Tinikling is a pre-Spanish dance from Leyte that involves two people crushing, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance.
Maglalatik is an autochthonous dance from Binan, Laguna in which the dancers – all male – execute the dance by hitting one coconut shell with the other. The shells are worn by the performers, all in time to a fast rub-a-dub.
Itik-Itik is a mimetic folk dance in Surigao that imitates the motions of ducks among rice paddies and swamplands, such as wading, flying, and short, jerky steps.
Sayaw sa Bangko is a dance from Lingayen and Pangasinan that is performed on top of narrow benches. The dancers need to have good balance to execute this dance. “Philippine Folk Dances” “Binasuan” is a Filipino folk dance from Pangasinan in which the performer holds full wine glasses in each hand while executing balancing fast ones.
Pandanggo sa Ilaw is a popular dance of grace and balance from Lubang Island, Mindoro that requires skill in balancing three lighted oil lamps or tinghoy, one on the head and at the palm of each hand.
Sayaw sa salakot is a folk dance from Luzon that is carried out in a mode in which the dancers make use of head gears (salakot).
Singkil is a celebrated dance of the Maranao people of Lake Lanao, traditionally performed by single women to attract the attention of potential suitors. Dancers perform a series of graceful motions as they step in and out from between bamboo poles which are rhythmically clapped together. Fans and scarves are often used to enhance the dancers’ motions.
La Jota Manilena is a dance named after the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, where an adaptation of Castilian Jota floats with the clacking of bamboo bones played by the dancers themselves. The costume and the graceful motions of the performers are noticeably inspired by Spanish culture.
Subli is a dance devotion performed in honor of the Mahal na Poong Santa Cruz, a large cross of anubing wood with the face of the sun in silver at the center.
Kuratsa is a folk dance of Waray that portrays a young playful couple’s attempt to get each other’s attention. It is performed in a moderate walking style.
Carinosa is a Filipino dance of Latino origin from the Maria Clara suite of Philippine folk dances, where the fan or handkerchief plays an instrumental role as it places the couple in a romantic scenario.
Pantomina is a courting dance originated from Sorsogon, copying the wooing and lovemaking of doves that are then shown during the dance, where men try to please the women.
Sakuting is a dance from the state of Abra. It was originally an all-male dance presentation showing a mock battle between Ilocano Christians and non-Christians utilizing sticks. The dance is traditionally performed during Christmas at the town square or throughout the town, from one house to another.
Banga Dance is a modern-day dance performance of Kalinga of the Mountain Province in the Philippines. This dance illustrates the dreamy grace of a tribe otherwise known as ferocious warriors.
Kappa Malong-Malong is a Muslim-influenced dance. The malong is a tubular garment, and the dance basically shows the many ways it can be worn. There are men’s and women’s versions of the dance since they wear malongs in different ways.
Habanera Botolena is a strongly flamenco-influenced dance that comes from Botolan, Zambales. It combines Filipino and Spanish steps and is a popular dance at weddings. It is also considered a courtship dance in some situations.
Pasigin is a folk dance interpreting the labor in the life of the fishermen in the river called Pasig, attesting the native ways of catching fish.
Pangalay is the traditional “fingernail” dance of the Tausug people of the Sulu Archipelago that requires the dancer’s skill and flexibility of the shoulders, elbows, and wrists– movements that strongly resemble those of “kontaw silat.”
Salidsid is the Kalinga courtship dance, performed by a male and female. The dance starts when each of the dancers is given a piece of fabric called ayob or allap. The male simulates a cock trying to attract the attention of a hen while the female imitates the movements of a hen being circled by a cock.
Uyaoy is an Ifugao wedding festival dance accompanied by tam-tams and is performed by the rich to achieve the second level of the affluent class. Wealthy people who have performed this dance are entitled to the use of tam-tams at their death.
Dugso is a ceremonial dance that is usually performed during important occasions like kaliga (banquets) or kaamulan (tribal gatherings) among the Manobo people in Bukidnon, Agusan, and Misamis Oriental.
Sayaw sa Cuyo is a mazurka danced by eight girls rocking small delicate handkerchiefs to emphasize bends and kinks. Small paper crowns make the dancers feel like young princesses. The dance originates from Cuyo, Palawan.
Pagapir is a dance from Lanao del Sur Province in Mindanao that is usually performed to start an important matter. Its dancers are usually from the royal court or high society group of Lanao Province. They use apir (or fan) to coordinate with their small steps called ‘kini-kini’, which symbolizes their good manners and outstanding family background.
Lumagen is another Kalinga tribal dance.
This is a traditional thanksgiving dance performed to celebrate a good crop and events such as the birth of the first-born kid, triumph in conflicts, and nuptials. Idudu Idudu is a tribal dance from the Abra state in Cordillera. This dance depicts a day in the household life of the Itneg or Tinguian folk. It tells the narrative of a father ploughing the field as the mother cares for her kids. In time, the father and mother exchange responsibilities as the mother finishes planting and other jobs in the field, and the father tends to the children. Kini Kini Kini means the Royal Walk.
Maranao women performed this dance with scarves. The beauty of the scarves and the talent and grace with which it is displayed shows their elite societal upbringing. Asik Asik is a solo slave dance from Mindanao that is normally done before the performance of singkil. The umbrella-bearing attender performs this dance to win her sultan master’s favor. “Philippine Folk Dances.” Imunan is a courtship dance of Ilokano origin. A beauty enters for an afternoon promenade with her suitors. At the end of the dance, the lovely and captivating lady cannot choose from any of her suitors.
Balse, derived from the Spanish “valse” (walk-in), is a dance that was popular in Marikina, Rizal state, during the Spanish times. Balse was performed after the lutrina (a religious procession), and the music that accompanied the dancers was played by the musikong bungbong (musicians using instruments made of bamboo). Sapyata, this dance from Manibaug barrio, Porac, Pampanga, is usually presented by farmers during the planting season as an offering for a good crop. The dance is usually accompanied by a corrido, or musical narrative. Gaway gaway.
This dance originates from a small town of Leyte called Jaro that celebrates the big crop of the gaway–a plant of the taro family that is grown both for the vegetable and its roots. The female dancer holds a nigo (bilao in Tagalog) laden as she dances. “Philippine Folk Dances.” Lawiswis Kawayan is known as the Waray folk dance.
It is danced in the Visayas region by the Waray people. Through the years, Lawiswis Kawayan is not only danced by the Waray but also among the Filipinos who have lived in different parts of the country. It is danced during house blessings.
Kuradang is a lively festival dance performed during fiestas, weddings, baptismal parties, and other occasions that call for a celebration. It originated from Eastern Visayas, particularly in the northern part of the province of Eastern Samar.
Gayong-gayong is a playful Muslim dance that originated from the province of Aklan on the island of Panay in Capiz. In most rural areas that have get-togethers, they opt to use this dance which gives so much joy and pleasure – both to the dancers and the audience.
Kalapati is a lovely dance patterned after the characteristic motions of the kalapati or doves as they court–bowing, charging, and cooing. It depicts the typical traits of the Ilocanos (simplicity, naturalness, and shyness). It originated from Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.
Kasanduayan is a folk dance that came from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. Maranao women living near the shores of Lake Lanao walk nobly with their typical motions, most particularly their graceful sway. The girl wears a tight long-sleeved blouse in royal colors such as golden yellow, green, pink, violet, and velvet red.
Panderetas is also called “Panderetas de Amor”. Panderetas means “tambourines” in Spanish. This dance portrays a heavy Spanish influence. The dance is from Manila and has been included in their Maria Clara Suite.
Ragragsakan is an adaptation of a tradition in which Kalinga women gather and prepare for a budong or peace treaty. This dance portrays the walk of the hardworking Kalinga women, carrying water pots on their heads and wearing the colorful hand-woven “blankets of life” around their necks. Their walk imitates the ascent up the Rice Terraces in the Mountain Provinces of the Philippines.
Sapatya reveals hints of Spanish and indigenous Filipino. Sapatya originates in Pampanga, Luzon. The dance is presented to farmers as an offering for a good crop. The name Sapatya may have originated from the Spanish term, Zapateado.
Polka sa Plaza is a grand parade of beautiful ladies in their traditional Spanish gowns called Maria Clara and sunshades (umbrellas). With their partners, wearing their traditional Barongs, they gladly parade, starting from the church pace moving around the town.
Pandanggo Oasiwas literally means “Fandango with the Light” in the English language. This dance is from Lubang Island, Mindoro. The term “pandanggo,” which means “fandango” in Spanish, is a dance characterized by tagging time with the use of clap of bones, snapping of fingers, and stomping of feet in triple-time beat. Tausug dancers are trained by highly skilled dance instructors who strictly adhere to the traditional style of their dances.
The “Maglangka” (meaning “to dance”) rehearses young trainees in correct posturing, hand motions, and arrangements that are fundamental in learning more intricate Tausug dances like the Pangalay. “Binoyugan” is a dance originally from the Ilokano region of Pangasinan. It features women balancing a banga, or clay pot, on their heads, which they use to bring water from the river or well, or to cook rice. The dance culminates with the women lying stomach down on stage and rolling from side to side while balancing the pot.
Philippine Folk Dances Alcamfor derives its name from the plant of the same name, which has a curious hot and aromatic odor. Female dancers hold handkerchiefs scented with “alcamfor” (naphthalene balls), believed to induce romance. The dance originated from Leyte. “B’laan” is a courtship dance of Davao del Sur, imitating forest birds during the mating season. All movements of the “Blit-B’laan” are done with slightly bent knees.
“Pasikat na Baso” (Pangapisan, Pangasinan) means “to show off,” and “baso” means drinking glass. Dancers display good balance, graceful movements, and unusual skill on top of a bench, using four glasses half full of water or wine. “Tiklos” is a native provincial dance of Leyte, also called “pintakasi,” which is the Waray equivalent of “bayanihan.” Groups of people work for someone without expecting anything in return, cooperating for the social and economic advancement of their community.
Tinolabong is a dance of the mountain people of Panilan and Loctugan, Capiz. This dance is named after a bird called “tolabong” in Capiz. Carabaos, like the birds, peck at ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and other insects, and the dance imitates the movements of the birds. The female dancer wears a red or white skirt and a white loose blouse with long sleeves and a close neck like a chambra. The male dancer wears red or white pants and a white “camisa de chino,” both with bare feet.
“Polka Sa Nayon” comes from the state of Batangas in the Tagalog Region of the Philippine Islands. In the old days, it was very popular and was usually danced at all the big social events and town fiestas.”