Top Adsense

Best Pandangggo sa Ilaw Folk Dance - in Choral Music Version [Oasiwas Dance]

Pandanggo Sa Ilaw – A Traditional Philippine Folk Dance / PANDANGGO SA ILAW – is a Philippine Folk Dance that was derived from the “Fandango”, a Spanish Folk Dance.

There is no one version of the Pandanggo sa Ilaw. Each locality has its own version of the dance. The dance is performed with three oil lamps that a dancer has to balance. One on the head and one on the back of each hand. Two of the most popular versions of the dance would be from Mindoro and Oasioas. Also, the Philippine Folk dance, “Cariñosa”, has Pandangga as its base dance.

Pandanggo is a Philippine folk dance which has become popular in the rural areas of the Philippines. The dance evolved from Fandango, a Spanish folk dance, which arrived in the Philippines during the Hispanic period. The dance is accompanied by castanets. This dance, together with the Jota, became popular among the illustrados or the upper class and later adapted among the local communities. In the early 18th century, any dance that is considered jovial and lively was called Pandanggo.

Pandanggo sa Ilaw is a waltz-style, playful folk dance that exhibits a distinctive fusion of local and western indigenous dance types. Pandanggo sa Ilaw simulates fireflies at dusk or dawn light and flight. It portrays a young man’s courtship to a maiden who caught his interest. In Oriental Mindoro, this festival is called the’ Pandang Gitab’ or the’ Festival of Lights’ with the dance at the middle of everything. After the now renowned folk dance called the’ pandanggo sa ilaw’ and the’ dagitab’ or the flicker of light, this festival was invented and created.

Pandanggo sa Ilaw lyrics (Filipino Folk Songs)

Nang pista sa nayon

Nagsayaw ka hirang

Napakagandang pagmasdan

Ang maliliit mong hakbang

At ang tatlong basong

May taglay na ilaw

Ay tinimbang mong lahat

Sa ulo't sa mga kamay

Ngunit 'di mo alam

Na minamasdan kita

At nabihag mo ako

Sa iyong pandanggong kay sigla

Magbuhat na noon

Ay inaalala ka

Dahil sa walang lakas

Ang puso kong limutin ka

Sa pandanggo mo'y

Hanga ang lahat

Tangan mong mga ilawan

Ni isa'y walang lumagpak

Puso kong ito

Nais ko liyag

Ay ingatan mo na rin

Pagka't ikaw ang may hawak.

What is Pandanggo Folk Dance?

Descended from the Spanish fandango, the pandanggo is a dance in 3/4 or 6/8 time. It supposedly means “go and dance,” and is considered the base of all Spanish dances. It is one of the most traditional of the Zapotec dances which reached Europe in the 17th century as the Reinos de las Indias of the American Indians. 

It has turned up in many variations as the malagueña, rondina, grandina, and muricana. It could also have come from the Arab and Egyptian ghawazees (dancing girls) and could have been used later both for religious devotion and sexual flirtation. The Spanish fandango is danced to castanets, guitars, tambourines, and alternately, to verses of love or coplas.

Brought to the islands during the Spanish colonial period, the fandango was indigenized into the local pandanggo, which is variously called pandangyado, pandanguedo, pangdangiodo, pandanguiado, pandangguhan, and pandang-pandang. It has been danced with various properties: sa ilaw (with light) in Mindoro, sa sambalilo (with hat) in Bulacan, sa plato (on a plate) in Laguna, sa tapis (with overskirt) in Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan, and sa bulig (with mudfish) in Bulacan again, involving skill as much as grace.

There are several regional or local variations: pandanguido buraweño in Samar, pandangiodo sorsogueño in Bicol, dumagueteño in Negros Oriental, laoaggueña and vintarina in Ilocos, ivatan in Batanes, pandanggo in Camiling and Moncada, Tarlac, sarrateño in Ilocos Norte, San Narciso in Quezon, Leyte, and Davao.

There is even a Talaingod pandangguhan which tells of a legendary charismatic leader named Emboyag. After bathing in a river, he danced the pandangguhan. After that, he ceremoniously left, saying that he had given the people the dance as a heritage. The sayaw sa obando has an accompanying song that says the dance is a pandanggo. It is danced for fertility, to find a wife or husband, or to seek a good harvest. It honors three saints—Santa Clara, Nuestra Señora de Salambao, and San Pascual Bailon.

The pandanggo, however, is predominantly a courtship dance as exemplified by the pandang-pandang, an Antique wedding dance where gifts, including money, are showered on the bridal couple. It exhibits the dexterity of the man, who claps beneath his raised knee or strikes his sides with flourish. The pandanggo ivatan from Batanes is held in the groom’s home. Gifts or gala are also given, from the groom to his bride and from the guests to the couple. The guests are offered drinks in return.

North to south, the pandanggo is costumed: from the maria clara (native gown) in the pandangyado that is only danced amenudo or by a couple in Samar, to the balintawak of the Ilocano and Tagalog, and the patadyong of the Bicolano and Visayan. Many versions have sway balances, waltz steps, and turns, and the kumintang in common. Many of the steps involve pursuing (in all directions), changing of places (some in quadrille style), and circling each other.

There is a display of coyness or invitation, applauding each other, and luring—with a hat, in the Tarlac and Leyte pandanggo, and pandanggo sa sambalilo; a kerchief, in the Samar pandangyado; a fan, in the Leyte pandanguiado buraweño; or a glass of wine, in the Quezon abaruray. With its attractive lights called tinghoy, the pandanggo sa ilaw from Mindoro, most possibly symbolical or occupational in origin, is the most theatrical and popular of all the pandanggo today.

The pandanggo has been featured by folk dance companies like the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, whose pandanggo sa ilaw has always been a showstopper. Contemporary choreographers have also used the pandanggo for their works, as Basilio did in Tropical Tapestry in 1978. 


Apel, Willi and Ralph T. Daniel, eds. 1961. The Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music. New York: Pocket Books.

Bañas, Raymundo. 1975. Pilipino Music and Theater. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Co.

Buckman, Peter. 1978. Let’s Dance—Social, Ballroom and Folk Dancing. New York and London: Paddington Press.

Hanna, Judith Lynne. 1983. The Performer-Audience Connection. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Miel, Juan C. 1979. Samar Folk Dances. Catbalogan: Government of Samar.

Pascua-Ines, Teresita. 1973. Ilocano Folk Dances. Manila: National Bookstore.

Peter Royce, Anya. 1977. The Anthropology of Dance. Bloomington: Indiana University.

Reyes-Aquino, Francisca. 1953, 1960, 1966, 1975. Philippine Folk Dances. Vols. I-II (1953), III-IV (1960), V (1966), and VI (1975). Quezon City: Kayumanggi Press.

Reyes-Tolentino, Francisca, and Petrona Ramos. 1927. Philippine Folk Dances and Games. New York: Silver Burdett, 1927.

Sachs, Curt. 1937 (1963). World History of the Dance. Translated by Bessie Schonberg. New York: W. W. Norton.

No comments:

Got Something to Say? Thoughts? Additional Information?

Powered by Blogger.