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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pandango sa ilaw

Our sector had its early (really very early) Christmas party today and part of it was a Philippine folk dance competition which required 16 participants per group. All the groups prepared well and their costumes were good, however, from the start it was obvious that our group would win… hmmm I say our group but truth is I was not one of the dancers. However, I think I gave the loudest cheer plus synchronized clapping and dancing on the side to the beat of the music also.

Our group danced the Pandanggo sa Ilaw, a lively folk dance which requires the dancers to hold glasses with lighted candles on their palms. Here is one video I’ve seen of the dance…

As you can see the lights are better appreciated when it is dark since the swaying lights are like fireflies dancing. However, even if our dancers performed on daytime the “lights” got highlighted too especially since their presentation is a bit different from the youtube entry. All our dancers are women and had the same dress but 2 sets of color – yellow and green at the start of their presentation they formed a line and knelt with only the first lady at the end bringing 32 candles in glass on a bilao (yellow native tray) and she handed this to the next lady beside her who takes the glass from her then hands it in turn hand it over to the next lady with their hands alternately moving their hands crisscrossed (even if they still do not get the glass) until all of them had glass in their hands. And when they all got the glass stood up once again and performed different formations similar to the one in the video… they did not have a routine with the glass on their heads though since that would have taken longer to practice.

Their start was pretty impressive already but they never lost the momentum… each of their formation drew applause from the audience and at their exit I actually saw our sector head stood up and clapped (and she was one of the judges also) and I thought how could anyone else top their presentation considering we were the first to perform. And I was right, the others were also good but ours was really great!


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