Dugso performance by Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company.
Dugso (meaning 'dance') is a ceremonial dance among the Manobo people in Bukidnon, Agusan and Misamis Oriental . The Dugso (also Dugsu) is usually performed during important occasions like kaliga (feasts) or kaamulan (tribal gatherings). Other occasions that call for the performance of Dugso are festivities connected to abundant harvest, the birth of a male heir or victory in war. Brandeis however, claimed that the dugso has no specific occasion underpinning aside from that of the kaliga-on festivities. He said that it is only performed to "entertain their deities". The Dugso for a kaliga is usually performed on the third day which is usually the merriest being the culmination of the whole celebrations.
Dugso have at least twelve known versions and the most popular versions are the Dugso Songco, Dugso Kalasungay, Dugso Cabanglasan, Lagoras, Inaksyon and the Hinaklaran.
Ritual and Performance
The all-female dancers is headed by a babaylan (shaman/priestess) who is responsible for keeping the fire burning. The dancers execute complex footworks moving around the dapulan- the wooden receptacle that holds the ceremonial pot of fire. The smoke from the fire is believed to carry prayers to the dwelling place of the gods. Lumad dance researchers Edgardo Marucut and Thelma Rocha also claimed that the smoke signifies the Bukidnons' intense devotion and love for their gods. The smoke is also also said to carry their messages of thansgivings to their gods. In some occasions, the bangkaso, a small table laden with fruits, palay, corns and other farm produce are used instead of the dapulan.
Dugso dance steps give us a lot of unique Lumad dance vocabulary. Popular among these are the inanud (adrift or flotsam or carried away), binadbad (untying a knot), tinaktak (waterfall), inaksyun (in action), inulang (shrimp-like), linibog (confusion), sangkululo (imitating a rooster skirting a hen in a love play), lagoras (dance step fron a Dugso version of the same name), pinispis (parrot-like), dinatag (introduction), sinayaw (dance-like) and binakbak (frog-like). The hand movement called kubay is very graceful and portrays femininity. Manobo men believe that those women dancers who can do the kubay gracefully are believed to be amiable and are not hard to court. Senaylo-saylo is a playful portrayal of a woman's fickleness or indecisions.
Most Dugso versions have no musical instrument played to accompany the dance. The sounds and rhythms are produced by the dancers' anklet saliyaw or singgil (hawk-eye or pewter bells). The Hinaklaran and Lagudas versions of the Dugso are at times danced with the accompaniment of the agong, takumbo and dayuday.
One interesting feature of this dance is the Higaonon Manobo costume of the dancers. A complete set of this costume is called a sinuyaman and has the following:
- Panaksoy, is a blouse of striped white, black, red or yellow bodice and a red cenepha. Triangles or zigzag patterns are decorated on the edges as appliqués. The panaksoy has a bell-shaped sleeves and is cut just above the hip to show the tattoos in their midribs.
- The saya, a wrap-around skirt of the same color and patterns of design. The skirt is usually tucked at the right by inserting the end inside the wrapped skirt or tucked by a tapis that looks like a "back-to-back bib" with the "bibs" placed at the sides.
- Sulam-sulang (also called pananggahan, saloloy and pelupandung) serves as a headdress. This headress is worn in respect of the mythical papagayok bird having iridiscent plummage. The papagayok is said to have "all the colors" of all the other birds. A triangular cloth called panika also covers the base of the sulam-sulang. It is intricately embroidered in designs matching the panaksoy.
This headdress is a big metal comb decorated with sticks wrapped in yarns and colorful feathers. The sticks are fastened the to comb in an a radial arrangement that looks like an expanded peacock tail or an open folding fan. Colorful yarn threads or fringes are sometimes added at the bottom of the comb or at the sides. The male Hiagaonon sulam-sulang is simpler and consists of around four of those sticks clipped in front of the head by a headscarf. The use of the male sulam-sulang is exclusive to the elite bagani.
Dugso Dance Steps
Execute the following movements clockwise in the first 6 M and counterclockwise in the next 6 M. Dancers join hands with arms in T-position.
a. Brush L foot backward (ct 1), tap L close to R (ct and), step L sideward (ct 2). Repeat (ct 1 and 2). b. Step R across L in rear (ct 1), tap L close to R (ct and), step L sideward (ct 2). Repeat (ct 1 and 2). c. Brush R foot backward (ct 1), tap R close to L (ct and), step R sideward (ct 2) d. Step L across infront (ct 1), tap R close to L (ct and), step R sideward (ct 2). e. Step L across R in rear (ct 1), step R sideward (ct 2). Repeat (ct 1, 2) f. Repeat all ( a to e)
Dancers move counterclockwise doing the following movements:
a. Starting position – lean sideward R, raise L foot in front, arms as in Figure I. Step L foot sideward (ct 1), tap R foot close to L (ct and), step R sideward (ct 2), tap L close to R (ct and). b. Step L sideward, swing hands downward (ct 1); close R to L (ct and). Repeat (ct 2 and). Step L sideward and raise R foot, lean trunk to sideward L, swing arms upward to T-position. c. Repeat all (a to b) starting with the R, but still moving counterclockwise.
a. Brush L foot backward (ct 1), tap L close ot r (ct and), step L sideward (ct 2) b. Step R across L in rear (ct 1), tap L close to R (ct and), step L sideward (ct 2). Repeat (cts 1 and 2) c. Brush R foot backward (ct 1), tap R close to L (ct and), step R sideward (ct 2) d. Cros L foot over R in front (ct 1), tap R close to L (ct and), step R sidewrad (ct 2). Repeat (cts 1 and 2) e. Stamp L foot and clap hands, bend trunk forward (cts 1, 2) f. Face L and step L forward (ct 1) tap and step R (cts and 2) tap and step L (cts and 1), stamp R twice sideward R (cts and 2), raise R arm in reverse T-position on ct 2. g. Repeat (f) to the R starting with the R. h. Repeat all ( a to g)
All join hands in everse T-position. Execyte the following movements in counterckckwise:
a. Step L forward (ct 1), stam p R close to L (ct and), Stamp R backward (ct 2). Repeat 2 times more. b. Stamp L twice (cts and 1), stamp R twice (cts and 2) c. Repeat all ( a to b) 3 times more...3M
a. Repeat (a to c) of Figure I b. Stamp L across R in front (ct 1), step R in rear (ct and), stamp L obliquely forward L(ct 2), step R in rear (ct and), stamp L 3 times: front, side, side; (cts 1 and 2) c. Repeat all (a to b) starting with the R
Execute following steps moving counterclokwise:
a. Step L forward (ct 1), step R backward (ct 2)....1M b. Step L forward (ct 2), stamp R close to L (ct and), step R sideward (ct 2)...1M c. Stamp and step L (cts and 1), stamp and step R sideward (cts and 2)....1M
All join hands in reverse T-position. Execute the following movements with the knees slightly bent, moving clockwise.
a. Brush R foot backward (ct 1), Step L in place (ct 2)…1M Brush L backward (ct 1), Step L in place (ct 2)…1M b. Repeat (a)…2M c. Cross R foot in rear of L (ct 1), Step L sideward (ct 2)…1M Repeat (cts 1, 2)…1M d. Repeat all (a to c) 3 times more……18M
a. Brush L forward (ct 1), tap L foot close to R (ct and), step L foot close to R (ct 2)…......1M b. Brush R foot backward (ct 1), tap R foot close to L (ct and), step R foot sideward R (ct 2), tap L foot in front of R (ct and)....1M c. Step L foot across R in front (ct 1), tap R foot close to L (ct and), step R foot sideward R (ct and)....1M d. Repeat (a) to (c) five times moving counterclockwise until a circle is formed....15M
- Dugso performance by Kalilayan Fokloric Group at You Tube
- 'Dugso.' Dance Notation pamphlet. 3rd Philippine Folk Festival, July 1979.
- Marbella, Hermilina Ching. "Some Fundamental Characteristics and Distinctive Features of Eleven Selected Bukidnon Dances of Central Bukidnon." Master of Arts Thesis, Cebu Normal College, 1976.