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Philippine

Folk
Dances

Alvarez, Josua G.
IV-CAVITE

LUZON
Abaruray

"Abaruray" is a contraction of the words "Aba" and


"Ruray". "Aba!" is an exclamation which is equivalent to "Hey!",

"Hi!", or "Hail!" in English. "Ruray" is a nickname for Aurora.


This dance is known in the Philippines be several names, such
as "Hapayan", "Tagayan", "Pandango sa Baso", and "Abaroray".
In any social gathering in the remote "barrios" of the Philippines,
it is customary to offer wine to the visitors. The offering is
usually made by a young lady. She goes around with a glass and a
bottle of native wine offering a drink to the visitors. This wine
offering is a signal for the beginning of folk dancing and singing.
The musicians play the introduction of "Abaruray" music. The girl
who is offering the wine picks out a young man from among the
guests
and offers him a drink. This is her way of hinting at her desire
to dance with him. The young has to accept it or he commits a
breach
of etiquette and the girl is offended. His acceptance of the drink
will signify that he will dance with the girl. He then stands and
they begin dancing, with the girl leading him on. The girl dances

with the glass of wine on her head from which the young man
drinks.
Her dancing skill is shown in her ability to keep the glass on her
head and in not spilling a drop of the wine. The audience sing and
clap their hands in time with the music. The description given
below
is the "Abaruray" from Tayabas.

Chotis
Chotis (or Shotis) was one of the
ballroom dances introduced by
early European settlers. This dance,
from Camarines Sur, has been
adapted by the Bicolano people and
is characterized by a brush-stephop movement.

VISAYAS

Kuratsa

This is a

originated
Bohol,

dance that

from
Visayas

but it is also popular at Ilokano


festivals.
This dance commands a sense of
improvisation which mimics a young
playful couples attempt to get each
others attention. It is performed in a
moderate waltz style.

MINDANAO
Pangalay

A pangalay native to the Badjao,


sometimes known as the "Sea
Gypsies." Pangalay is a dance that
emphasizes the agility of the upper
body. The rhythmic bounce of the
shoulder with simultaneous alternating
waving of arms are the basic movement
of this dance. The pangalay is
commonly performed at weddings and
other social gatherings.

Singkil
Sinkil dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the
Muslim princess. Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the
Singkil recounts the epic legend of the "Darangan" of the Maranao people
of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the
fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a
forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies or nymph of
the forest.
The rhythmic clapping of criss-crossed bamboo poles represent the trees
that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally
accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince.
Dancers wearing solemn faces and maintaining a dignified pose being
dancing at a slow pace which soon progresses to a faster tempo skillfully
manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be
auspicious. The dancers weave expertly through criss-crossed bamboos.

When performed by ladies of the royalty of Lanao, the dancer is usually


accompanied by a waiting lady, who holds a beautifully decorated
umbrella over the Princess' head wherever she goes. Royal princesses to
this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult
and noble dance.