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.


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