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The Western European ways of life spread throughout the islands of the Philippines, where Spain had much contact. This suite showcases the Spanish influence in music, dance, dress, and societal customs introduced by the Spaniards.



Aray meaning “ouch” in Tagalog is flirtatious dance with use of panuelo, shawl or tambourines.



Chotis was a ballroom dance during the Spanish regime. This Filipinized version of the Chotis features young ladies as they flirtatiously sway hats in waltz tempo.



Paso doble means double step. The dance is based on the movements of a bullfighter in the ring. A señorita flirtatiously wields her fan, using it to stress a point.



This jota shows the European fashion styles during the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 in the Cagayan province. It comes from the 16th century courtship dance, Canaries, which is said to be the “parent of the Jota.”



A dance about the pursuit of a very beautiful woman, made popular by the Batanggenyos through a song composed by Francisco Buencamino of Bulacan



A courtship dance that originated in Panay but was popularized in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, the Cariñosa, or “Amiable,” depicts a man courting a woman while being restricted from touching her. During the old times, it was scandalous for a man to touch even the fingertips of a lady. The representation of such is seen in the dance, in which a demure lady is protecting herself from the man using a scented fan and a handkerchief, as if playing hide-and-seek.



A variation of jota with clicking of bamboo castanets and zapateados from Cavite.



Named after Queen Isabela of Spain, Isabela province in northwestern Luzon is home to a very lively adaptation of the Spanish Jota. It was said to originate in the grand ballrooms of elegant mansions as guests dances to the rondalla while wearing their finest gowns and suits.



This jota from Intramuros, danced to the banduria and guitar while accompanied by the clicking of bamboo castanets, showcases the many ways of using the Manton de Manila, or shawl.



This is Manila’s version of the famous jota of Spain with its typical clicking of castanets bearing a Spanish influence.



A lively jota introduced by the Spaniards to the Philippines. The golpes, stampas, and cubradas come from Paragua, the old name of Palawan.



From Tanza, Iloilo, this dance is named for the tambourines that the women carry, featuring Iberian styles of dancing in complicated zapateado footwork and castanets.



Courtship dance from Atimonan, Quezon


USAHAY (song)

Usahay is a Visayan song. The word itself means “sometimes.” The song supposedly speaks of a lover who sometimes dreams that he and his loved one are actually together. He asks why he’d live in this world should he not have her. He thinks of how it is to be with her, if only in his dreams. Usahay is also often times sung by a female, as with many other Filipino love songs. Nitoy Gonzales, who has been based in the US, composed the immortal Cebuano classic.

Photos: Tak3n Photograpy | This is it Photograpy

Resource: Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group

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