Pastores de Belen

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Pastores de Belen (Spanish for "Shepherds of Bethlehem") is a traditional dramatic representation of the shepherds' adoration of the Christ-Child. Singing and dancing from one house to another is usually part of the ritual, though in Cavite and Bulacan the presentation is done on stage or in the churchyard. The actors playing the shepherds are usually children or women, and usually, they wear costumes. In Bicol, the pastores are especially colorfully dressed. Most of them are female and wear full skirts, round-necked blouses with puffed sleeves, and wide-brimmed hats. The men and boys wear long-sleeved shirts, breast and waistbands, and decorated hats. The entire group is dressed in one color -- either red, blue, or green. They are accompanied by a band and go from house to house singing Spanish and Bicolano carols while dancing and are given money and food by homeowners. Pastores contests are held on stage in Legazpi, Albay to keep this tradition alive.


  • Tiongson, Nicanor G. "Pastores" in CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art Vol. 7. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994.
  • "Philippine Theatrical Dance Forms." (accessed on November 29, 2007).



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