I had the great opportunity to see the Bayanihan last Saturday night. If you ever get a chance to see them you must go!
The talent of these fine dancers is amazing. I was awestruck by the fact that no matter where you look on the stage, there was something to amazed at. It was truely an entertaining night.
The origin of the term bayanihan can be traced from a common tradition in Philippine towns where community members volunteer to help a family move to a new place. The process involves literally carrying the house to its new location. This is done by putting bamboo poles forming a strong frame to lift the stilts from the ground and carrying the whole house with the men positioned at the ends of each pole. A muralby Filipino National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco illustrates the process. The tradition also features a small fiesta hosted by the family to express gratitude to the volunteers.
I got this next excerpt from Wikepedia:
The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company is the oldest dance company in the Philippines. A multi-awarded company, both nationally and internationally, Guillermo Gomez Rivera has called it the “depository of almost all Filipino dances, dress and songs.”
The company was founded in 1957 by Helena Z. Benitez and debuted May 27, 1958 at Expo ’58, the Brussels World Fair responding to the request of then President Ramon Magsaysay. Since then they have made at least 14 major tours to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, US and the Middle East. It has performed in 6 continents, 66 counties and 700 cities worldwide. They perform folk dances from throughout the Philippines and from other countries. The group takes its name from the Filipino word bayanihan which means working together for a common good.
In appreciation and recognition of their pioneering efforts and international success in the realm of Filipino dance, the people of the Philippines through the 10th Congress enacted R. A. 8626 declaring the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as The Philippines National Folk Dance Company.
There is alot of information that could be gathered about this fine dance company, however, until you go see them in person you will never know how good they are.
They are a little expensive to see but it was worth every penny!
I like the explanation of the term “Bayanihan”. It is all about working together for the common good. I witnessed this as I made my way to the back of the building at the end of the show. All the actors pitched in and helped load the truck. You won’t see that in many companies.
I am always amazed at the resiliency of the Filipino people and have noticed the “Bayanihan” in action during footage of natural disasters displayed across T.V.
If you ever notice, after a flood or other similar calamity, you will see some smiling Filipinos working to get back to normal without complaining about their circumstances.
I guess that is why the Philippiines is dubbed “The Land of A Thousand Smiles”.