Created on March 22, 2012, this blog is dedicated to the rich and diverse Philippine cultures and it's people. You will find here pictures of the indigenous, music, dances, baybayin art, places in the Philippines, tattoo's, animistic beliefs, myths and legends, deities, food, martial arts, and everything that makes us Filipino, as well as our fellow Pin@y's from all over the world.
The Itik-Itik dance is popular among the Visayans of the province of Surigao del Norte. It has many variations of steps from which the dancers choose and combine. Its steps are similar to the movements of a duck (itik, in Filipino), as it walks with short, choppy steps and splashes water on its back while attracting its mate. It is used in folk dances in different parts of the Philippines.
The dance is believed to have originated from the dance Sibay danced to the Dejado music. The Sibay is a bird dance that came from neighboring Visayan Islands. Philippine dance authority Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro identified that Visayan Island to be Samar. True enough, since a 1668 book written by Fr. Ignacio Alzina (a Jesuit missionary to Samar) described a ‘bird imitating dance’ popular in Samar then, the Sabay. According to Fr. Alcina the dance imitates flying birds. An illustration in that same book had a caption: “su danza para hombre y mujer” (dance for man and woman); very appropriate for the characteristic Waray amenudo dances.
The present form of the Itik-itik is from Carmen, Lanuza, Cantillan, and Carrascal towns of the present-day Surigao del Norte province in the Caraga Region. A tale says that a lady named Kanang came up with the popular version. Dancing in one baptismal party, Kanang grew so spirited that when ducks from nearby pond caught her eye, she imitated their movements. The spectators found her dance so interesting that they themselves imitated her. The rest is history.
Despite the popularity of the Itik-itik Surigaonon, there are also other versions of the dance found mainly in Visayas. One version from Samar is danced to the same music. Two other versions came from Sibonga, Cebu, and Tibiao, Antique.
Ethnic groups from the mountain provinces of Luzon preserve their identity, customs and lore. Their dances celebrate important events in life such as birth, wedding, victory in war and thanksgiving. A Kalinga wedding dance is an important celebration. The bridegroom offers the bride the protection and comfort of his blanket. He simulates the movements of a rooster at love play, aspiring to attract and seize his love. The bride’s friends are ready to help prepare the bride by offering “bangas” (earthen pots) filled with fresh water from the mountain spring.
YOU HAVE TO BALANCE HUGE CLAY POTS ON YOUR HEAD WHILE BOUNCING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND DANCING LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE A FRIGGIN PILE OF CLAY POTS ON YOUR FRIGGIN HEAD
YOU DON’T GET SHIT EXCEPT A LITTLE CIRCLE OF CLOTH ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD TO KEEP THE STUFF BALANCED
THAT SHIT AIN’T ATTACHED
AND EVEN IF IT WERE, THAT IS SOME HEAVY SHIT ON YOUR HEAD
IT AIN’T CARDBOARD, IT AIN’T PLASTIC, IT’S CLAY
TINIKLING IS EVERYONE’S FAVORITE FUCKING DEATH DANCE
‘CAUSE BASICALLY YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN TIME
OR ELSE THOSE FUCKING BAMBOO STICKS? THEY WILL CRUSH YOUR FUCKING ANKLES
YOU HAVE TO STEP BETWEEN THEM WHILE TWO PEOPLE BANG THEM TOGETHER
AND GOD HELP YOU IF YOU STEP WRONG BECAUSE THAT SHIT HURTS LIKE A BITCH
AND WILL BREAK YOUR FUCKING ANKLES
MAGLALATIK IS SO GHETTO
YOU GOTTA SMACK EVERY SINGLE COCONUT SHELL WITH THE COCONUT SHELLS ON YOUR HANDS
AND DO IT AS FAST AS FUCKING POSSIBLE
THINK OF THOSE LITTLE KID HAND GAMES YOU PLAY
EXCEPT THIRTY TIMES FASTER
IN THE SPAN OF TWO SECONDS YOU GOTTA HIT THEM ALL LIKE DEMENTED WHACK-A-MOLE
ALL OVER YOUR BODY
IS THE THREE WAY LOVE CHILD OF THE TINIKLING, SOME KINDA FANDANCE, AND THE RAMAYANA
AT LEAST THE TINIKLING HAS THE DECENCY TO HAVE AN ACTUAL BEAT
THIS SHIT IS PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE
AND THE LADY WHO DANCES IT DOESN’T EVEN LOOK DOWN
SHE JUST TWIRLS HER FANS LIKE A PROPER LADY WHILE HER ANKLES COULD GET CRUSHED BY A FUCKING FOUR WAY BAMBOO DEATH TRAP
AND THE DUDE SWINGS A FUCKING SWORD WHILE ALSO STEPPING OVER A FOUR WAY DEATH TRAP
WE LEARNED ALL THIS SHIT AT SCHOOL
WE LEARN TO BE BADASSES
That beautiful and accurate commentary.That is the only reason why I’m reblogging and posting this again on here. Just for that. Because as funny as it is, that is pretty much a rundown of these dances.
Singkíl (or Sayaw sa Kasingkil) is a famous dance of the Maranao people of Lake Lanao, which was popularized by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.
The Singkíl originated from the Maranao people who inhabit the shores of Lake Lanao. It is derived from a story in the Darangen, the Maranao interpretation of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. The name of the dance itself means “to entangle the feet with disturbing objects such as vines or anything in your path”. It is a popular dance performed during celebrations and other festive entertainment. Originally only women, particularly royalty, danced the Singkíl, which serves as either a conscious or unconscious advertisement to potential suitors.
The lead dancer, in the role of Putri Gandingan (the Darangen name for Sita), graciously step in and out of closing bamboos poles arranged in either a parallel, rectangular, or criss-cross fashion while manipulating either apir (fans), mosala (scarves), or even just their bare hands. A kulintang and agung ensemble always accompanies the dance.
While often erroneously referred to by non-Maranaos as a “Muslim dance”, the Singkíl is in fact secular in nature, performed by the Ummah communities of the Maranao and Maguindanao. Initially, the dance was performed with just one pair of bamboo poles, eventually adopting the use of two criss-crossing pairs.
Tinikling ~ The National Dance of the Philippines Traditional Dances from the Philippines
This is the most popular and best known of the Philippine dances and honored as the Philippine national dance. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird’s legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles. Tinikling means “bamboo dance” in English.
Considered as one of the oldest dances from the Philippines, this dance was originated in the islands of Leyte in the Visayan Islands. People of Leyte describe the tikling bird as one of the most unique in its movements - walking around and between the tree branches and some grass stems. This bird was named “tikling” from which the Tinikling dance got its name. Because of the creativeness of the people, they imitate this bird by using bamboo poles.
Before this dance became what it is today, it went through an evolution of sorts. Different stories of the Tinikling’s origin have been passed down through oral histories and folklore.
One of the stories of the Tinikling’s origin may be made up, a fact, or part of a legend. The story says that the Tinikling started by the people who worked on the fields and paddies in the Philippines. When the Spaniards came from Spain and conquered the Philippines, the natives were sent to the haciendas. The natives lost control of their land because they were under the enconmienda system, an economic system that is largely based on rural and agricultural operations of large farmlands administered by caretakers for the King of Spain. The natives had to work all day to please the Spaniards. The natives could have completely lost control of their destiny under an exploitative system. The people of the Philippines worked in the fields and paddies for nearly four hundred years (1500-1898).
The people who worked too slowly would be sent out of the paddies for punishment. Their punishment was to stand between two bamboo poles cut from the grove. Sometimes, the sticks would have thorns sticking from their segments. The poles were then clapped to beat the native’s feet. By jumping when the bamboo sticks were apart, the natives tried to escape this cruel form of punishment. This type of punishment became a cycle - the more bruised the person’s feet were, the less work he would do, the less work he would do, the more punishment.
The matrix for the dance was probably laid out when the workers would return home with their feet bruised and bleeding from the punishment. It is said that from a distance, the people who were receiving the beating looked like the heron. And this is one of the stories about the Tinikling’s origin.
The punishment later became the dance it is today. When the Tinikling is danced, there is music of plucked strings in Iberian-influence staccato interspersing with tremolos and kept in time with double stepping sway balances. By practicing to escape the bamboo sticks during punishment, the Tinikling soon became a challenge, an art, and a dance.
The Tinikling is performed on certain Sundays in the Philippines. One can watch the nimble feet jump between the bamboo sticks hoping to escape its ferocious bite. But now that it is no longer a punishment, the sticks are smooth and the clapping is gentle. The Tinikling has truly become a dance.