Department of Education - Davao City Division - DepEd Davao

Bb. Sining 2012 (Culture & Arts Festival) PDF Print E-mail
When the Spaniards landed on our shores, they discovered that our Filipino ancestors already had a tradition of songs and dances in celebrating important events in their community which included preparing for battle and to mourn the dead.

The Spanish chronicler Antonio Pigafetta wrote in the 16th century that while he was a house guest of a Cebuano chieftain’s son-in-law and heir, young women entertained him with a dance accompanied by “harmonious sweet sounds from brass gongs.”  In due recognition of the importance of the early Filipinos’ dances, the friars harnessed them for the propagation of the new faith, Roman Catholicism, thus slowly displacing may of the old native dances.  Thus, from the 16th to the rest of the 19th century, many dances from Europe and Mexico were used for religious and secular purposes.

Filipinos were so fond of dances in celebrating their fiestas and family reunions that they readily accepted the rigodon, virginia, lanceros, jota, balse, pandanggo, habanera, escotis, mazurka, paseo, marcha and pasadoble which were introduced by the Spanish colonizers.  Our native ancestors gradually assimilated these foreign dances into their lifestyle while evolving their own simplified versions and derivations of the different dance forms.

In 1846, Jean Mallat wrote his observation:  “The fandango, the capateado, the cachucha, and other Spanish dances have been adopted by the Indians, and they do not lack grace when they dance them to the accompaniment of castanets, which they play with a remarkable precision.  They also execute some dances of Nueva Espana, such as for example the jarebes, where they show all the Spanish vivacity with movements of their figure, of their breasts, of their hips, to right and left, forward and backward, and pirouettes, whose rapidity is such that the eye can scarce follow them.”

It is, indeed, remarkable that Filipinos of the past and present have the ability to adopt whatever they feel is suitable to them and their conditions.  Graceful Philippine dances are unique and enchanting; making them distinct from those of our neighbouring South East Asian countries.

Last Sunday, February 19, the Department of Education of Region XI-Davao City Division in cooperation with the LGU-Davao City, Davao City National High School Special Program in the Arts, SM City-Davao and the Davao Crocodile Park presented the 3rd Division Culture and Arts Festival (DCAF 2012) to celebrate the National Arts Month.  The annual celebration of National Arts Month started in 1991 with the late Corazon Cojuanco-Aquino’s Presidential Decree Proclamation 683 declaring February as National Arts Month. Since it is a popular event, lots visitors start searching for cheap hotels in Davao online in advance to receive the best accommodation deal.

So you think Davaoeos can dance?  Young and lithe dancers throbbing with excitement comprising school dance troops representing the various public schools of Davao City gave the greatest performance of their lives.  Even before the dance competition started, so many of these young dancers were seen going around the mall for a colourful display of their versions of the mestiza dresses which would truly make veteran fashion designer and former Bayanihan dancer Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o doubly proud.

Oh my, but the pretty young things were walking along the corridors of the SM Mall like they were doing the catwalk on a fashion runway.  I followed them to SM City-Davao’s Entertainment Centre which was already filled to capacity with the attendance of parents, family members, classmates, teachers, and kibitzers.  I was welcomed by Amelia Lacerna, Education Program Supervisor for Culture and the Arts, and the Festival director Edmund Superada.

Lively and fast dance movements accented by the scintillating rhythm of bamboo castanets; followed by contrasting slow rhythm typically native in execution; and again reverting to the fast tempo, I sat mesmerized and felt pride as I watched the series of various interpretations of Philippine folk dances.  And not to fail to mention

the fabulous and so baroque interpretations of the mestiza dress by our City’s public school students.  But why on earth was there not a single Mindanao folk dance like kandingan, singkil, sagayan, to mention a few, presented by our Mindanaoan students?

The competition truly highlighted the artistic brilliance of Davaoenos in dance.

Oh, the enviable flexibility of young bodies and the graceful hand movements.    Indeed, Davaoenos are eloquent in communicating through body movements and rhythms.  Yes, music and dance are the best expressions that have been blessed on Davaoenos in heaps.

Congratulations everybody.
NINA Sartagoda reigns as Bb. Sining 2012
NINA Sartagoda reigns as Bb. Sining 2012
Credits to Mindanao Times 


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