Macrine and I are right in the middle of the Dance Promenade
Today is the 45th day of our 90th day of our annual snow birding ritual in our second home-the beautiful island of Marinduque. Without the brown outs, political intrigues/shenanigans and corruption and with air transportation services resumed the next year( I hope), I will be glad to call Marinduque with out doubt and with pride as my Island Paradise. But for now, I am content with enjoying the beach, my gardens, fresh vegetables and seafood as well as the friendship and company of my fellow Marinduquenos and relatives in this island province.
Our return to US is scheduled the second week of May. That means we will not be able to attend the culmination of the May Flower Festival that is highlighted by a Parade and Grand Ball at the end of the month. But our memories of our participation with May Flower Festivities several years ago including our dancing the Rigodon De Honor will never be erased in our memory. Attached is my article on the Rigodon De Honor published in my blogs three years ago.
The Grand Entrance and Parade of Participants- Note my matching Barong to Macrine's Terno! Macrine did not used her matching removable butterfly sleeves bolero, since it was a very warm evening.
About twelve years ago, Macrine and I had the honor to be invited to participate at the Rigodon De Honor dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.
The Rigodon de Honor is an elegant dance which was brought to the Philippines by the Filipinos who returned from their travels abroad during the Spanish era. This dance takes its name from its opening performances at formal affairs such as the President's Inaugural Ball and other Festivals in Philippines and also in other parts of the world. In Marinduque, members of the provincial government, including the Governor and his wife, legislative officials, and other prominent members of the town are usually invited to participate in the Rigodon. Traditionally, a ballroom waltz dance would follow the Rigodon. This particular dance is a form of quadrille which is a historic dance performed usually by four couples in a square formation.
In Marinduque, it is an honor to be invited to participate in the dance. It meant you belong to the high society of the town and recognized as a leader in the community. Macrine and I were invited to dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac in May, 2001. At that time Macrine was the President of Marinduque International Inc-a non-profit worldwide organization based in US and Canada whose main goals is to conduct medical mission to the needy in Marinduque every other year. At that time, I also served as acting Treasurer of the organization. For the whole month of May, we (sixteen couples) practiced almost everyday. Near the end of the dance, a part called the CADENA ( it means chain) had to be performed perfectly, otherwise confusion and mayhem could ruined the dance. Attached is a video( taken during the Philippine Gala of the Filipino-American Community of Washington, D.C.) for your viewing pleasure, I found in You Tube! The video is a bit grainy, but does illustrate the movement and choreography of the dance. Note that the women are wearing their ternos( with butterfly sleeves) and the men their barongs.
As I mentioned above, to be invited to participate in the Rigodon is considered as the subtle way of "branding" certain members of the community to specific social ranks. Usually performed as a party opener, the Rigodon starts off by calling the names of the participants; first the rich and influential who will compose the cabezera or headline followed by the not so popular and lesser ranking dancers who will then form the costados or sideline. The Cabezera's will start the dance movement and then followed by the costados. What a way to brand and assign social ranks in the community!