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Teaching, dancing the Bayanihan way

STUDENTS (above left) larn dances by their community, such as the "Kasilyo" (right), thanks to Bayanihan's outreach program.

OVER THE YEARS, THE BAYANIHAN, the national dance company of the Philippines, has touched the lives of people in several cities and provinces in the country through its Teaching and Touching Lives transformative program.

Bayanihan has brought the program to Laguna, Marikina, Bohol, Ilocos Sur and Cavite in hopes of creating and developing in young people pride in their heritage.

The program follows a one-year curriculum consisting of four modules: Building Confidence, Dance and Songs, Bayanihan's Props and Costumes, and Rehearsals/Performance on Stage.

In the first module, values and virtues are taught to develop self-esteem.  Dance and Songs covers Filipino folk dances and songs, and other dances and songs.  Arts and crafts, including costume-making, are taught in Props and  Costumes. Then rehearsals are conducted for an actual stage performance.

The dance company works with local governments, community leaders and nongovernment organizations as it tries to foster community service, respect for hard work, discipline and he bayanihan spirit-helping each other to achieve a common goal.

The  Bayanihan artistic team studies the community's customs and traditions and creates dance or a dance suite, which is featured in the company's season production.

The dances "Bangkero and Lavanderas," created during a visit t Pagsanjan; and "Sapatero" and "Marikit-Na" from Marikina were included in the 2007 season production Surging to the Crest.

This year's season production, Beyond Folklore, features "Heneral Trias at Noveleta" and "romanza Ilocana," products of visits t Cavite and Ilocos Sur, respectively.

Under the Teaching and Touching Lives program, selected public school students in a pilot site are trained by Bayanihan directors, musicians, dancers and alumni volunteers.  A coordinator from the local government runs the program and a public school adopts the program.

The Bayanihan team consists  of Suzie M. Benitez, artistic director Isabel Santos, dance director Ferdinand Jose, and music director Melito Vale  Cruz.

The company pursues its transformative program through the Bayanihan Folk Arts Foundation,  in collaboration with the Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco Foundation and the PWU Center for Culture, Arts, Music and Sports.


Teaching & Touching Lives (Plan A)

Teaching & Touching Lives (Plan B)
Teaching & Touching Lives (Plan C)



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