Posted by: neblinoso | December 7, 2009

Cultural Dancing

I attended a cultural dance performance Saturday afternoon with Rico.  It was held in the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines).  According to Wikipedia, the building’s ceremonial inauguration was held in 1969 and attended by then California governor Ronald Regan.  What wikipedia doesn’t tell you was that during the center’s construction, a portion of the foundation collapsed, trapping many people.  Due to the tight schedule of needing to finish the building by a certain date and the difficulty it would be to dig out the people, a decision was made to continue construction and simply pay off the families of those who were trapped.  The building is said to be haunted by those who were buried alive and screams and moaning can still be heard.

I didn’t see any ghosts, but i was witness to some amazing and beautiful dances.  The Kaloob (which means gift or revelation) troupe studied for many years, traveling to the provinces to learn the native dances from those who still performed them.  The proceeds from the show went to help typhoon Ondoy victims. I think what i enjoyed most was the colorful costumes, so detailed and vibrant.

The show opened with a dance that took place in the rice terraces of one of the provinces.  There were also ceremonial and courting dances.  One of my favorites told the men how to read the signs from a woman who was fanning herself.  The way she fanned herself had many meanings, some flirtatious and some filled with anger, all demonstrated with a fan, which was amusing.

I also enjoyed the Spanish-influenced dances, too, some of which involved castanets made from bamboo.  I was amazed in one of the dances how poised the girls were as they balanced lighted candles on their heads.  I don’t think i can stand still and balance a book  on my head let alone dance with a burning flame in the middle of my hair. 

The last dance was probably my favorite.  It was called the Tinikling and involved some fast and fancy footwork jumping in and out of bamboo rods that were being clinked together.  This dance depicted the hopping tikling bird trying to escape bamboo traps in the rice fields.   Another dance i’d injure myself or someone else if i attempted it.  I’m sure in the course of learning that dance many toes were pinched or ankles bruised.  The dancers never even looked down, they kept their heads up, faces smiling and jumped around like it was a game of hopscotch. 

After the show we met up with Frances and her sister to enjoy one last shabu shabu meal at Lau Chan’s.  I’m really going to miss this hot-pot resto.  I’d been craving squid balls since we were in Boracay, and that’s where i first had them.  I think the key is the soup as that’s what everything is cooked in.  I don’t know what it’s made of, but i ♥ it.  


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