Itik-Itik is one of the Philippine folk dances which have an interesting origin.According to stories, a Filipina maiden-dancer of Surigao del Norte was asked to perform anative dance in one special occasion. She started to improvise new steps and imitate thecourtship movements of a local species of duck known as “itik.” The spectators began to imitateher and that is how the dance came to be.
If most Philippine dances are originally patterned after the European dancesduring the time of the Spanish regime, some dances have evolved from an already knownPhilippine dance. One such example is your Itik itik- one of the popular dances in thePhilippines.According to one story about the origins of the dance, there was this youngwoman named Kanang and she was considered as the best dancer and performer in the provinceof Surigao del Norte. And at one baptismal reception, the performer was asked to dance theSibay- another important local dance and at the middle of her performance she beganimprovising on her steps. The steps imitated that of the movements of the 'itik'. The 'itik' is aduck and her movements during the said performance are like those that are being performed bythe animal- choppy steps and there were splashes of water on its back while attracting its mate.And since the steps were new and unusual, the audience were fascinated and soon they begancopying and aping the moves.Based on records, the dance has its roots not only in Surigao del Norte but in theVisayas region as a whole as well. in the other version of the story about the roots of the dance, itwas said that this dance has originated from the dance 'Sibay' which was then danced to the tuneof the 'Dejado' music. The 'Sibay' is a popular bird dance in the Visayan Islands. This wasconfirmed by Reynaldo Gamboa Alejanadro and he added that the Visayan Island where thedance originated was Samar. Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro is considered as the Philippine danceauthority. This information was also backed up by a book that was written in 1668 by Fr. IgnacioAlzina who is a Jesuit missionary to Samar.In that book, the Jesuit missionary described a dance that imitated the bird thatwas popular in Samar and the 'Sabay'. In the same book, the missionary said that the danceimitated the flying birds. So how exactly is the dance performed by the dancer? As it wasmentioned the steps of the dance resembled the movements of the wading and the flying ducks or the 'itiks'. The dancers here copy the swaying gait of the waddling feet and also ape the intenseenergy of the close-cropped flapping wings. There are around six separate foot sequences that thedancer is expected to perform and these series of foot movements form part of the dance steps.Right now, there are modern versions of this dance and this can be seen in many parts of thecountry.