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BULSICO, Lei Anne S.

1. What is the origin of the Philippine folk dances?

The history of Philippine folk dancing incorporates influences from immigrants and conquerors
while at the same time maintaining distinctly Filipino roots. Philippine folk dancing is a true reflection
of daily life in past centuries while enchanting modern audiences at the same time. Before the
recorded history of the Philippines, before the Spanish conquistadors conquered and Christianized
the populace, from the earliest occupation of this volcanic archipelago, the people danced. They
danced to appease the gods, to curry favor from powerful spirits, to celebrate a hunt or harvest, to
mimic the exotic life forms around them. They danced their stories and their shamanic rituals, their
rites of passage and their remembered legends and history.

2. Definition of Philippine folk dances

Philippine folk dances consist of five major suites, namely Cordillera, Maria Clara, Muslim,
Lumad, and Rural. Each of the suites involves a repertoire of folk dances that hail from different
locations in the country. It is the oldest form of dance and the earliest form of communication. This is
the traditional of a given country which evolved naturally and spontaneously with everyday activities.

3. Classifications of Philippine folk dances

Cordillera Dances

The mountainous Central Cordillera region of Northern Luzon is also known by the term "Philippine
Skyland." Inhabiting this rugged terrain are six ethno-linguistic tribes known as the Ibaloy, Kankanay,
Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontoc.

Spanish Influenced Dances

A dance originating from Zamboanga, displays steps with very strong Castillian influence, but using
Philippine bamboo castanets held loosely. The woman in Jota de Paragua waves a shawl called manton.
This is one of the most sophisticated courtship and flirtation dances of theSpanish era.Muslim Dances

Tribal Dances

Filipino Tribal Dance includes the repertory of sacred and secular traditional dances of the
Philippines, notable for its combination of grace and vigor. In the southern regions, the tribes of
Mindanao create dances that directly reflect their rich natural environment. Dancers imitate the
graceful movements of birds, fish and boats, celebrate fertility in vigorous movements to the
accompaniment of resonant drumming or gongs, and welcome visitors in delicate swaying dances
using fans and scarves.

Rural Dances

There are dances which have managed to steer clear of European influences and to this day without
visible foreign characteristics. Such as dance like the “Maglalatik” a tagalong war dance. The subject
matter of this dance is open combat between Christian and Muslim soldier over “Latik” or coconut
residue. What is unique is that no sword or dummy are used. Instead each combatant has eight
coconut shells tied to his body on the chest, behind the shoulders, above the knees, and on the hips.