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Bendian Festival in Benguet, Mountain

Also popularly called Bendian, this circle dance of the Benguet of Mountain Province is
restaged, keeping true to the dance's context and meaning. Long known as a dance to
celebrate the arrival of successful headhunters, the Bendayan has taken a new face. It is
part of every Benguet festivity with the circles slowly giving way to other formations and
interpretations. Bendian is performed for many reasons. Some of which are to heal a
prolong illness; relieve natural calamities such as famine and drought, and to celebrate a
bountiful harvest. However, the biggest Bendian is to celebrate a victory in war and a
successful headhunt.

The arrival of succesful head


takers, called "ulul" is met with
great festivities by the entire
village. The Bendian festival
celebrated by the Benguet,
Ibaloy, and Kankanay is always
big and extraordinary. It
involves the village circling and
dancing around the ulul leader
while executing various arm
movements. Lasting until the
wee hours of the night, the
bedian ritual ends on the sound of the loudest oway or war cry. This version of Bendian
centers around the maiden's part of the circle.

Much awaited that day is the “owik”, a tradition of putting


the pigs in a fenced arena and having the men have fun
running after their designated catch. The pigs are then
lined up and simultaneously killed and slaughtered to feed
the people. With that done, the program was capped by a
beautiful rendition of the bendian dance. The locals in their
traditional garbs performed the dance in a huge double
layer while the gong and bongo beaters stayed in the middle. It is described to be a dance
of follow the leader in a way, where everybody has to do a step called for by the “crier”.
From a view above it was a sight to behold, the layers going in an opposite direction but
doing the same steps.
Source:http://twilightglo.multiply.com/photos/album/130?&show_interstitial=1&u=%2Fphoto
s%2Falbum#photo=1 http://www.hiyas.org/igorot.html
Kappa Malong-malong of Mindanao
It is also called Sambi sa Malong, is a dance that originates from the Maranao tribes
of Mindanao in the Philippines. The dance shows the many ways of wear-ing a ‘malong’, a
simple tubular yet highly-functional piece of cloth.

The malong is a traditional “tube skirt” made of


hand-woven (and sometimes machine-made) multi-
colored cotton cloth, bearing a variety of geometric or
‘okir’ designs – a term used for geometric and flowing de-
signs. The malong is akin to the ‘sarong’ worn by peo-
ples of Malaysia, Brunei Darrusalam and Indonesia.
The malong is traditionally used as a garment by
numerous other tribes in the Southern Philippines and the
smaller Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines.
The traditional women’s version shows this cloth of
countless colorful designs; used mostly as a skirt, woven
in many different ways, and depending on the purpose of
the wearer. Other ways women wear the malong is as a
shawl, a mantle, or a head-piece.
The malong can function as a skirt for both men and
women; as a dress, a blanket, a sun-shade, a bed sheet,
a “dressing room”, a hammock, a prayer mat, and just
about any other purpose depending on how creative its
user is. For example, a newborn is wrapped in a malong,
and, as the child grows older, this piece of cloth becomes
a part of daily life. In death, the lifeless body is once again
wrapped in a malong.

Among traditional tribal peoples of Mindanao,


the ma-long is used in everyday life. Even in areas
where people wear Western-style clothing during the
day, the malongis used for leisure time as also for
sleepwear. The ma-long worn during very big festivals.
They wear this to show respect.
Hand-woven malongs are made by Maranao,
Maguin-danao and T’boli weavers using a backstrap
loom. The pattern or style of the malongs they produce
indicate their tribal origin, such as the Maranao
‘malonglandap’. Very rare malong designs and styles
indicate the village in which the malong was made like
the extremely intri-cate ‘malong rawatan’ made only by
a handful of Mara-nao weavers in Lanao del Sur, a
province in Mindanao. Handwoven malongs, which are
more costly than those made by machines, are likely to
be used only at social functions to display the social
and economic status of the wearer.
Mindanao is home to the largest cultural minority in the Philippines who were
brought by Javanese migrants and Middle Eastern traders. Islam is the religion of
approximately 20-percent of the Philippine population most of them residing in this second
biggest island in the archipelago. They are known for their mysticism, royalty, and beauty
and evidenced in their music forms and dances. Accompanied by the agong and kulintang,
Filipino Muslim dances such as the Kappa Malong-malong are marked by intricate hand
and arm move-ment along with shimmering costumes.
The Kuratsa
The Kuratsa is highly favored by the Visayan people especially the Waray people of
the Eastern Visayan region in the Philippines. Strictly speaking, The Kuratsa must be done
the amenudo-way; that is, only one couple dances it at a time. Believed to be a Mexican
import (supposedly from La Cucaracha dance typical to Monterrey region of Mexico)- the
Kuratsa is however, very different in the manner of execution to the Mexican counterpart.
Even the "basic" Kuratsa music is not based on Mexican or even Spanish melodies but just
bolero-inspired lilting music. A very interesting dance caught up the eyes of the beholder.

Philippine dance researchers, however,


point either to the Kigal and the Bikal as the
'ascendant' of the Kuratsa. The Kigal (spelled
"Quigal" in early Spanish writings on Samar
culture and lifeways) is a sort battle-of-sexes
couple dance that imitate mating birds. The
Kigal is in fact called by another name: Binanug
or Kiglun (Kigalun?) according to a 17th century
Samarnon dictionary by Jesuit missionary to
Samar, Fr. Alcazar. It is interesting that banug is
the Waray word for the 'hawk'.

The Kuratsa is believed to be a Mexican


import (supposedly from La Cucaracha dance
typical to Monterrey region of Mexico) - the
Kuratsa is however, very different in the manner
of execution than the Mexican counterpart. Even
the "basic" Kuratsa music is not based on
Mexican or even Spanish melodies.

Philippine dance researchers, however,


point either to the "Kigal" and the "Bikal" as the
'ascendant' of the Kuratsa. The Kigal (spelled
"Quigal" in early Spanish writings on Samar culture and lifeways) is a sort battle-of-sexes
couple dance that imitate mating birds. The Kigal is in fact called by another name: Binanug
or Kiglun (Kigalun?) that's according to a 17th century Samarnon dictionary by Jesuit
missionary to Samar, Fr. Alcazar. It is interesting that Banug uis the Waray word for the
hawk.
The Bikal is rather believed to be the fore runner of the Waray Balitaw because of
the strict emphasis on "joust" of impromptu songs interspersed with dancing. The bikal is
survived by the Ismaylingay and many versions of this art is preserved by aging
"magsiriday" in Samar and to a lesser extent Leyte.

The Kigal dance step called 'sabay' is in fact very similar to the Kuratsa dance step
called 'dagit' or when more daring the 'sagparak'. Dagit means swoop while sagparak is
descriptive of a heated 'bulang' (cockfight). The block and chase portion of the Kuratsa
(called 'palanat') is never seen in the Mexican social dance La Cucaracha but is very
common among Samar 'amenudo' (or couple dances) like the Ismaylingay, Amoracion,
Alimukon, Kuradang and Pantomina.

Popular versions of this dance exist in Samar can be classified as the Kuratsa Menor
(the usual favorite) and the many versions of the daring Kuratsa Mayor. New genres of
Kuratsa evolved as a result of necessity, like-as the name implies- Kuratsa kanan Kadam-
an and a very funny Kuratsa nga Pinayungan appropriate for rainy days.
DIFFERENT
FOLK DANCES
IN THE
PHILIPPINES
Submitted by:

Riza M. De Castro

Saint Martha 12 HUMSS