ETHNIC DANCE FESTIVAL 2010
Choreographer: Jay Loyola
In Philippine Tagbanua communities, Pakidwa is a prayer: there is no separation between dance, theater, ceremonial prayer, and the physical well-being of the community. In this ceremony, a masikampo male tribal leader dresses like a babaylan shamanic priestess: he will sanctify the union of Tagbanua couples. The dancers wear red to drive away evil spirits, and wave dried pandan leaves to signal the deities crossing the threshold of the spirit world. Then they drink tabad rice wine prepared from the earliest spring buds. The wine binds the individual to the group and insures the union will flow as smooth as wine. It also invites the presence of the gods, as it has an excellent flavor and it’s a pleasure found only on Earth. In the final dance, the intricate footwork is another well-chosen offering: it’s a favorite of the dieties, as are the musical instruments, the babandil brass gong and long bamboo karatung.