Kababayang Pilipino
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Ancient in origin but contemporaneous, ethnic dance lives on in the Philippines. The forms and functions are many, performed by a variety of ethnic groups over the 7,000-plus islands. Many of these dances have changed through time , but much of what it is are still alive in all color and rhythm, in many modes and observances.

At the base of ethnic dance are those that imitate nature and life while at the social core are performed rituals that keep an ethnolinguistic group (or a convergence of several) which is spirited and cohesive. Dancing as such is a form of survival as much as it is spiritual and social expression.

Many old rituals are still observed, often a composite of expressive forms and religious orientations. The people fear and revere the spirits that dwell in nature (diwatas) including ancestors (anitos). A community gathers around a babaylan (shaman) who officiates at rituals. They honor these spirits, ask for their blessings at planting or harvest time, at birth or at dying, and with pleading deflect an ill that may befall a child, or any person. The people’s life-cycle is also danced out—from the birth of a child to the coming of age of a girl, to courtship, marriage, birth and death.

Kababayang Pilipino’s repertoire draws from all of these influences, and brings to its presentations a reminder of the rich and unique cultural herritage that we all share.

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