Category: Music & Dance

Kadayawan Festival

This weekend celebrates the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, Philippines.

Though, I was originally from the Philippines, I have not heard of this Kadayawan Festival before now.  I’ve only found out about it when one of my Facebook friends posted some photos, including one of her with the current mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, on her timeline.

Volet Lenor-Abad with Mayor Duterte

Volet Lenor-Abad with Mayor Duterte

From Volet’s photos, the festival looks spectacular, with beautiful and colourful costumes and hundreds of participants.  Everyone seems to be having a good time.

1002175_567991866593637_973249696_nWhat is Kadayawan Festival in aid of, I hear you ask!

Well searching the internet gave me the basic information.

The festival apparently is a celebration of harvest, mainly, which began a long time ago along the foot of Mount Apo. It was said that Davao’s ethnic tribe would gather together to give thanks and praise to their gods, Manana in particular being the Supreme Being.  Woven mats would be laden with offerings from their bountiful harvest of fruits, flowers, vegetables, corn and rice.  This must have been quite a sight as the participants ended up dancing and singing with so much joy.  This ritual became a regular get-together amongst the villagers and it grew into the hugest festival in the south of the Philippines.  This year is celebrating the 28th anniversary of the “modern” festival Kadayawan.

Kadayawan was derived from the Mandayan word madayaw, a single word that means so much.  It is about warmth, friendship and also explains that something is valuable, superior, beautiful, good as well as profitable.  What a word eh!!! 🙂

The ritual or today’s festival was not always called Kadayawan.  To start with it was just a form of “pahinungod” – thanksgiving;  in the 70s it joined the lumad people to showcase their various  cultures. And in 1986 it became Apo Duwalin, a configuration from Mt Apo, Durian fruit  and  Waling-waling orchid.  The present name of Kadayawan was a shortened version of Kadayawan sa Dabaw which was coined by Mayor Duterte  himself in 1988.

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Binasuan – Philippine Folk Dance

I remember as a child when I was about 10 years old at Marag Elementary School, selected girls from our class, including me as the star dancer, LOL, learned a folk dance called Binasuan.

Binasuan is a lively and colourful dance originating from Pangasinan, a province on the island of Luzon. It is often danced at weddings and fiestas. Or in our case as a school – end of year presentation.

The word binasuan means “with the use of drinking glasses” The performers balance glasses on their heads and hands while gracefully dancing. This is especially tricky because the glasses are filled with rice wine or some other form of liquid again in our case, tea candles.

The dance was very intricate as it involves rotating the arms in different direction whilst carefully balancing, not holding, glasses in the palms of our hands and another glass on our head.  To top that we had to get down on the floor onto our stomach and roll around still balancing the glasses. Whoever invented the dance was a bit of a sadist! 😉
However, it is a good way to learn good posture.

We did practise quite a lot, and after so many broken glasses and nervous fits of giggles, we perfected it on the night!

My father cut beer bottles to make glasses for me.  I must say he did have to make quite a lot. LOL

I do remember the experience fondly.

glass bottle cutting

Glass bottle cutting

Binasuan – Philippine Folk Dance



Lesson In Idol Worship According to Jim Paredes


January 23, 2013, 2:14pm
Manila Bulletin
 Jim Paredes' most prominent solo work is 1986' 'Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo'
Jim Paredes’ most prominent solo work is 1986′ ‘Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo’

MANILA, Philippines – It is common to see girls screaming themselves hoarse, if not literally going crazy over good-looking male and female idols that make up the currently very popular Hallyu trend, particularly K-pop. But what to make of boys that do the same?

A recent report on GMA News revealed that there’s a growing number of young male Pinoys that are as rabid fans as their female counterparts in rapt adoration of imported South Korean music talents. Not only do they buy album after album of these pop gods, they also try in earnest to save their earnings just to be able to attend their concerts.

Indeed, more than just memorizing the song lyrics, aping the dance moves, and combing their hair in the manner of their heroes, they also collect all sorts of memorabilia they could get their paws on. These include shirts, posters, even rare energy drink cans bearing the images of such K-pop idols as Girl’s Generation and Super Junior.

There’s a lesson to be gleaned in such dedicated adulation, this according to respected Filipino musician Jim Paredes of APO fame, who believes that the establishment of such strong rapport between fan and star is a result of hard work and perseverance that involves not only the artists themselves but the South Korean nation as a whole — and it’s something we Filipinos should strive to emulate.

“They have five, ten year contracts, [in the course of which] they come out very polished, they are taught everything,” he said in the same report. “Ang ginagawa nila magkasabwat and record company ang radio, TV, media, government, everything…in promoting them. Pati na ang tourism [department] kasama dun.”

Paredes maintains that the growing clamor for these foreign acts only serves to highlight the fact that we are yet to come up with a good answer that will serve to combat the slow decline of the relative importance of Original Pilipino Music [OPM] in the consciousness of young Pinoy music lovers.

Not that he believes it’s too late for the local industry to rise up to such a challenge, insisting that key to this, is learning to appreciate what is truly ours.

“Koreans sing Koreans, Chinese sings Chinese, tayo lang ang hindi ganu’on,” he explained. “Globalize the Filipino who speaks Filipino to the world.”

“Remember that our most successful recording ever was ‘Anak,’ it was in Tagalog. Tri-nanslate sa maraming languages ang mabili pa rin ‘yung Tagalog.”


This is a  very useful and enlightening topic for Filipinos around the world.  It is time the we take pride in ourselves as Filipinos, because the thing is no one else will if we don’t!

Music to soothe the ears!

Some classic orchestral music to cheer you up in these cold dark days as we wait for Christmas & the return of Spring!

The Portsmouth Sinfonia are famous or should that be infamous for taking the classics to a different level!
The Sinfonia were regarded as the worlds worst orchestra and were justly proud of that title!
There probably isn’t a musical masterpiece they haven’t mangled! 🙁

The orchestra was formed in 1970 at the Portmouth School of Art.

Sinfonia- straight in- no warm up or rehearsal!

The Sinfonia had a unique entrance criteria, in that players had to either be non-musicians, or if already a musician, the new member had play an instrument that was entirely new to them without learning it!
It was rumoured that any member of the Sinfonia becoming proficient at playing their instrument was asked to leave the orchestra!

The orchestra started as a one-off, tongue-in-cheek,spoof performance art ensemble, but over a ten year period they became a culteral phenomenon.
They perfomed at concerts, recorded albums, had a hit single and made a movie. The Sinfonia last performed publicly in 1979.

The Portsmouth Sinfonia certainly hold an idiosyncratic and eccentric niche in British humour and art. 😉

They live  on via Youtube…
Watch, Listen and ENJOY 🙂

‘Classic Muddley’ AKA Classical Melody of miscellaneous pieces

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