditional $usic styles have
staccato in9ections and rhyth$ic tapping" #he $usical instru$ent used for the dance is called the
rondalla* a native string instru$ent si$ilar to a guitar" #here are usually $o$ents of a Capella where no
$usical instru$ents are utili%ed and only the tapping of wooden sticks areheard as acco$pani$ent to the
singing" #he wooden stick sounds coincide with the choreography of the $ock ghts in the Sakuting
perfor$ance" 7ith upbeat and happy $usic* the audience cheers as perfor$ers tap their sticks and :u$p
around in groups and in circles"


Sakuting was originally perfor$ed by boys only* but it has evolved as a folk dance which both boys and
girls now perfor$" #his dance uses two striped ba$boo sticks about one and a half feet long and tapered
at the end* like a candle" 7earing traditional locano costu$es* perfor$ers of the Sakuting participate in
a playful folk dance where the two rival tea$s circle and clash the sticks in gentle i$itation of $artial arts
sparring" #hey tap the 9oor and each other;s sticks while using co$bat dance steps in a theatrical fashion
called the co$edia" #he dances co$bine $archingand s$all forward or sideways shu<e steps" #he dancers
circle around and interchange positions while other interpretations utili%e ballet!like $ove$ents"

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