Monday, January 29, 2007

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sinulog Festival-Cebu City


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The Sinulog is a dance ritual in honor of Santo Nino. It is held every year in Cebu City on the third Sunday of January.

This Sinulog dance which is the traditional and ritual dance in honor of Santo Nino is distinguished from the Ati-atihan from Panay Island.

Accompanied by the sound of the drums the sequences include the
all the time moving two steps forward followed by one step backward. Though the dance is already very old, the parade that characterized the festival was started onl in 1980.

Contrary to the belief of some, Sinulog was already danced by the locals in honor of their wooden statues in the period before the Cebuanos were baptized. Later on, after the image of the famous Santo NiƱo was brought to Cebu and the Catholic faith was established in the region, the dance was made a part of the early fiesta in honor of the Santo Nino.

While dancing, people are shouting petitions and thanksgivings to the Santo Nino. Shouting is necessary because the pilgrims have to be sure that they will be heard by the Santo Nino.
"Pit Senor! Senor Santo Nino."


Monday, January 22, 2007



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SINULOG FESTIVAL is to Cebu City while the Ati-Atihan is a festival in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus in Kalibo, Aklan also celebrated in the third week of January. The dancing however is done on the rhythms of the drums that makes this festival comparable with carnival in Rio in Brazil.

A parade is participated by celebrants who paint their faces in many different ways and who are dressed in the most exceptional costumes.

The practise of painting the faces was long observed before the
Spaniards came. It symbolized the friendship between the light-skinned immigrants from the island of Borneo (Kalimantan) in Indonesia and the Atis, the local people of Panay. The Ati (negritos), a small and dark (black) kinky-haired people, sold them a small piece of land and allowed them to settle down in the lowlands. The Atis themselves, lived more upland in the mountains.

One time the Ati people was in need of food because of a bad harvest in their homelands. They came down to the lowlands of the Maraynon and asked them food. Every year since then, the Atis came down to the lowland inhabitants to ask for some food. They danced and sang in gratitude for the help.


Saturday, January 20, 2007




The various dances among the Manobo entertain, educate, and propitiate the gods. Among the Agusanon are the sinundo/singangga, dance ritual to ward off epidemic busau; pangaliyag, courtship dance; pangasawa, marriage ritual; kinugsik-kugsik, squirrel dance. Those witnessed and described by Garvan (1931) in 1910 are the bathing dance, honey gathering dance, hair plucking dance, sexual dance, and dagger or sword dance.

The Agusanon and Umayamnon saet, Cotabato saut, and Western Bukidnon kedsaut is a war dance of one or two warriors, each holding either a war bolo or a spear with a bell attached to it, and a shield. In the kedsaut, the two dancers begin from opposite sides of the dance area, brandishing their shields and shaking their spears. First, they dance sideways, then they imitate a hawk in flight before they finally engage in mock combat, each hitting the other's shield with his spear and crashing shield against shield, "navel to navel" (Plenda 1989:139). Rhythmic music is provided by the bells attached to their spears.

An Arumanen Manobo verson of the war dance is the mangmangayan, with two bagani each brandishing a sundang (bolo) and a kampilan (sword). Every once in a while, in the course of the dance, they adjust their tangkulo (headgear). The Pulangi Manobo's version of the mangmangayan ends with a peace pact and a celebration dance which the women join. The datu/bai, acting as arbiter, places a kerchief on the ground and all the warriors place their weapons on it to signify peace and end of the hostilities.

Other Arumanen Manobo dances are the paningara (bee hunt), pegako (courtship dance), and pendaraka (woman's response to the courtship). The kinudlat ng sayao demonstrates the performer's ability to touch his shoulders with his toes. The penarangas-tangas and manmanaol are both hawk dances, which a bagani and a woman perform. In the manmanaol, the hawk catches its prey, represented by a kerchief on the floor.

The binanog (hawk dance) mimics a hawk sweeping down on its prey. The Cotabato Manobo version has a female dancer using a kerchief, which she drops and then picks up while using her hands and arms to imitate the hawk. The steps are simple hop-steps and slide-steps. She wears earrings that reach down to the shoulders and anklets. The beat is a slow 1-2-3-4. Among the Pulangi Manobo, the binanog is a component of the courtship dance. Two other Manobo dances imitating bird movements are the kakayamatan and the bubudsil (hornbill). These dances may be accompanied by gongs or zithers.

A vigorous courtship dance is the pig-agawan, which involves two women vying for the attention of one man. A bai and a datu try to settle the dispute between the two women. A slow walking dance exclusively for females of marriageable age is the takumbo, which signifies their availability for marriage. It is named after the musical instrument that accompanies their movements. Another woman's dance, also called takumbo, is performed by one woman who simultaneously dances and plucks the takumbo. She rests the takumbo on her waist while she holds it in her left hand.

In Kidapawan, Cotabato, girls dance around the mortar to the beat of their pestles as they pound rice. During harvest celebrations, the Tigwahanon have an occupational dance called inamong, in which men and women execute monkeylike steps as they step on rice stalks to separate the chaff from the grain. The bakbak is a children's comical dance; they hop and make noises by slapping their bodies while maintaining a squatting position throughout.

The agpanikop (fish hunt dance) of the Manobo of Matalam, north Cotabato, portrays a boy, torch and spear in hand, looking for edible frogs. A second boy joins him in the hunt after the initial mutual wariness is dispelled. The second boy is wounded and writhes in pain, the first boy fetches the womenfolk and the baylan. The dance turns into a healing dance ritual and the boy, fully recovered, joins the women and baylan in a thanksgiving dance.

The pangayam is a reenactment of a hunter in pursuit of a wild boar. He carries his lance and bolo and is accompanied by his dog, represented by a bottle to which a strip of red cloth is tied.

In the Umayamnon inanak-anak/bata-bata, a girl mimes a woman's chores. She pretends to take care of a baby, putting it to sleep, trying to stop its carrying, feeding it with milk. She goes to the fields to dig for camote, then washes and makes herself beautiful before a stream.

The Tigwahanon bangkakaw is a festival dance celebrating a war victory or a bountiful catch of fish from the river. The centerpiece is the bangkakaw (log), which the women beat with the ando (pestles) and the men, with lampus (rods) while doing some stunts over and under it. They provide the accompaniment for the dancing fisherfolk, who carry their catch in their bubo (fish traps) and liag (large basket with a headsling).

A thanksgiving ritual in Magpet, North Cotabato, is the binadbad, which begins with the men facing heavenwards as they address the gods. Atop (coconut palms) are suspended at the center of the dance area. Then women join the dance, their attention on the atop, which they gather one by one. They then vary their formations, each holding an atop. Another woman joins them, gathers all the atop from them, and returns these to the center.

Among the western Bukidnon Manobo, the dance of the healing ritual is the legudas. Women holding hands form a circle around the baylan, who chants to the busaw, requesting it to return to the deity that has sent it to cause the illness. The men then stand between the women in the circle. The women wear the saya (wraparound skirt), sinu-laman (embroidered blouse), embroidered belt, and tikes (knee band) with the seriyew (pewter bells). The rhythmic music is provided by the seriyew.

The haklaran, which has been observed among the Agusanon, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon, is a healing ritual performed by a male and female baylan. A prelude to this is the ritual dressing of the male baylan in woman's skirt, usually a malong, for it is improper for a man to perform the haklaran in a man's attire. This dance is performed around the sankaw, an altar bearing the sacrificial offering of a pig's head.

The suyad-buya is the healing ritual dance in Magpet, North Cotabato. It dramatizes the process by which the baylan heals a sick boy as his mother and a group of young women watch. The women prepare the paraphernalia by bringing in a table on which they set four coconut shells containing burning incense. They also carry red ribbons meant to drive the evil spirits away. As they dance in the background, the baylan enters, dances around the patient and waves a white chicken overhead. The shaman takes the chicken to the table, cuts its neck, and smears the patient's forehead with its blood. The boy regains his health and dances joyfully with the women and his mother.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007



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Every 9th of January of the year and on Good Friday, a large procession takes
place through the streets of Quiapo, a small part of metro Manila. The procession which
dates back from the 17th centuryis joined by thousands of with the life-sized, black wooden statue of Jesus (of Nazarene). These men walk barefoot as a sign of humility.
The men yell "Viva Senor" to the Statue brought to Manila in 1606. People believe that a miracle can happen after touching it.

All participants in the procession hope that they will have the opportunity to touch the wooden statue. They hope that this will protect them from harm and ensure health in the future. Some of them follow the statue during the procession because they believe it is an atonement of their sins or hope for some miracle.