A Dance with Culture – Beautiful Sunday
My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108
Every country has its own unique culture, art and dance. A dance is also a way of communicating and breaks language barriers. It shows emotion, tells stories and even influences others. Today I will share with you a cultural show inspired not only by our country, but by other countries as well. Come with me and witness a show full of color, music and culture.
A Dance with Culture
If ever you would visit Villa Escudero Resort you are in for a treat. After enjoying a buffet by the waterfall, visiting the museum and rafting on the river. A show is held every 2 pm to entertain the visitors of the resort.
Feel free to visit our previous activities
The event is held at a restaurant beside the river. Immediately a fountain would greet you as you near the wooden structure with hints of ethnic design. Before you enter it is a good idea to check the surroundings as there are some interesting statues near the area. Among those is a scene called Harana, a Philippine culture in which men serenade women to impress them.
Before you enter restaurant there are two large stone containers. These filled with water and decorated with flower petals found inside the resort. The flower I recognize is the King’s mantle a violet flower with a yellow center. It is also found in other parts of the globe like Florida.
The place is very spacious, close to river and surrounded by trees. I could imagine having a romantic dinner here at night. Right now a few people are starting to settle in for the show. Sitting on a table does not require you to order anything as the show is a part of the tour that you already paid for. Although I was told that the show is quite long and would be up to you if you would like to order some snacks.
You could buy some alcohol if you wish and they offer “Lambanog” a local wine made from extracted coconut sap. Sounds interesting? The process in making is lengthy and you would need to climb up a coconut tree. Extracting from the sap, distillery and fermentation. I would love to share with you one day if I could visit a distillery.
While waiting you will be serenaded with local traditional music. It gives the air a festive feeling and just adds to the excitement.
After a while, the tables are all occupied, but there are some plastic chairs provided to accommodate the other visitors. I preferred to stand up so I could go around and take some shots.
Ethnic music began to play and people in traditional costumes came out. A dance interpretation of the Ifugao that showcases a part of our tribal culture. The tribal music from drums and gongs caught the attention of everyone.
While dancing the male performers help instruments called Gangsa. It looks like a pan and struck with a stick and makes a very distinct ethnic sound. I have to admit that the performers has grabbed me and seems to have taken me to another part of our country. I have never seen an authentic Ifugao dance to compare it with, but this was very interesting.
Another part of their performance have taken us to some sort of war dance with wooden shields on hand.
As a finale, the chief is raised up in the air as a sign of victory.
Another interpretation of a dance from the Cordillera region in the Philippines. Maidens carrying woven baskets on their heads as they performed gracefully. According to the host this dance is called Ragragsakan and is done during peace of opposing tribes.
The baskets contains woven blankets and the dance shifts to a different part of the performance.
The blankets are held up and the colorful blankets are waved in the air. Followed by a dance and as they go around in circles. You would want to see more of the performance.
On the left side of the stage are men also wearing ethnic costumes. They play an instrument made from bamboo which is hit on the floor. The sound that it makes feels like you are being sucked in some sort of a trance.
The next part of the performance is called the Banga dance. Claypots that are skillfully balanced on the maiden’s head. The claypots are authentic and I could only think how heavy it weighs. According to the host this is done as a part of a wedding ceremony. Showing the strength of women as they perform their daily activities. An amazing tribute to our amazing women.
Thumping sounds and shouts from the performers are intense, and you won’t be able to keep your eyes off their performance. The instruments held by the women are traditional instruments called Kudyapi. This dance is inspired by the Lumads from the Mindanao region found in the southern area of the Philippines.
A dance called Sohten in preparation for battle and a way to ask the gods to protect them.
On the right side of the stage are the musicians and the group that keeps up the beat. The music that they create immerses more into the show. As the performers shouts and screams the music heightens the excitement.
There are three main drums used and the beat never stops.
Gongs of different sizes are suspended and arrange in order. These are used traditionally and used by ethnic Muslims groups in our country. The instrument looks very authentic and the sound it makes is like an introduction to a royalty from a tribe.
This instrument is called Kulintang and the sound it makes are like voices that echoes from the mountains. Every note is like a word from a mysterious language. This instrument truly stands out and defines the identity of a culture.
Some of the performances are inspired by other Asian countries. I am not quite sure if this is still from our country. With knifes and hand fans on hand the performance gears up a level.
One of the dances are like fairy tale stories adapted from an Indian legend called Ramayana. This dance performance is called Singkil.
The covering bring mystery how the main star of the play looks like.
If I am not mistaken this character is the father of the princess.
Long bamboo poles are brought in and some of you might wonder what they are for. As we go along you will find out shortly. Some sort of pact is made between the father and the prince.
The princess along with her loyal servant that never leaves her side.
As a part of the story the princess is catching butterflies in the forest, and the fans depicts the butterflies in this play. The princess gets trapped in the forest by an earthquake made by the spirits in the forest. The bamboo poles signifies trees that are used to trap the princess.
The prince looks for her princess in the dense forest.
In this dance the princess steps between the bamboo poles. The poles are closed together in rhythm and timing is crucial for your feet not to get caught. This act signifies the princess escaping the falling trees from the forest, and is aided by her loyal servant.
The prince arrives with his sword and shield. Prepared to fight the spirits and rescue her princess.
At the near end of the performance the cast sings a song and some of them weaves animal figures from palm leaves.
The song is in a dialect that I could not understand, but the dance breaks all language barriers.
As this part of the show closes. The performers heads out to the spectators to hand out animal figures to chosen viewers.
Made on the spot from coconut palm leaves, this resembles a fish.
One of the lucky spectators is my daughter @bearkid who was handed a bird. A souvenir to remind us of this amazing performance. Some performances are a bit hard to determine, but brief explanations are given by the host during the performance. None the less the show was very enjoyable.
Thank you again for joining me in this trip thru dance and culture. Just of the beautiful experiences that you could witness in our country. To be honest it was a first time for me to witness such a spectacle and I don’t mind experiencing it again.
Please let me know what you think and leave some comments. Let’s talk about dance as I’d love to hear from you. Until then hope to see you again and have a good evening.
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm