For a change, we’re going to put down our textbooks and take a break from study and grammar discussions. Today, we’re going to dip into the history and culture of a country.
The Philippines has had a very long and complicated history with Spain. To be exact, 333 years. In fact, the name “Philippines” came from that of Phillip II, who was a king of Spain in the 16th century.
With such a long history, Spanish influence can still be seen in many parts of the Philippines. For example, in the very common family names “de la Cruz,” “de los Reyes,” and “de los Santos,” in the concept of siestas and fiestas, in many vocabulary words that are either derived or direct imports from Spanish, and in so many other aspects.
In terms of architecture, one of the biggest preservations in the Philippines can be found in Intramuros (“The Walled City”) -- in its churches and old houses.
This is because Intramuros was the center of commerce and politics during the Spanish era.
Some Traditional Dances
Now, here are a few traditional dances from the Philippines.
This one in particular is from our brothers in the South, the Mindanaoans:
The next one is called Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Fandango of Lights), which features dancers and glasses with lit candles in them. It's a very beautiful sight to behold because the lights in a dimmed place look like fireflies (at least to me) ;-D. And especially when wrapped inside colored handkerchiefs, they create an amazing effect.
This last one is called "Sayaw sa Bangko" (Dance on top of a Bench). It's another joy to watch because the dancers (a couple) hop nimbly from one end of a narrow bench to another.
These are but a few. There are many other great traditional dances in the Philippines.
How about in your country? What traditional dances and customs do you have?