Kwaresma is Lent. It is the season when Filipinos remember Christ’s passion (his suffering and death) and resurrection. It starts on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter Sunday. On this day, you will see Catholic Filipinos returning from church with ash smudged on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. If you don’t have the mark, you will be asked if you have attended Mass. Continue reading “Holy Week in the Philippines”
Tinikling involves two people hitting bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. It originated in Leyte among the Visayan islands in central Philippines as an imitation of the tikling bird.
Once taught simply as a folk dance from the Philippines, it has recently become popular in the sports curricula of elementary schools as it involves skills similar to jumping rope. It’s now a new, fun form of aerobic exercise that also improves spatial awareness, rhythm, foot and leg speed, agility, and coordination.
There are now so many tinikling products available in the United States. Not just tinikling music CDs and dance-steps instruction DVDs, but also tinikling sticks and cords! For the authentic experience, you must find thick bamboo poles!
Up until a few decades ago, the word pamalis (pangwalis) was also common, and if you use it today, it can still be understood, because it is a conjugation of the verb walis and it literally means “something used for sweeping.”
Brooms of the Philippines
There are two types of native brooms used in the Philippines — the walis tingting for outdoors and the walis tambo for smooth floors indoors and perhaps on the patio.
Walis-tingting is abroom made from the thin midribs of palm leaves. The stiff ribs are tied up on one end. It is usually paired with a simply constructed dustpan, as you can see in the picture. The can used for the dustpan is usually a cutout of an aluminum can of cooking oil.
The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation on account of 300 years of Spanish rule. It is estimated that 81% of the population is Roman Catholic. In the south on the large island of Mindanao, many are adherents of Islam. Filipino Muslims make up about five percent of the national population.
The official national costume of Filipino men is the barong tagalog.
The upper garment of the boy in the picture is a barong. It is worn over a Chinese collarless shirt called camisa de Chino. The boy is also wearing the traditional wide-brimmed hatsalakot, which is usually made of rattan or reeds.