Subliowes its meaning to native words “subsub” meaning to fall with the headand “bali” or broken. This meaning is reflected in the dance steps. The dancers move feebly andtortuously as if without vigor. This dance, however, traces its roots to Batangas where it wasoriginally played as a ritual dance which evolved into a symbol of religious tradition performedduring town fiestas.In Banuan, Batangas there is one traditional dance that is gaining a lot of respectand research- it's the traditional dance of 'Subli'.This dance is one of the most popular dance inthe Philippines and the favorite in Batangas. This dance is simply ceremonial 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 considered at the center of the dance and without the Holy Cross thedance will not materialize.
The Holy Cross plays an important role and its role includes;
. It act as the emblematic and the decorative installations. The performances and the other art forms that are related to this dance will usually revolvearound the wooden cross that is draped with the white fabric and this is similar to the stole that is placed on the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ which can be seen during Easter Sunday celebrations.Based on many literature on the subject, it was said that during the ancient timesthe natives who are living around the Taal Volcano area would usually plant these woodencrosses around the crater of the Taal Volcano and these natives would even immerse themselvesin the waters of the crater just to ask the 'Poon' to save the them from the wraths of nature.Researchers and academics are still debating on the exact time this tradition started. They are allasking if this tradition has started even before the Spaniards came or when the Spaniards arealready here in the country. In the end the academics cannot arrive on a specific conclusionsaying that a final say cannot be proven by existing documentary evidence.There were some documents that say that that this dance or the traditionoriginated some three hundred years ago in the barrio called 'Dingin' in Alitagtag, Batangas.According to Dr. Elena Mirano, the word 'subli' is from the old Tagalog word called 'sobli'meaning 'salisi' or the exchange of place. And this exchange of place is a prominent feature in thedance called 'subli' that is performed in most activities, festivals and celebrations. In the strictestsense, the 'subli' is the dance portion that is actually a devotion that is performed in honor of their patron, which is a large anubing wood that includes the face of the sun in silver at the center.This icon which is the subject of the dance was actually discovered in the earlystages of the Spanish rule and the area that is now known as the town of Alitagtag, Batangas.This icon is not only the patron for this town since this is also the patron of many towns in thearea. The area is known for the long sequence of prayers which can be seen in verse, songs anddances and these are performed in the fixed sequence. The verses that are performed in the dance