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Filipino Pride

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 FILIPINO MADE PAINTINGS  FILIPINO MADE PAINTINGS Many Filipino made paintings excels because of its realistic features its more on showing the Filipino culture and tradition. Early Filipino painting can be found in red slip (clay mixed with water) designs embellished on … Continue reading

Philippine Folk Music

Traditional Music in the Philippines, like the traditional music of other countries, reflects the life of common folk, mainly living in rural areas rather than urban ones. Like its counterparts in Asia, a lot of traditional songs from the Philippines have a strong connection with nature. However, much of it employs the diatonic scale rather than the more famous pentatonic scale.

 

A Blending of East and West

Like the culture of the country itself, traditional Philippine music is a melting pot of the country’s historic past. Philippine Traditional Music is influenced by all the music that was ever brought there, so it may sometimes sound ‘European’, ‘Indian’, or even ‘Chinese’.

Like the people who use it, Traditional Music in the Philippines is either Western or non-Western. And while having more subdivisions, each form will surely reflect the culture of a specific group.Examples of popular Filipino folk songs in Tagalog: Bahay Kubo, Sitsiritsit Alibangbang, Leron Leron Sinta, Paruparong Bukid, Magtanim ay Di Biro, Lulay, Aking Bituin etc.

Vocal Music

Vocal music to be the most important form of music found in every ethnic group in the country. Although there is some music intended for dance, the best form of preserved traditional music is those intended for the voice.Though not known they use instruments to make it seem like vocal music at times. egarded to have a wide range, as most of them stretch more than an octave, they are still considered singable even for an average singer.

 Mobility

Borromeo also noted that one interesting feature of Western-Inspired traditional music is that a tune is not bound to a particular language or dialect. One must remember that the Philippines is an archipelago and the use of Filipino as a national language is just very recent. Thus, Filipinos did not have a unifying language during the time of the Spaniards.

Yet, the tune used for the Tagalog ‘Magtanim ay Di Biro’ is also used for the Kapampangan ‘Deting Tanaman Pale’ and the Gaddang ‘So Payao’. Just to give the reader a clear difference between these languages, Tagalog is related to Kapampangan in the same way that English is related to German. On the other hand, Tagalog is related to Gaddang in the same way English is related to Nordic languages.

Other examples of this tune sharing are the Visayan ‘Ako Ining Kailu’, the Ibanag ‘Melogo Ti Aya’ and the Kapampangan ‘Ing Manai’. One can also notice the same with the Bicolano.

 Language used in traditional vocal music

It is interesting to note that although 90% of the 80 million Filipinos claim varying proficiency in the English language, no song was ever found out to have it as the original text. Only those traditional songs used by the Catholic Church, which probably entered the country through America, used English. And these body of songs were more associated with the church rather than the country. The largest body of songs are those using the various vernacular languages, especially the eight major languages in the country.

Most of the collected traditional songs have a translation in Filipino, the national language, but most scholars tend to ignore its existence.

Songs from the various minority languages rank second while those in Spanish ranks third. Though the Spanish used in the Philippines is generally called Chavacano, it is intelligible to anyone who can understand Castilian. The most famous songs in this classification are perhaps ‘No Te Vayas de Zamboanga’ and ‘Viva! Señor Sto. Nino’.

Dance music

After Vocal music, Dance music is the next most important form of Traditional Philippine Music. As mentioned above, the best form of preserved music are those with lyrics, this is also true for those music intended to accompany a dance. According to Francisca Reyes-Aquino, known for her voluminous collection of folk dances, the folks watching the dance sing the songs in the same way that cheerers chant in a game. This is very evident especially in songs where interjections ‘Ay!’, ‘Aruy-Aruy!’, ‘Uy!’ and ‘Hmp!’ are present.

Music falling under this type may be classified as those belonging to the Christianised Groups, Muslim Groups, and the other Ethnic Groups.

 Dance Music from Christianised Groups

As Christianity came to the Philippines through its Western conquerors, Dance Music classified as belonging to the Christianised Groups are somewhat related to Western music as well. Dance Music falling under this category may also be called Habanera, Jota, Fandango, Polka, Curacha, etc. and has the same characteristics as each namesakes in the Western Hemisphere.

However, there are also indigenous forms like the ‘Balitao’, ‘Tinikling’ and ‘Cariñosa’. In a study made by the National Artist for Music Dr. Antonio Molina, the Balitao, famous in the Tagalog and the Visayan regions employ a 3/4 time signature that employs a ‘crotchetquaverquavercrotchet‘ beat. Others employ the ‘crotchetminim‘ scheme, while others use the ‘dotted quaversemiquavercrotchetquaverquaver‘ scheme.

This type of music is generally recreational and, like traditional music from the West, is used for socialising.

 Dance Music from Muslim Groups

The court and folk dance music of the Muslim-Filipino groups have somewhat preserved the ancient Southeast Asian musical instruments, modes and repertoires lost to the islands further north which were colonized by Spain. It is important to note here that orthodox Islam does not condone musical entertainment, and thus the musical genres among the Muslim Filipinos cannot be considered “Islamic”.

Genres shares characteristics with other Southeast-Asian Court and Folk musics: Indonesian Gamelan, Thai Piphat, Malay Caklempong, Okinawan Min’yō and to a lesser extent, through cultural transference through the rest of Southeast Asia, is comparable even to the music of the remote Indian Sub-Continent.

Generally, music falling under this category tells a story. An example is the Singkil, which relates a story from the ancient Indian saga, the Ramayana (other examples of narration dance from the Ramayana are seen in other Southeast Asian nations see). The Singkil is considered the most famous in the Philippines under this category for its perceived elegance, and is also performed by Filipinos from other ethnic groups throughout the country. The Singkil recounts the story of Sita (known locally as Putri Gandingan) as she was saved by Rama (Rajahmuda Bantugan) from the clashing rocks. Only, for the purposes of the dance, the rocks are changed into bamboos.

Music is related in wars in some regions in the country.In fact it is the way of the commander on that particular region to show the emotions of winning or losing in wars.Philippine music also depends on the biographical factors.In cold regions,the beat of the music is so slow due to the temperature they encounter for example BAGUIO.And in some hot regions it is so fast.

Dance Music from Indigenous Groups

Like the secular songs from the same group, this form of music has a ‘beat’ even though it is hard to put it in a form of time signature. Percussions are mainly used for these type of music and sometimes, a gong is enough.

As closeness to Nature is a main feature of these ethnic groups, one can expect that dance steps falling under this category are a mimicry of the movements of plants and animals of a certain locality. Some music is simply called the ‘Monkey Dance’ or the ‘Robin Dance’ for identification.

Some of the music falling under this category is ritual music: thus there are dances used for marriage, worship, and even for preparation for a war.

Popularity

Unlike folk music in Ireland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the neighboring Malaysia, traditional music in the Philippines never reached national popularity. Perhaps, it is partly due to the fact every region of the Philippines has its own language.

Though some groups tried to collect songs from the different ethnolinguistic groups, none has so far succeeded in making traditional music a part of the national identity, much more a national symbol. It is rarely taught in Elementary school, as in Ireland, aside from Children’s songs. This results in a mentality that traditional songs are children’s songs.

The decline was accelerated with the entry of television, making popular culture from Europe and the United States easily accessible to a common Filipino. Though most Europeans would say that Filipinos are music-loving people, traditional music is always at risk of being left in oblivion.

 Attempts to Collect

Attempts have been made to collect and preserve Traditional Philippine Music but most of them focus only on the Vocal form. Under the 400 years of Spanish colonization of the Philippines, no collection of the traditional music was ever made. There are however studies made regarding this subject in the late 19th Century, when the Romanticists of Europe began to find the value of folk songs.

Even during the American occupation of the Philippines, attempts to collect traditional music came rather late. Perhaps the first collection was done in 1919 by Fr. Morice Vanoverberg, which is focused on the traditional music of the Lepanto Igorots of the North. Unfortunately, only the words and not the tunes are included in the collection.

The collection entitled ‘Filipino Folk Songs’ by Emilia Cavan is considered to be the earliest collection with tunes, published in 1942. Perhaps, the most important collection of Folk Songs is the ‘Philippine Progressive Music Series’ by Norberto Romualdez published in the late 1920s.

Unfortunately, the collectors who worked with Romualdez did not present the songs in their original languages but rather translated them into English and Filipino. This collection also included some songs aimed to promote National Identity, like the National Anthem of the Philippines, the Philippines Our Native Land and even Philippines the Beautiful and adaptation of America the Beautiful. The collection also included some folk songs from other countries.

For a period of time, Romualdez’ collection became the textbook for teaching music in the Primary School. It also ensured that folk tunes from every part of the country is preserved and will be passed to the next generation of Filipinos. Until now, this collection remains to be the most important collection of traditional music from the Philippines, since a copy of it is still available in major Municipal and Provincial Libraries in the country.

Other collections like the ‘Filipino Folk Songs’ by Emilia Reysio-Cruz caters to the so- called ‘Eight Major Languages’ of the country and according to some, the collection is the best representation of the songs from these ethnolinguistic groups.

Dr. Jose Maceda, former chairman of the Department of Asian Music Research of the College of Music of the University of the Philippines, also did some collection which began in 1953 and lasted until 1972. This was followed by collections from his students as well.

During the last years of the 20th Century until the early 21st Century, Raul Sunico, Dean of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas, published his own collection. He began with publishing a collection of lullabies, followed by love songs, then by work songs. Finally, he published a collection of songs about Filipino women, a major topic of traditional songs from all the ethnolinguistic groups. All these collections were arranged for the piano and the words are given in their original languages. A translation is also supplied, not to mention a brief backgrounder about the culture of the specific ethnic groups.

Philippine Folk Dance

Beauty and Grace

INTRODUCTION AND DANCES

Countries in the world have their own cultures made more colorful, beautiful and vibrant because of Folk Dances that are reflection of who they are. In the east, the Chinese have their symbolic Dragon Dance, the Japanese have the ancestral dance Bon Odori. In the west the Americans have their Square Dance. On the other hand, the Philippines will not be left behind. “The Pearl of The Orient” boast of a varitey of Filipino Folk Dances.

The Philippines consist of 7107 islands, and is broken down in three groups of islands. The Luzon, Mindano, and Visayas. Each of these regions contain different languages,history, regligon, and traditions. With each region having different influence in thier arts, crafts, and ancestorical dances. Lets take a trip through each region and explore the different styles, costumes, Dances and Talents from Each Region…. As we explore each of the regions and styles, please remember alot of these Cultural and Folk dances represents hardships and daily back breaking tasks, that has turned into a art form. Many of the dances you will read about here were actuall activities or chores that the Filipino endured to survive the poor economy and state of the nation…..

Traditions and Hertitage – Luzon Region

We Shall Never Forget our Heritage

LUZON — Consisting of the tribes such as Ifugao, Benquet, Kalinga, Bontoc, Apayo, Kalinga, sometimes these are call Igorot. ” But sometimes that is considered degrading .” Cordillerea name also used for some parts the Luzon Region…
Northern most region of the Philippines, Luzon gets its Cultural influence from Hindu-Buddist, Spanish and many ethnic regilous tribes. All with differences and beliefs. But in all the Cultural and Folk Dances from this region represents all different factions in one way or the other.

Dances of Luzon ( see side bar for pictures of many of the dances )

* Dance: Idaw

This dance sometimes has many names and different versions. Most common is this dance depicts the hunting ritual performed before a tribal war. The tribes men would go out and look up and watch for the scared Idaw bird. Which is said to lead the tribe to victory. Also look at the clothing, Philippines being a very hot climate, plus the use of as little material as possible, the traditional clothing was not made to cover much of the body….

* Dance : Banga

This dance displays the Igorot women on their way to the river to fetch the daily water supply for thier familys. It shows the skill and strength of the women as they would carry heavy laiden clay pots (Banga) full of water. Their grace and agility while balancing the heavy pots, sometimes stacks 5 high, is a testiment of the Filipino and how hardships become a art form and talent. As a young girl you would start with only one pot. Of course as you become older and more experienced, along with the fact that you could provide more water for your family in one trip. Pots could be stacked as high as 5 or 6. The more pots you could carry showed your skill and also you standing amoung the women of that area. They would all gather and march to the river each day, singing a native song which is represented by the flute and banging of bamboo on iron pots in the dance……

* Dance : Idudu

The family is the basic structure of family life among the Itneg / Tinggian poeple. The caring for the Children is shared by both the mother and father. While the men are clearing the fields, breaking the soil with bamboo and their feet, the women watch the children. Soon as the men are done, they take care of the children while the women do back breaking work. You can see in the dance how the women will take the bamboo baskets in a shaking fashion like drying the rice, while the men are going in circles in background like they are toiling the land. Then you will see the women put down the baskets fold the cloth into a baby while the husband stands aside. Then the women will turn over the baby to the husband, pick up the bamboo and start toiling the land while the men hold and cradle the babys………

* Dance : Ragsaksakan

The word means ” Merriment”. This dance would be performed after a successful headhunt and also for a peace pact between waring tribles. The colorful hand woven blankets ” blankets of life” are worn around the neck while baskets to carry produce or rice are worn upon the head. Some versions of this dance use the ” Banga ” instead of the basket.

Pride and Honor – Mindanao Region

 

Filipino is Worth Dieing For
MINDANAO — This is the southern most region of The Philippines. Being the second largest island in the Philippines, its Culture consists of mostly Muslium or ” Moro ” people, also composed of other ethnic groups such as the Maranao, Tausug, Banguingui, and indigenous tribes know as Lumad. You will see alot of Arabian, and Middle Eastern influence in thier costumes and dances.

Dances of Mindanao – ( See side bar for pictures and more info)

* Dance : Singkil

Sinkil dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the Muslim princess. Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the Singkil recounts the epic legend of the “Darangan” of the Maranao people of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies or nymph of the forest.

The rhythmic clapping of criss-crossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers wearing solemn faces and maintaining a dignified pose being dancing at a slow pace which soon progresses to a faster tempo skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. The dancers weave expertly through criss-crossed bamboos.

* Dance : Kini Kini

Kini means the Royal Walk. Maranao women performed this dance with scarves. The beauty of the scarve and the talent and grace in which it is displayed. Shows their elite social upbringing.

* Dance : Pangalay

A pangalay native to the Badjao, sometimes known as the “Sea Gypsies.” Pangalay is a dance that emphasizes the agility of the upper body. The rhythmic bounce of the shoulder with simultaneous alternating waving of arms are the basic movement of this dance. The pangalay is commonly performed at weddings and other social gatherings. You will also see some parts of the Sinkgil in this dance also. Another part of this dance is also called the Muslium four Bamboos.

* Dance : Asik

This is performed by a solo madien, adorned with fine beads and make up, long head scarf. She would dance to win the favor of her Sultan master. Many time the girls would dance to win the hearts of her master or to make up for a wrong she had done. She would give her whole heart and soul into this performance to soften the heart of her master to accept her…

LOVE OF LIFE AND COUNTRY – VISAYAS REGION

Live Long, Live Happy, Die Proud

VISAYAS — Being the Central Island of The Philippines, Visayas is also broken down into three sections. Central , Eastern, Western. Consisting of Austronesians, Negritos, these we Animist Tribal Group. Many others tribes from around surrounding island would come after the downfall or break up of thier tribes. Visayas became a melting pot for many different Tribes and Cultural backgrouds. You will find Arbian, Spanish, and some Western influences in the dances of this region. You will see that the dances of the Visayas are more upbeat and exciting, not so much in Drama and tribal meanings as other regions.

Visayas Dances – ( see pictures in the side bar )

* Dance : Sayaw Sa Banko

This dance is native to the barrio of Pangapisan, Lingayen, Pangasinan, and demands skill from its performers who must dance on top of a bench roughly six inches wide.

* Dance : Tinkling

Tinnikling is considered the national folkdance with a pair of dancers hopping between two bamboo poles held just above the ground and struck together in time to music. Originated from Leyte Province, this dance is in fact a mimic movement of “tikling birds” hopping over trees, grass stems or over bamboo traps set by farmers. Dancers perform this dance with remarkable grace and speed jumping between bamboo poles.

* Dance : Subli

The term “subli” is from two tagalog words “subsub” meaning falling on head and “bali”, which means broken. Hence, the dancers appear to be lame and crooked throughout the dance. This version is originally a ritual dance of the natives of Bauan, Batangas, which is shown during fiestas as a ceremonial worship dance to the town’s icon, the holy cross

* Dance : Maglalatik

Originally performed in Binan, Laguna as a mock-war dance that demonstrates a fight between the Moros and the Christians over the prized latik or coconut meat during the Spanish rule, this dance is also shown to pay tribute to the town’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. It has a four-part performance such as the palipasan and the baligtaran showing the intense battle, the paseo and the escaramusa- the reconciliation. Moro dancers wear read trousers while the Christian dancers show up in blue. All dancers are male; with harnesses of coconut shells attached on their chests, backs, thighs and hips

credits to : Philippine cultural folkdances

Philippine Arts

Arts of the Philippines is diversed. Weaving is popular in the northern part of the Philippines. Pottery is also common in pre-Hispanic societies. Ornate carvings are found in the southern Philippine islands. Similarly, wooden art is also quite popular and is displayed in various parts of Filipino homes.

Artistic paintings created by Filipinos began in the 17th century during Spanish colonial times and continued until the present, with such revered artists as Luna, Amorsolo, and Zobel. Other popular artists include Hugo C. Yunzon reflected an earthy style that touches on indigenous Malay culture in pieces such as Early Risers and Mariang Makiling,[1] Nestor Leynes with Mag-ina Sa Banig, Fred DeAsis with Legend of Sari-Manok , and Tam Austria with Mag-Anak. Filipinos have unique folk dances like tinikling where assistants take two long bamboo sticks rapidly and in rhythm, clap sticks for dancers to artistically and daringly try to avoid getting their feet caught between them. Also in the southern part of the Philippines, there is another dance called singkil using long bamboo poles found in tinikling; however, it is primarily a dance showing off lavish Muslim royalty. In this dance, there are four bamboo sticks arranged in a tic-tac-toe pattern in which the dancers exploit every position of these clashing sticks. Dancers can be found trying to avoid all 4 bamboo sticks all together in the middle. They can also try to dance an entire rotation around the middle avoiding all sticks. Usually these stick dances performed in teamwork fashion not solo. The Singkil dance is identifiable with the use of umbrellas and silk clothing.[2] See YouTube tinikling video and YouTube singkil video.

Two examples of traditional Filipino dances are Tinikling and Binasuan and many more.

[[Tanaga] is a type of Filipino poetry.

[[Kut-kut] is an art technique used between the 15th and 18th centuries. The technique was a combination of European and Oriental style and process mastered by indigenous tribes of Samar island.

Past notable Filipino artists include Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Augusto Arbizo, Felix Hidalgo, Dávid Cortés Medalla, Rey Paz Contreras, and Nunelucio Alvarado. Present-day Filipino artists featuring Filipino culture include Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Fred DeAsis, Daniel Coquilla, Ang Kiukok, Mauro Malang Santos, Santiago Bose and Francisco Viri.[3]