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Rheza R.

Grade 12 - STEM

Dance - the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within
a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy,
or simply taking delight in the movement itself.

Nature of Philippine Folk dance

 OCCUPATIONAL DANCES - depict actions of a particular occupation. (e.g.
Planting, Punding)
 RELIGIOUS/CEREMONIAL - associated with religion, vows and ceremonies.
(e.g. Dugsu, Sua-sua)
 COMIC DANCES - depict funny movements for entertainment. (e.g. Kinotan,
 GAME DANCES - done with play elements. (e.g. Lubi-lubi, Pavo)
 WEDDING DANCES - performed during wedding feasts. (e.g. Panasahan)
 COURTSHIP DANCES - depict the art of courtship. (e.g. Hele-hele, Tadek,
 FESTIVAL DANCES - suitable for special occasions. (e.g. Pandanggo, Habanera)
 WAR DANCES - show imagery combat. (e.g. Sagayan, Palu-palo)

The history of Philippine folk dancing incorporates influences from immigrants and
conquerors while at the same time maintaining distinctly Filipino roots. Philippine folk
dancing is a true reflection of daily life in past centuries while enchanting modern
audiences at the same time.
There is no recorded "start" to Philippine folk dance - as long as there have been
people on the islands they have been dancing. In fact, their mythology is filled with many
different gods and goddesses that needed to be placated, implored, or thanked for various
natural events like rain and harvests. Many of these festivals still feature ancient folk
dances performed in costume of the tribal period.
It is impossible to know when exactly dancing became a part of life in the
Philippines. Many traditional dances were designed to thank the gods for natural and
agricultural events, such as rain and harvests. The dances were performed during festivals
and remembrances of past military victories, and still are performed at celebrations of
births and weddings in modern times. Many modern folk dance festivals still feature
ancient dances performed in costume of the tribal period of the Philippines.
Philippine folk dance mirrors the culture and tradition of the Filipinos. It has also
been a source of culture identify of the people. In this diversified country, there are also
great diversity of dances in different forms and dynamics that grow out of various times,
situation and experiences.

Classification of Philippines Folk Dances


1. NATIONAL DANCES found throughout the islands. (e.g. Rigodon, Carinosa,


Rigodon - Originated from Spain, this dance is commonly performed at formal affairs
like inaugural balls where prominent members of the government participate and enjoy.

Cariñosa - Cariñosa is a word that describes an affectionate, friendly and lovable

woman. This dance is performed in flirtatious manner with fans and handkerchiefs to
assist the dancers, hide-and-seek movements.

La Jota Manileña - It is a dance named after the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, where an
adaptation of Castilian Jota afloats with the clacking of bamboo castanets played by the dancers
themselves. The costume and the graceful movements of the performers are inspired by Spanish

2. LOCAL DANCES found in specific locality. (e.g. Tinikling-Leyte; Subli-


Tinikling - Tinnikling is considered the national folkdance with a pair of dancers

hopping between two bamboo poles held just above the ground and struck together in
time to music. Originated from Leyte Province, this dance is in fact a mimic movement
of tikling birds, hopping over trees, grass stems or over bamboo traps set by farmers. Dancers
perform this dance with remarkable grace and speed jumping between bamboo poles.
Subli-Batangas - This dance is one of the most popular dance in the Philippines and the
favorite in Batangas. This dance is simplyceremonial in nature and this is performed as homage
to the Holy Cross. The Holy Cross is known by the locals as the 'Mahal naPoong Santa Krus', and
the Holy Cross plays an important role in the development of the dance. In fact, the Holy
Cross is consideredat the center of the dance and without the Holy Cross the dance will not

List of popular Philippine Folk Dances from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

A. Philippine Folk Dances from Luzon

1. Banga
The Banga or pot dance is a contemporary performance of Kalinga of the Mountain
Province in the Philippines. This dance illustrates the languid grace of a tribe otherwise
known as fierce warriors.
2. Maglalatik
Maglalatik was originally performed in Biñan, Laguna as a mock-war dance that
demonstrates a fight between the Moros and the Christians over the prized latik or
coconut meat during the Spanish rule, this dance is also shown to pay tribute to the
town’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.
3. Pandanggo sa Ilaw
Pandanggo sa Ilaw - The word pandanggo comes from the Spanish dance
“fandango”characterized with lively steps and clapping while following a varying ¾ beat.
Pandanggo requires excellent balancing skill to maintain the stability of three tinggoy, or
oil lamps, placed on head and at the back of each hand. This famous dance of grace and
balance originated from Lubang Island, Mindoro.

Other dances in Luzon:

4. Balse
Balse was a popular dance in Marikina, Rizal during the Spanish times. Balse (valse
in Spanish) means waltz. This dance 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).
5. Jotabal
It is derived from the words Jota and valse. Jota is a popular dance introduced in the
Philippines by the Spaniards. Valse means waltz, a step or a dance in 3/4 time. This lively
festival dance originated in Camohaguin, Gumaca, Quezon (formerly Tayabas).
6. Makonggo
It is a comic dance from Santa Maria, Bulacan. Makonggo is derived from the
Tagalog word chonggo or unggo which means monkey. In this dance, the dancer imitates
a monkey - its characteristic movements, gestures, grimaces, etc. when it is in a happy,
playful or angry mood, while it is playing, eating, or resting. Only one man performs this
dance. Most of his movements are his own improvisations.

B. Philippine Folk Dances from Visayas

1. Tinikling
Tinikling means "bamboo dance" in English. 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 skilfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles.
2. Kuratsa
The Kuratsa is highly favored by the Waray people of the Eastern Visayan region in
the Philippines. Strictly speaking, The Kuratsa must be done the amenudo; that is, only
one couple dances it at a time. The Kuratsa is however, very different in the manner of
execution to the Mexican counterpart.

3. Mazurka Boholana
Mazurka Boholana is a Spanish-inspired ballroom dance from the Bohol province of
the Philippines. Although the mazurka is the Polish national dance, it was wildly popular
throughout Europe in the 19th century and even in colonized lands overseas.

Other dances in Visayas

4. Escotis
It is popularly known in Capiz and is performed in any social gathering of the
people inhabiting the mountains of Capiz in the barrios of Tinpas and Panitan and also in
the town of Panay.

C. Philippine Folk Dances from Mindanao

1. Itik-Itik
The Itik-Itik is a dance from Surigao del Norte, in which the movements of a duck
are imitated. An itik is a species of duck.
2. Singkil
The Maranao dance called Singkil is in the repertory of all Filipino dance troupes. In
1958 the Bayanihan Dance troupe started with a simple version and has since developed
it into a theatrical and stylized spectacle to the point of its becoming the troupe's
signature piece.
3. Kandingan
Performed at Tausog weddings in Jolo, the Kandingan consists of figures and steps
based on classical and traditional Indian dance forms. Dancers perform with slightly bent
knees turned outward, fingers held stiffly together with the thumb outward and apart.
The History of Street Dance


Hip-hop dance
Hip hop dancing is a combination of various moves performed in response to the
beats of a hip hop song most of which have evolved as part of the hip-hop culture. Some
of the popular styles that constitute hip hop dancing are locking, breaking, and popping.
While this type of dance is part of most modern establishments in the world, the initial
moves were created in the United States around the 1970s. It is commonplace today to
find hip hop dancers organized into crews which engage in competitions with others and
regularly hold street events. When hip hop is performed in a studio as opposed to a street
venue, the style is called jazz-funk which is properly choreographed. The spread of hip-
hop dance from the United States to other areas of the world happened in the years
between the 1990s and 2000s. Much of it was aided by television shows and movies
which promoted hip hop dance. Today, the internet has taken over the role of exposing
new and emerging styles between different places.

History of Hip Hop Dance

It was in the 1970s that this hip hop dancing trend first began to be noticed. In the
street corners of slightly impoverished African-American and Latino neighbourhoods,
kids found a way to break the gloom and the monotony by bringing out beat boxes and
staging dance showdowns, or battles, amongst each other. Any kind of moves were
appreciated, and unorthodox moves like spinning on the head and slamming against the
ground became synonymous with the music. As the popularity of the music went up, so
did the dance moves. These moves soon began to be called breaking, and the mainstream
producers of hip hop music also included these dance routines in their presentation. The
one person who can be given the most credit for developing hip hop music is Clive
Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, a Jamaican-American who started playing his
original beats at a lot of parties and gatherings at the Bronx.

Hip-hop as a cultural movement began in the Bronx in New York City in 1976,
mostly among the African-American and Latino population. During the early 1980s,
certain aspects of this culture – for example, the clothes, language and music – began
spreading into the mainstream population of the USA and, by the 1990s, hip-hop culture
had spread throughout the world. This was mainly due to more groups using videos to
promote their music, which were then viewed by a wider audience through music
channels. Some consider beat boxing to be the fifth element of the genre; others might
add fashion, slang, Double Dutching (an urban form of rope skipping, demonstrated in
Malcolm McLaren’s video to the song Double Dutch in the early 80s), or other elements
as important facets of hip hop. In mainstream spheres, the term “hip-hop” typically refers
only to the music produced by the MCing and DJing aspects of hip-hop culture.

The four main aspects, or elements, of hip-hop culture are:

 MCing (rapping)
 DJing
 Graffiti
 B-boying (known to the mainstream as break-dancing).

The various factors that influenced hip-hop culture are complex and numerous, and they
can provide valuable stimuli for your street dance choreography. Although the majority
of influences can be traced to African culture, the multicultural society of New York City
resulted in diverse musical influences finding their way into hip-hop music. One of the
many influences for both hip-hop culture and music was Jamaican dub music, which
arose as a sub-genre of reggae in the 1960s. Dub music saw producers such as King
Tubby creating instrumental versions of popular reggae records for the purpose of clubs
and sound systems; they had discovered that dancers often responded better to the
extended, isolated beats of the records, often featuring intense percussion and heavy
baselines. The DJs became cult figures, fighting duels that were based on turntable skills.

Break-dancing, also known as b-boying or b-girling by its practitioners and followers,
is a dynamic style of dance. The term “break-dancer” originates from the dancers at DJ
Kool Herc’s parties, who saved their best dance moves for the break section of the song.
Breaking is one of the major elements of hip-hop culture, commonly associated with, but
distinct from, popping, locking, hitting, ticking, boogaloo and other funk styles that
evolved independently during the late 20th century. Hip-hop dance comes from break-
dancing but does not consist wholly of break-dancing moves. Unlike most other forms of
dance, which are often at least moderately structured, hip-hop dance has few (if any)
limitations on positions or steps.

Top Rocking
Some of the earliest dancing by b-boy pioneers was done upright, and became known as
top rocking. The structure and form of top rocking has infused dance forms and
influences from Brooklyn up rocking, tap, Lindy hop, James Brown’s Good Foot, salsa,
Afro-Cuban and various African and Native American dances.

Footwork and Freezes

As a result of the highly competitive nature of these dances, it wasn’t long before top
rockers extended their repertoire to the ground with footwork and freezes. For instance,
one dancer might start top rocking, then drop to the ground, suddenly going into leg
shuffles, then a freeze, before coming to his feet. His opponent might have to do twice as
much floorwork or a better freeze to win the battle.
The fancy leg movements done on the ground, supported by the arms, were eventually
defined as footwork or floor rocking. In time, an impressive vocabulary of footwork,
ground moves and freezes developed, including the dancers’ most dynamic steps and
moves. Top rocking was not replaced with floor rocking; it was added to the dance and
both were key points in the dance’s execution. Many times one could tell who had flavor
and finesse just by their top rocking before the drop and floor rock. The transition
between top and floor rocking was also important and became known as the drop. Some
of these drops were called front swipes, back swipes, dips and corkscrews-–the smoother
the drop, the better.

The west coast was also engaged in a cultural movement throughout the 1970s. This
scene was nourished by soul, R&B and funk music at outdoor functions and discos. In
Los Angeles, Don Campbell – also known as Don Cambellock – originated the dance
form locking. Trying to imitate a dance called the funky chicken, Don Campbell added an
effect of locking the joints of his arms and body, which became known as his signature
dance. The lock is a specific movement that glues together combinations of steps and
moves, similar to a freeze or a sudden pause. Combinations can consist of a series of
points done by extending the arms and pointing in different directions. Dancers combined
fancy step patterns with the legs and moves done in various sequences.
Originally, popping was a term used to describe a sudden muscle contraction executed
with the triceps, forearms, neck, chest and legs. These contractions accentuated the
dancer’s movement, causing a quick, jolting effect.

New School Hip-Hop

New school hip-hop originated around 1986. It is a form of hip-hop dance that has
different moves from breaking. These moves originated as hip-hop music evolved. Old
school music had fast beats that matched breaking moves. As the music changed, people
realized that breaking did not fit with the new school style of music. New styles come
from everywhere. People take moves from martial arts, reggae, locking and even 70s soul
train steps. Even now, classic hip-hop moves have been fused with other dance styles to
provide a more complete and vast range of dance material to choose from.

Hip-hop as a movement has many different influences on street dance in terms of its
background, style and type of clothing. Each of these elements can provide us with
stimuli to help choreograph our dances.

Contemporary Dance - Ballet and Dance

Contemporary Dancing
Around 1980s, the world "contemporary dance" referred to the movement of new
dancers who did not want to follow strict classical ballet and lyrical dance forms, but
instead wanted to explore the area of revolutionary unconventional movements that were
gathered from all dance styles of the world. Contemporary dances therefore do not use
fixed moves and instead try to develop totally new forms and dynamics, such as quick
oppositional moves, shifting alignments, expressions of raw emotions, systematic
breathing, dancing moves preformed in non-standing positions (for example lying on the
floor), and in general trying to find the absolute limits of our human form and physique.
The origins of this popular dance movement can be traced to several influential dance
masters such as Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. They all
wanted to show to the world that contemporary dancers should embrace freedom, ignore
old dance conventions and explore the limits of the human body and visual expression of
feelings. Also, one of the precursors to the contemporary dance can be found in the
millennia's old techniques of Zen Buddhism and Indian Health Yoga, which incorporates
various dancing philosophies that closely follow the principles of contemporary dance.

Dancer who introduced and greatly popularized the contemporary dance to the
worldwide audience was Martha Graham (1894 - 1991). During her seven decade long
career, her modern dance and choreographies gathered the fame that is today compared to
the life works of legendary art geniuses such as Picasso, Stravinski and Frank Lloyd

Merce Cunningham refined the work that his colleague Martha Graham formed, and
expanded with this his own improvements, choreographies and avant-garde dance
techniques. During his long career he was regarded as one of the greatest creative forces
in American dance, education dozens of worldwide famous dancers and thousands
professional dancers who preserved his style until today.

Lester Horton was a very influential contemporary dance visionary, who trained many
famous modern dancers and managed to incorporate the styles of Native American dance
and modern jazz into his dance techniques.


You may wonder the difference between all the different styles of dance. Well before
Contemporary dance and Modern dance there was Ballet but later on there were
ballerinas that wanted a style of dance that broke away from the rigid structure of ballet.
That is where Modern dance and Contemporary came along.
The modern dance styles do not have set of rules. Modern dancers often create their own
dance routines using their emotions and moods, but on the other hand, many
performances are choreographed.

Modern dancers prefer a more relaxed and free style of dancing. While ballerinas try to
be light on their feet, modern dancers use body weight to increase movement.

Contemporary dance is a style of expressive dance that combines elements of several

dance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. Contemporary dancers
strive to connect the mind and the body through fluid dance movements. The term
“contemporary” is somewhat misleading: it describes a genre that developed during the
mid-20th century and is still very popular today.
Contemporary dance stresses versatility and improvisation, unlike the strict, structured
nature of ballet. Contemporary dancers focus on floor work, using gravity to pull them
down to the floor. This dance genre is often done in bare feet. Contemporary dance can
be performed to many different styles of music.

History of Social Dance

You can trace the history of social dance back as far as primitive cultures dancing to
celebrate a birth or mourn a death. In later years, social dance continued to develop and
evolve, mingling the dances of other cultures such as the Middle East, Africa, and
The Development of Ballroom Social Dance
The early social dances of the fourteenth to mid-sixteenth centuries involved
processional dances with subtle, relatively simple steps. The dances usually involved
couples interacting with each other, or long lines of dancers. The dances were lively,
filled with flirtations, conversations, and even "poaching," where partners would switch
in the middle of the dance. Groups such as the Society for Creative Anachronism still
enjoy these dances at their gatherings.

The Rage of the Seventeenth Century: The Waltz

The popularity of this dance has lasted for centuries, and it is still one of the first dances
taught by ballroom teachers. It began in Vienna, where, by focusing on the graceful
movements of the couple instead of large group patterns, the Waltz set people free from
the restricted movements and set poses of the earlier courtly dances. However, it also was
considered "...riotous and indecent" well into the 19th century, which only proved to
make it even more popular. You can still see the Waltz performed in social dance halls
Social Dances of the Late Eighteenth Century
In England and the United States the late eighteenth century witnessed a beginning of a
blend between the rigid group dances and the intense coupled dances like the Waltz.
Called "contra dances," "cotillions" or just "square dances," the lively music would
include "calling," as the moves were announced just before they happened. The flirting
and partner-swapping made these amazingly social happenings, and they survived into
the modern day, both in their original form and in country line dances and hip-hop such
as "Unk 2 Step."
The Many Dance Forms of the Nineteenth Century
During the early part of the nineteenth century, group dances remained extremely
popular. The English Country Dance grew more popular throughout the first half of the
nineteenth century. In addition to the Waltz, there were many other popular dances of the
period, including:
 Scottish Reel and the Quadrille
 Polka
 Pavan
 Mazurka
 Polonaise
 Two Step, referred to as the Washington Post
As the century came to a close, the influence of African-based dance grew as dances such
as the Cakewalk and South American forms such as the Argentine Tango were
introduced to audiences in the United States.
The History of Social Dance in the Twentieth Century
The twentieth century was "scandalous" according to many, with its dances using strong
rhythms and strutting style, starting when a modified version of the Cakewalk found its
way into the stately ballroom dancing of the time.
The dances reflected the freedom felt by the people, freed from the dress constraints of
the earlier years, and the growing role of women in the work force. Dances such as the
Turkey Trot, the Grizzly Bear and the Bunny Hug included a lot of hugging, swaying and
grinding to the strong rhythms of the music.
The two world wars of the time helped cross-pollinate dances such as the Charleston,
Lindy Hop, Fox Trot and Twist between Europe and the U.S. and South America. Motion
pictures featured dances, which allowed choreography to spread faster than ever. Every
decade created its own set of dance fads such as swing, the Twist, the Jitterbug or even
disco dancing.
Social Dancing into the Present Day
Thanks to advances in media, social dancing has remained one of the most popular
pastimes of people all over the world. You can go ballroom dancing in Moscow, dance to
blues legend Buddy Guy in Japan, and find an Argentine Milonga to tango the night away
in Madison, Wisconsin. New forms such as hip hop dancing and contact improvisational
jams are becoming the new social dances, but the older forms from medieval times, as
well as their descendants, are still immensely popular.
A Living History
As the dances continue to evolve and influence each other, one thing is clear: humans
love using movement to interact and be social with each other. Along with music and the
language of lyrics, social dancing is one of the few things that can unite the globe:
mankind loves to dance.
Ballroom dancing has been growing in popularity since the success of TV shows
like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Anyone can learn how to
dance, whether you simply want to get some exercise, prepare for a wedding dance, or do
something new and different with your partner. Ballroom dance steps can get you out of
the house and moving on the dance floor with that special someone.
The tango was created in South America in the mid 19th century. It's both a social and a
competitive dance, and the tango should be ideally danced at 30 bars per minute.
Although the tango has a reputation for being a difficult ballroom dance, the basic
steps are pretty easy to learn when you take them step by step. No rises should be done in
the tango; instead, it's a flat dance. Focus on mastering the characteristic walk of the
tango as well as its rhythm when you're performing ballroom tango.
The foxtrot first became popular in the 1930's and it's known for its ultra-smooth
traveling nature. It involves long walking movements with subtle variations in elevation.
When a couple executes a turn the movements resemble a waltz but with gentler rising
and falling, resulting in a smoother and more even looking presentation. While doing
the foxtrot, the dancers move counterclockwise around the dance floor.
The rumba comes from Cuba, and this dance is done with both double-pulse and triple-
pulse structures. It's also unique among ballroom dances because the upper body needs to
be motionless for much of the time, and the foot needs to be flat on the floor for the
rumba. As you learn the rumba steps, you will also need to learn the specific motions of
rolling the hips that go with taking the steps.
The waltz is a very smooth dance that involves extensive traveling. As a historical
dance with roots that go back to 18th century Germany, the waltz is unique for its "rise
and fall" movements. Shoulders are an important focus in the waltz, and they move in
rhythm to the stepping movements, parallel to the floor, rather than moving up and down
which is sometimes seen in other variations of social dance. When you're learning how to
waltz, it's essential to learn the dance in three-quarter time with a "one-two-three"
Lindy Hop
As an American dance that originated in Harlem in the 1920's, the Lindy hop rose to
popularity in the swing era and it still resonates in today's pop culture, favored by artists
like Christina Aguilera. It's a fusion of a variety of dances, including the charleston, tap,
and jazz. Possibly named after Charles Lindbergh, the first Lindy hop step that you
should learn is the Lindy whip or Lindy turn, which is also called a swingout. The Lindy
hop includes both six and nine count steps.
Paso Doble
Based on the tragedy and high drama of Spanish bullfights, the paso doble is a very
intense ballroom dance. The sounds and movements of the dance also are reminiscent of
those bullfights. The paso doble's origins go way back to the 16th century in Spain, and
it's now often performed as part of ballroom dancing competitions. The paso doble is
typically choreographed to break at specific points in songs. It is a fast-paced, dramatic
Developed in 19th century Brazil with its roots in Africa, the samba is a passionate dance
that also happens to be one of the easier ballroom dances to learn. Its rhythm is fast-paced
and it's important to have high energy and a sense of fun when you're dancing the samba.
The step-point must be mastered before you can perform the rest of the dance. Once you
learn the basic samba steps, it's easy to add in others from its many styles.
Since Cuban Perez Prado developed the mambo in the 1940's, dancers have gotten a thrill
from the complicated steps and freedom of performing this dance. It was adapted for
American audiences and grew in popularity after its appearance at the Palladium
Ballroom in 1947. It was further changed and adjusted by Eddie Torres in the 1980's. The
mambo is known for its distinctive hip movements, and it also has a lot of backward and
forward movements. Its basic combination is established as "quick-quick-slow," and it's
danced using a 4/4 beat.
Cha Cha
The cha cha has its origins in Cuba and is said to be a fusion of American swing dancing
and the Cuban mambo. Start by learning the basic steps to master this playful dance. The
ballroom dance count for the cha cha should traditionally be "two, three, cha cha cha"
which is followed by "four-and-one, two, three" or "one, two, three, cha cha."
The Jive that is known today is an uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug. Developed by
African American communities in the United States in the 1920's, it became a national
sensation when it was presented to the world by Cab Calloway in 1934. The Jive is now
considered to be one of the five International Latin dances. When it's performed by
competitive dancers, the Jive is usually danced at 176 beats per minute, while amateur
dancers may enjoy other variations.

Ballroom Dancing History

From Renaissance to Modern Socal Dancing

Ballrom Dance
Dance is one of the oldest human activities that has managed to follow us through
our development as a species, our spreading across continents and rise of modern cultures
and civilizations. The oldest archaeological evidences of dance can be traced to some 9
thousand years ago, and ever since then its presence in historical records grew and took
greater significance as they became part of our daily lives, customs and various religious
ceremonies. As the music and dance became more complex and advanced, it started to
separate in two distinct forms -one for general population that was practiced openly, and
other one for aristocracy and royalty that was practiced in closed environments during
special occasions. This separation of dance became especially noticeable in Europe after
the end of the Middle Ages, when Renaissance influences born in Italy and France started
drastically changing 16th century European lifestyle.
Ballroom dancing was a product of that time, and it signified the tradition of social
dancing of the privileged. It name was derived from the word ball, which originated from
the Latin word “ballare” which means “to dance”. After a while, boundaries between
high classes and lower classes disappeared, transforming the ballrooms across Europe
into places where both folk dances and sophisticated dances can be performed.

Records of the earliest European ballroom dates form the end of 16th century were made
by Jehan Tabourot who published his French renaissance social dance study called
“Orchésographie” in 1588. He described many popular dances of that time, with
instructions for pavane, livelier branle, and galliarde (which was popularized greatly by
Shakespeare’s work on drama stage). Arrival of dance Minuet in 1650 France was a very
important point in the early history of ballroom dance. Adopted and danced in public by
King Louis XIV himself, this dance popularized ballroom dance all across France, and
continued to be used in European ballrooms until the end of the 18th century. Several
decades after the arrival of Minuet, King King Louis XIV formed the first academy of
dance (Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse) which was the home of the first
organized dance study. Later on, professional dances from that school would start
preforming new type of dance to King’s court (and eventually to the general ballrooms),
dance that will all know today as ballet.

Dance that left the most significant mark on the Victorian era was none other than waltz.
Introduced in early 19th century, this dance managed to spread like a fire across England,
fueled by the excellent 1819 instruction book called “Invitation to the Dance” by Carl
Maria von Weber. After initial period of opposition from the general public and
aristocracy (they did not like close hold of dance partners), this dance was adopted by all
and became one of the most popular dances of all time. Its popularity also spawned
creation of many other new types of dances, like Polka, Mazurka, and the Schottische
(they all appeared in 1840s).

20th century was truly the birthplace of modern dance, and ballrooms from all around the
world were swept with the never-ending tide of new dances that were created between
1910 and 1930. Those dances were fast, energetic, they featured independent movement
of dancers, and more.

The final stage in the history of ballroom dance can be contributed to the rise of the
popular media personalities, who created new dance routines which were imitated by
millions. This era started with the exploits of Vernon and Irene Castle, Josephine Bradley
and Victor Silvester during 1920s, and was continued with the Hollywood movie pairing
of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
History of Festivals in the Philippines

There are breath-taking highlands and awe-inspiring tropical getaways—so much, in

fact, that it can be near-overwhelming to have to choose your next destination

escapade. And yet, beyond all these picture-perfect sights, the charm of the Philippines

lies in a culture deeply seated in religion and history, which remain relevant up to the

present with the celebration of festivals.

Unsurprisingly, most Philippine festivals are religious in nature, although there are

some that uphold a region’s distinct culture. Here are some of the Philippine festivals

you should experience.

Sinulog in Cebu

When: Every third Sunday of January

The grandest festival of the country is easily Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, which honors
the Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus, an image of which was a gift from the
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Raja Humabon and Hara Amihan when he
came to conquer the Philippines in 1521. ‘Sinulog’ is derived from the Cebuano
adverb ‘sulog’, which roughly translates to “like water current movement”—the
inspiration for the festival’s famous two steps forward, one step backward dance.
While recent years have made Sinulog more notorious for its street parties, there are
still millions of devotees who make the pilgrimage to the Basilica Minore del Santo
Niño, the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, built on the spot where the
statuette of the Child Jesus was found by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.
Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan

When: Every third Sunday of January

Known as The Mother of All Philippine Festivals, the Ati-Atihan serves as the
inspiration behind Cebu’s Sinulog and IloIlo’s Dinagyang, among many other festivals
in the country. While it is also in honor of the Santo Niño, its origins are more pagan in
nature, dating some 800 years ago. The festival’s name means ‘to be like the Atis’—
the Aetas, the dark-skinned indigenous people who are said to be the first settlers in the
Philippines. Initially a celebration of unity between the Aetas and Malay chieftains
who fled Borneo to settle in the Panay Islands, the Spanish conquerors later on
integrated Catholicism into the festival.
At present, people who attend Ati-Atihan will encounter street dancers donning
vibrant colorful costumes, contrasting with blackened faces. The festival is also
famed for snake dancing, in which people hold on to each other to weave through the
crowd in a snake-like fashion.
Dinagyang in Iloilo

When: Every fourth Sunday of January

The Dinagyang Festival, the name of which comes from the Ilonggo
term ‘dagyang’ meaning ‘merrymaking’, is heavily influenced by Sinulog and Ati-
Atihan, and borrows elements from the two festivals. A little more modern than its
inspirations, Dinagyang began in the 1960s, when a replica of the Señor Santo Niño
was first brought in from Cebu, much to the devotion of the Ilonggos. The anniversary
of this day became a yearly celebration, which eventually incorporated dramatized
interpretations of the Aetas’ welcome of the chieftains from Borneo.
Today, Dinagyang Festival has become popular in its own right as a religious and
cultural celebration with three main events: A fluvial procession that takes the Child
Jesus from the Iloilo River to the San Jose Parish Church, a Kasadyahan
Festival noted for its street dancing contest, and the Ati-Atihan competition, where
dancers with blackened faces also perform traditional, interpretative dances.
Panagbenga in Baguio

When: February
Every February, the Summer Capital of the Philippines celebrates its annual flower
festival, called the Panagbenga Festival. From a Kankanaey term that means ‘season
of blooming’ or ‘time for flowering’, Panagbenga is a tribute to Baguio City’s vibrant
and diverse flora. The festival’s origins go back to the 1990s, as a hopeful celebration
of Baguio’s rise and recovery following a devastating 7.7-magnitude earthquake that
caused extensive damage to the city.
Panagbenga is known for its flower-decorated floats and street dancing, with
participants wearing flower-themed costumes. It is also famous for all its bazaars and
trade fairs, allowing the people of Baguio City to showcase their world-class talent.

Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon

When: May 15
In honor of St. Isidore the Laborer, patron saint of farmers in the Philippines, the
people of Lucban, Quezon celebrate the Pahiyas Festival in the middle of the summer.
It began as a simple celebration of thanksgiving back in the 15th century,
when farmers offered their harvests at the foot Mount Banahaw—a practice that
carried on after the first Church was established and saw natives offering their fresh
farm produce to St. Isidore. Eventually, with the Church unable to accommodate all the
harvest, they were instead displayed at the homes of the farmers.
Today, the Pahiyas continues this tradition, with participants going beyond
showcasing their harvests to also put up hats, bags, fans, longganisa, and of
course, kiping—colorful, leaf-shaped wafers made of rice dough.

Kadayawan in Davao

When: Third week of August

With a name derived from the Dabawenyo friendly greeting, “Madayaw!” Davao
City’s Kadayawan Festival is befittingly a celebration of life. Like Pahiyas, it also
started off as a thanksgiving ritual for bountiful harvest by the ethnic tribes residing at
the foot of Mount Apo. In the 1980s, it evolved into a government-initiated program to
unite Davaoeños after Martial Law, gradually becoming a full-fledged festival to
celebrate life, heritage, and blessings.
Lively Kadayawan is full of activities, from the street performances at the Indak
Indak sa Kadayawan to the float parade of Pamulak sa Kadayawan, and all the trade
fairs in between—Kadayawan is the time to indulge in the king of all fruits, Durian.

Masskara in Bacolod

When: Fourth Sunday of October

Known as the City of Smiles, Bacolod demonstrates its resilience with its
annual MassKara Festival.The festival started out in a time of crisis in 1980 when the
people of Bacolod, who relied on their sugar cane plantations, suffered from a
devastating drop in production and all-time low prices with the introduction of high
fructose corn syrup as a sugar substitute. That same year, more than 700 Negrenses lost
their lives with the sinking of the MV Don Juan. Following those tragic events, the
local government decided to establish the MassKara Festival as a way to boost
morale and liven up the people’s spirits.
MassKara, a portmanteau derived from ‘mass’ (a multitude of people) and ‘cara’ (a
Spanish word for face), is also a play on the Filipino word maskara, which translates in
English to mask—a defining feature of the festival. These masks, akin to Mardi
Gras fashion and worn by street dancers, are always painted with smiling faces to
reflect Bacolod’s sobriquet.