01 September, 1992

Sa Nayon

Laughter and gaiety commonly used to describe the Filipino people takes root in the Philippine countryside. Life in the barrio is simple, but Filipinos always manage to find time to celebrate life's gifts. The annual fiestas to celebrate the patron saints of the barrios symbolize the mixture of pagan and Catholic belief. Fiestas not only honor the patron saint, but give homage to the barrio's namesake for a good harvest, health, and perserverance. These fiestas are marked with celebrations of holy mass, music, dance and song.



Origin: Bayambang, Pangasinan
    This colorful and lively dance from Bayambang in the Pangasinan province shows off the balancing skills of the dancers. The glasses that the dancers gracefully, yet carefully, maneuver are half-filled with rice wine gracefully who whirl and roll on the floor. Binasuan, meaning "with the use of a drinking glass" in Pangasinan, is often performed as entertainment at weddings, birthdays, and fiestas. At social gatherings, the dance becomes a contest among the dancers as well as non-dancers as to who can do the most daring and skillful balancing movements.


    At one baptismal party in the Surigao del Norte province, a young lady named Kanang (the nickname for Cayetana), considered the best dancer and singer of her time, was asked to dance the Sibay. She became so enthusiastic and spirited during the performance that she began to improvise movements and steps similar to the movements of itik, the duck, as it walks with short, choppy steps and splashes water on its back while calling to its mate. The people liked the dance so much that they all imitated her. There are six separate foot sequences in the series of Itik-Itik steps.

Pandanggo sa ilaw / Oasis 

Origin: Lubang Island, Mindoro (Visayas)
    This popular dance of grace and balance comes from Lubang Island, Mindoro in the Visayas region. The term pandanggo comes from the Spanish word fandango, which is a dance characterized by lively steps and clapping that varies in rhythm in 3/4 time. This particular pandanggo involves the presence of three tinggoy, or oil lamps, balanced on the head and the back of each hand.After a good catch, fishermen of Lingayen would celebrate by drinking wine and by dancing, swinging and circling a lighted lamp. Hence, the name "Oasiwas" which in the Pangasinan dialect means "swinging." This unique and colorful dance calls for skill in balancing an oil lamp on the head while circling in each hand a lighted lamp wrapped in a porous cloth or fishnet. The waltz-style music is similar to that of Pandanggo sa Ilaw.


Origin: IIlocos
    Dancers gayfully imitate the dove as they bill and coo.


    A dance interpreting toil in the life of the fishermen in the river called Pasig. Manifesting the native means of catching the fish.


Origin: Batangas
    This version is from Talumpok, a ritual dance.