This flirtatious dance called Cariñosa is known throughout the Philippines. Cariñosa ('kah-reehn-YOH-sah') means affectionate, lovable, or amiable. With a fan or handkerchief, the dancers go through hide-and-seek movements and other flirting acts expressing tender feelings for one another. There are many versions of this dance, but the hide-and-seek movements are common in all.
The first ever published notation of the Cariñosa dance steps was from the book Philippine Folk Dances and Games by Francisca Reyes-Tolentino (later became an Aquino). Mrs Tolentino's master's thesis which have the same title was revised and was later published in 1927. However, the most common of the many Cariñosa found in the country is the one from the book "Philippine Folk Dances v1" by Francisca Reyes Aquino, published sometime in 1940. The version integrated all the common dance figures among the many versions throughout the land.
Three versions of this courtship-festival dance were found in Panay Island, the "Home of the Carinosa". Three different dance researchers discovered three equally beautiful Cariñosa dances. Petronila Suarez had her Carinosa Binggawan, Jose Balcena's informant , an old dancing virtuoso name Casimiro earned him the identity of Balcena's cariñosa version: Tatay Meroy Cariñosa. Tatay Meroy was an old bachelor from Roxas City who because of old age became aggressive in his courting of a future partner. This version dramatizes Tatay Mero's pursuit of his partner who teases him by flirting.
Prolific Visayan dance researchers Libertad Fajardo and her daughter Joanne discovered a Cariñosa version from San Joaquin, Iloilo. The San Joaquin cariñosa is probably the most flirtatious of all known versions. Here, the couple does not simply do some hide-and-seek in a vertically spread handkerchief but also does the combing of each partner's hair and even putting a powder puff! This version is ended with a ballroom waltz where the couple goes around the dance floor in close ballroom position.
The Cariñosa was also very popular in Samar where it is called Pandanggyado Cariñosa or simply Pandanggyado in' Samar. A cariñosa from Bicol discovered by Ramon Obusan in Rapu-rapu, Albay is a very unique song-dance or sayawit. The hide-and-seek uses a folding fan rather than the common prop: handkerchief. A very unique Bicolnon dance step called binanog is prominent throught the dance where it was originally used as an intermission.
|The Cariñosa replaced the popular Tinikling as the "National Dance of the Philippines" in 1992.|