Every country has their traditional dances; each dance has its own meaning and its own representation. In the Philippines, they have their own traditional dances and each dance has its own stories and meaning.
THE ORIGIN OF PHILIPPINE FOLK DANCE
Have you seen the movie “Honey”? There is a part of the movie where the lead character Honey Daniels is thinking of new dance steps for the music video. She then saw kids playing jumping rope and boys playing basketball and that’s when she got the idea to choreograph the dance steps with the movements of jumping rope and basketball. It is same story with the Philippines’ ancestors, their dance steps are inspired by their everyday lives. The steps of their dances are usually the same as what they usually doing and some dance steps are inspired by their surroundings.
Those dances are being presented whenever they perform a ritual, welcoming guests or saying prayers to their gods.
When other nationalities came to the Philippines like the Spanish, Americans, Japanese and the Chinese they all leave their share of influences and one of those are dances. But from all of those nationalities, Spanish influence has the biggest impact in terms of dances. Some Philippine Folk Dance are taught and inspired by the Spanish and up until now those dances are still being presented in every cultural program.
THE LUZVIMINDA DANCES
The Philippines is divided in 3 major regions Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao also known as LuzViMinda. Each region has its own traditions and beliefs. With its own ethnicity it means that each region has its own traditional dances.
Luzon is in the Northern part of the Philippines and the largest island of the Philippines. Their culture has a Hindu-Buddhist and Spanish influences and those influences also reflect on their dances. Luzon’s traditional dances include Idaw Dance, Banga Dance, Idudu Dance and Padanggo sa Ilaw.
The Vi in LuzViMinda, the Visayas area, the Visayas dance has a foreign influence in it and the rhythms of the dances are more upbeat. Their dances include Tinikling Dance, Maglalatik Dance and Sayaw sa Bangko.
Mindanao is in the Southern part of the Philippines and most of the people there are Muslims. Their dance has an Eastern and Arabian influence. Their dance costumes are more colorful compare to the dance costume of other regions. Mindanao dance includes Kini Kini Dance, Singkil Dance and Asik Dance.
Each dance represents the way of living of the people in each region. Each dance has its own purpose and meaning and each dance has its own significant in each region.
PHILIPPINE FOLK DANCE PRESENT SITUATION
Sadly, Philippine Folk Dance is not the most popular dance today in the Philippines because there are many emerging dances in the Philippines, dances that influenced by foreign countries. It is more upbeat and modernized. But there are institution that still promoting Philippine Folk Dance and encouraging people to appreciate the beauty of it.
There are still formal gatherings that showcasing Philippine Folk Dance and some people keep on finding ways to showcase the Philippines Folk Dance and today Philippine Folk Dance is included in the school curriculum to introduce it to the young generations.
One of the well-known traits of the Filipinos is their creativity and with that trait Filipinos come up with different ideas to showcase Philippine Folk Dance, one of them is to use Philippine Folk Dance on their exercise routines. They call it Yeba. Yeba is a dance exercise that uses steps in Folk Dances with upbeat music. In this way people will be aware of the Philippines traditional dances and getting fit at the same time. Patriotism and being healthy roll into one.
Looks like modernity won’t be a hindrance for Philippine Folk Dance enrichment.