Philippine Dances

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It has been proven that dance is one big contribution of the Philippines to the world. Filipino dancers have graced the world's humble and high-end dance venues. The Tinikling for example, has become an important part of many folk dance curricula in many American and European physical education courses. The Bayanihan National Dance Troupe has inspired Mexico's Amalia Hernandez to put out their own national dance troupe: the Ballet Folklorico de Mejico. And in this late decade, Filipino dancers continue to entertain audiences around the world.

Among the Filipino people, dancing is synonymous with life. From birth to death, life is always celebrated with innumerable occasions for dancing. Manobo people would celebrate birth with a Dugsu or the Tawgon Hapnon. Birthdays, especially a debut, befit a cotillion de honor. Many dances of ours depict courtship and even mating! Weddings show rich harvest of Curachas which are lately modernized. Daily noontime shows on popular TV stations offer the latest pop dance trends. Even death is still an occasion for dances, like the Cordillerans' funeral dance called Bangibang.

The fusion of cultures brought about by the Chinese, Arabs, Malay and Indonesian neighbors, Spaniards and lately Americans in the country, together with the existing dances among early Filipinos has resulted in unique dances in the Philippines.

So set the radio’s volume on a high level, practice your routine as you dance the night and day away with the following dances in the Philippines.

Notable Philippine Dances

  • Tinikling- Filipino folk dance, often dubbed as the Philippine National Dance. The dance derived its name from the bird tikling because the dance steps are mimetic of that bird's movements.
  • Cariñosa- The Philippine National Dance known for its flirtatious hide-and-seek movements and other flirting acts expressing tender feelings for one another.
  • Itik-Itik- 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 popular among the Visayan settlers of the province of Surigao del Norte.
  • Lawiswis Kawayan- A popular dance in Leyte and Samar. The dancers are dressed in Visayan peasant costume.
  • Pandanggo sa Ilaw- A dance of grace and balance from Lubang Island, Mindoro in the Visayas region.
  • Maglalatik- A dance that depicts a fight between the Moros and the Christians over latik (residue left after the coconut milk has been boiled).
  • Kuratsa- A lively dance that is very common among the old folks of Visayas and Ilocos regions.
  • Jota- It was performed by the Spanish Señoritas and Caballeros in social gatherings (like wedding, parties and baptismal) during the Spanish regime in the Philippines.
  • Dos Amigos- This festival dance from Capul Island, Northern Samar is performed with lively and frolicsome dance steps like the banyak, tukud-tukud, amigos and paniprak.
  • Magsangkil- A Badjao fight dance. It features the use of a fish-shaped taming (shield) made of tightly woven rattan.

(to access the knowledge database on Dances of the Philippines, click Philippine Dances link)


"Best of Philippines."Marimari. (accessed on July 23, 2007) "A Glimpse of the Philippines." Dance Philippines. ( accessed on July 23, 2007)



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