This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Looking Back and Looking Forward
Submitted by: Wencey Anne O. Mallapre
Submitted to: Mr. Arnold Esguerra
all proudly native in the Pearl of the Orient. we. But in some sense. presented by the Kaloob Dance Ministry. I was not “shocked. their victories and defeats. were able to witness Layag: Journey of the Filipino Soul in Dance. It was an hour-and-a-half cultural show. The dancers danced Filipino favorites that are well-known not only in the country but also in the world such as Tinikling and Singkil and many more that may not be popular overseas but are surely innately recognized by the Filipinos. The songs they chanted and the dances they created speak of the history of the country and its people ― their simple joys and sorrows.” Neither was I “amazed. Of course. the amateur performances that I have seen before are very much different in quality compared to the one exquisitely presented by the Kaloob Dance Ministry. were still adamant to entirely accept the new customs presented by the Europeans. my blockmates and I.Music and dance are expressions of art that have always been a favorite of the peoples of the world. Last August 3. having watched and having taken part in such cultural shows before. at the Folk Arts Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. they are all the . To that universal fact. They also featured the soothing and mellow music provided by the rondalla that are characteristic of the Filipinized folk dances and the loud and excited beats produced by musical instruments such as the agong and kulintang. 2012. the Philippines is not an exception. Every culture has its own collection of songs and dances that are vital to its native traditions. I guess. Frankly.” Why should I? These are nothing new to me. showcasing the country’s very own indigenous creative traditions ― from the ethnic dances of our brothers in the mountains of the North and in the fertile plains of the South to the folk dances of the people in the then already Hispanized lowlands which were inspired by the foreign culture brought by the Spaniards but were Filipinized by the natives who.
I actually loved every minute of it. They mirror not only the daily lives of our ancestors but also.same. anniversary celebrations. I was neither amazed nor shocked. fun loving. Salip. holiday celebrations and graduation parties are never complete without those mini dance and song numbers rendered by the younger kids. due to the nature of her gender. The beliefs. Wedding receptions. But that does not mean I was not able to appreciate the show. Courtships and marriages nowadays still reflect those of the past as exhibited by Alisig. united despite the geographic separation and religious differences. is not allowed to be as expressive as the man can be so she resorts to subtle ways of declaring her sentiments such as trying to catch the man’s attention by dousing on perfume. One thing that particularly pleased me was the realization that the themes of the dances are timeless. just like the people of all the other races. and random dancing either individually or by pairs. and values of our forefathers in the past are still evident in our present ways. True. I could feel my chest puff up with pride. Alcamfor and Habanera Botoleña. practices. and more than anything else. for they all aim one thing ― to exhibit the beauty of our country’s rich culture through music and dance. these performers will leave the country to boast to the whole world the diversity of the Philippines’ vast cultural heritage. modernized we may be now. to win the love of his favored girl. no matter how sincere the lovers are on each other. The woman. presented by professionals or not. promises her that he can provide her both protection and comfort. worthy to be treated with respect. knowing that soon. though everything is already familiar to me. our lives in the present. there is always . videoke sessions. For example. However. Through dance. hopefully believing that the sweet female scent will excite his emotions. singing and dancing are never absent whenever there is a special occasion. they will show who and what the Filipinos really are ― strong and brave. at the moment of matrimony. The man. christenings.
” I remember my teacher saying. Nevertheless. We learned later in high school that it was an age-old idea that has survived despite the influx of foreign thoughts and modernization. It is funny how I and the other dreamy girls dutifully obeyed for the fear of ending up with somebody we never wished for even in our wildest dreams. kagaya noong panahon. they would warn. was asked to give a handkerchief to someone in the class who he or she finds the most attractive. Be careful to hold on to your handkerchief. as depicted by La Jota Moncadeña. the sacred ceremony will proceed and the newly married couple will eventually get used to the married life. We even played a dating game reminiscent to it in our Filipino IV class where everyone. may the Lord take pity on you!― yo u are his sweetheart already. is still observed nowadays. reassure the woman (actually more of to convince himself. “Kanya-kanyang diskarte. The practice of comforting the bereaved family of a dead person by accompanying them to the cemetery to bury their departed loved one.still that inevitable feeling of anxiety and the man has to. The best lesson we learned that day: When the grandest of all emotions has left you dumbfounded and when it seems impossible for you to speak of your sincerest sentiments to the object of it. Another thing that I would like to mention which really amused me was the courtship dance Alcamfor. for if you accidentally drop it and a young man fetches it for you ―oh. oftentimes). boys and girls alike. There are still many others which may still be true to some but I have not personally observed such as the dances of those in the little barrios and in Mindanao where the growing of crops or fishing is the source of living. We all left the classroom that day with tomato-red faces but definitely unburdened of the feeling of unspoken admiration. It made me remember the old belief that the elders used to scare young girls. do not get frustrated for there are actually . yet again.
Sadly though. I still managed to shed the gawkiness. watching the Singkil had me going back to memory lane when I first heard the fascinating story of Princess Gandingan. together with her loyal female servant. Remembering this past enchantment with the princess of the legend and how it has influenced me. They exhibit the wisdom of our ancestors and we ought to know them that we may learn from their trusted knowledge. it was magic that enabled the princess to go through such an ordeal and come up unscathed. For me. And also. nimbly avoided the falling trees until the prince finally arrived to save her. We ought to idolize the heroes of our own legends and epics. Be like the people of the olden times ― be creative and determined. I recalled how charmed the much younger me was while my mother was retelling the tale of the princess who was trapped in a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwata who wanted to play a prank on her. I realized how important our native folk tales are. The princess. Years later. I discovered the real magic ― it was merely poise. the models of our forefathers. well-mannered and faithful. Unsurprisingly. then. I struggled to perfect my manners and to refine my movement. Wanting to emulate the graceful heroine of the unforgettable Maranao legend. I was not perfectly successful in attaining that goal but fortunately for me. I may not be able to erase several annoying qualities in my character such as giggling noisily but I believe I have acquired the necessary habits to grow up gracefully.hundreds of ways to get it known. The women should be learning from the ladies of the legends― meek but strong-willed. we would rather spend our time watching movies about foreign superheroes like Spiderman and Batman instead of getting to know our very own. I religiously follow my parents’ instructions on how to behave properly as a young woman and I make it a point to act accordingly at all times. They should be trying to employ .
I can foresee failure.” We. vanquished by the feeling of racial inferiority.” a coquettish way of walking that beauty pageants and the media advertise to girls as “graceful. Seeing the demeanor of the majority of us towards our cultural heritage. the superior race. Instead of cultivating what is locally inherent to the country for its development. Ironic. We lack confidence in the ability of our own people and in the potential of our own nation. The children are brought up to be Americanized or Westernized. Soon. What future does it have with us? It is heartbreaking to realize that we do not love what our ancestors has bequeathed to us and that it might vanish completely. thus. waiting to be aroused. today’s younger generation.the “princess walk” as the women of Maranao do instead of copying the “tsunami walk. whether we like it or not. Maybe if we reintroduce the basics of Philippine culture to the Filipinos. we keep on borrowing the philosophies that were successful in other countries. How could we then expect our native music and dances to thrive in the modern world when we do not see their true sense and worth? I truly hope the solution is cultural awareness. And it scares me. hence the aspiration to be like the Caucasians. The problem is this feeling of racial inferiority. is it not? The society is coercing foreign ideas and values to the minds of the younger people who have no other choice but to eventually inherit the country’s indigenous traditions. especially to the youth. are the heir to this beautiful and rich culture. we grow up idolizing foreign artists and adopting their ways. we can invoke the love for our own culture that probably just remains hidden and forgotten in our consciousness. I pray that there is still hope for the Filipino soul. I pray that it had just wandered for a while but it will still find its way back home to tell the wonderful story of the people of these . it will be our responsibility to nurture it that it may flourish despite the current demands for modernization.
as long as there are still people who are willing to graciously accept our inheritance and to educate us about the forgotten values and beliefs.beautiful islands that many sought to seize but failed. . I guess. there is hope that we can revive our neglected traditions and salvage our national pride. All we have to do is start working now.