Cariñosa Dance

Philippine folk dance is rich with history and tradition. Their dances show the way of life of the Filipino through the years. One of those folk dances that show one of the traits of the Filipinos is the Cariñosa dance.


Cariñosa folk dance is a folk dance that shows the courtship stage of a couple. Cariñosa means loving person or affectionate. Most people want their partner to have this kind of characteristic.

Cariñosa is a dance in honor of Maria Clara; Maria Clara is the lead character in Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal’s famous novel. Maria Clara became a model for young Filipina because of her lady-like attitude.

Cariñosa folk dance is ¾ rhythms that have a similarity with waltz dance. The orchestra officiated the music is composed of strings, mandolins, banjos and drums.


Cariñosa history started 16th century, it is a dance influenced by the Spanish colonization, the people of Panay are the first one who have known the Cariñosa folk dance then it was spread to other province like Bicol and they made their own version.

There is a misconception that Cariñosa folk dance became the Philippines National Dance during Marcos regime and it is being taught in the school but according to the Philippine government Tinikling stays as the Philippines National Dance up to present times.


The Cariñosa folk dance is composed of male and female dancers dress in a traditional costume. Before the female dancer wears a Maria Clara costume but in the present time the dancers wear traditional Philippine dress, the female dancers wear traditional Philippine dresses while the male dancers wears white shirt and trousers.

The dancers used fan or handkerchief as their props. The female dancers use the fan to hide their face while dancing and they move it with the rhythm of the music. When using handkerchief, the female and male dancers hold the corners of the handkerchief. They used it as their shield to each other and they peek on each side as the music play. Basically, the dance shows the courtship of the couple.


Cariñosa folk dance is being taught in the school and included in every Philippine history discussion. Until now Cariñosa is being honored as the Philippine National Dance by others contrary to the proclamation of the Philippine government.

Cariñosa folk dance is being dance every Filipino programs and Filipinos around the world also dance it

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