Nayong Pilipino: A Cultural Presentation

Monday, June 2, 2014

Aside from the people and history, our culture also boasts colorful dances, costumes and songs which can only be best described in a cultural presentation.

Me and friend Anica, Officer In Charge of the Museum of Weaves

It is very seldom that I get to watch cultural presentation but the feeling after watching it is the same every time. The park has its very own cultural dancers, out-of-school youths that the foundation has housed and taken care of. But they are not merely dancers, but employees of the park as well. I always watch out for the Singkil, my favorite among the very many traditional cultural dances that we have. In high school, I was lucky to be a part of the curriculum of studying cultural dance like the Malong for P.E. But that was a long time ago, and I have already forgotten the steps.

From Wikipedia:
The Singkíl originated from the Maranao people who inhabit the shores of Lake Lanao. It is derived from a story in theDarangen, the Maranao interpretation of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. The name of the dance itself means "to entangle the feet with disturbing objects such as vines or anything in your path". It is a popular dance performed during celebrations and other festive entertainment. Originally only women, particularly royalty, danced the Singkíl, which serves as either a conscious or unconscious advertisement to potential suitors.
The lead dancer, in the role of Putri Gandingan (the Darangen name for Sita), graciously step in and out of closing bamboos poles arranged in either a parallel, rectangular, or criss-cross fashion while manipulating either apir (fans), mosala (scarves), or even just their bare hands. A kulintang and agung ensemble always accompanies the dance.
While often erroneously referred to by non-Maranaos as a "Muslim dance", the Singkíl is in fact secular in nature, performed by the Ummah communities of the Maranao and Maguindanao. Initially, the dance was performed with just one pair of bamboo poles, eventually adopting the use of two criss-crossing pairs. 


Paso Doble 

One of the dances we inherited from the Spanish. This is almost similar to the flirtatious Spanish Flamenco Dance. 

La Jota Manilena or Castanets Dance

Pista sa Nayon

The Philippines is a country of festivals. And each day from January to December, a town is celebrating a feast day of their patron saint. Here, the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Dancers showcased the festivities through dance.

Sayaw ng Bulaklak or Bulaklakan 


"The tinikling is a pre-Spanish dance from the Philippines that involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. The name is a reference to birds locally known as tikling, which can be any of a number of rail species; the term tinikling literally means "tikling-like."[2] The dance originated in Leyte among theVisayan islands in the central Philippines as an imitation of the tikling bird dodging bamboo traps set by rice farmers. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles." - From Wikipedia

/Guest Participation

Guest Participation

Sayaw sa Bangko


Sayaw ed Tapew na Bangko (dance on top of a bench), is a dance which originates from Pangasinan and researched by Jovita Sison. It is performed by a couple on a narrow bench, inching and hopping from one end to another. Dancer show skill in staying up the bench as they exchange places by moving their way around or the girl thrown in the air while boy moves to the other end. They do not compete but rather complement each other so that no one falls. It is usually performed during town fiestas. -

Music: Nayong Pilipino Rondalla

Laro-Aral ( Traditional Malong Dance- The Many Ways to Wear a Malong)

The Laro-Aral ( Study-Play) Program of the Nayong Pilipino is something that we can be proud of. The students (for educational trips) and foreign visitors can actually have a feel of wearing the traditional malong. The Malong has many uses

The malong is a traditional "tube skirt" made of handwoven or machine-made multi-colored cotton cloth, bearing a variety of geometric orokir designs. The malong is akin to the sarong worn by peoples in MalaysiaBrunei and Indonesia. The malong is traditionally used as a garment by numerous tribes in the Southern Philippines and the Sulu Archipelago.- Wikipedia

The pictures show the Nayong Pilipino dancers the many uses of the malong for men. Also, after many, many years, I was able to actually wear the many uses of the malong. I have a malong at home, but it's main purpose for me is to be a blanket.

Beat and rhythm of the dance comes from these traditional folk instruments

We get a first hand experience in trying the malong. 

I am earnestly trying to digest the instructions on how to wear it on women.

Still struggling..using it as a mask.

Isn't it obvious I am struggling to get it right?

Finally, after a few attempts I got to wear it the simplest way!


The best part of all of these is just like having to travel the whole Philippines in just a matter of hours. It is just a shame that the government is not subsidizing the park. And that the finances used in the maintenance solely comes from the park's revenues. And mind you, they are still being taxed. 

Comparing to other 'world-class" theme parks we have here in the country, I think that preserving and maintaining Nayong Pilipino is more important because this is what our children need more, an educational institution that would re-introduce them to their roots. If we have friends who visits our country, this is the best place for us to bring them, to give them a better experience in culture immersion in one day.

My overall experience in Nayong Pilipino surpassed my expectation.The only problem and reason that I know why the park isn't getting any walk-in visitors is the location. It is so difficult going to the park when commuting. Clark Freeport Zone does not have any form of public transportation inside area. Even the staff would walk about 2 kilometers from the main gate to Nayong Pilipino.  

In my opinion, if the government can spend millions of pesos in gaming facilities, why not invest in something like the Nayong Pilipino and this would definitely be at par with other world-class theme parks.

Keep the faith,


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