Origin: Zamboanga del Sur
The Pangalay emphasizes the mastery of hand gestures, postures, and subtle movement. It is an etremely slow and solemn dance, stressing the abstract purity of form. Usually dancers arrive on the scene in an orderly geometric procession formation, carrying the hems of their batik sarongs. Majestic, almost martial, music accompanies them to the scene of the performance. The dancers then kneel down in respect before beginning the actual dance. Footwork is relatively simple, but the grouping of the dancers changes almost unnoticeably, creating ever-newer and increasingly intricate patters, like pieces on a chessboard.
Pangalay is a popular festival dance in Sulu. It is performed in wedding celebrations and at big social affairs. Wedding celebrations among the rich families in Sulu are lavishly observed. They may last for several days or even weeks depending on the financial status and agreement of both families. Well known dancers perform the dance while others feast. Expert dancers use janggay, extended metal finger nails made of gold or silver.
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.
As seen in the following Likha performances