"Saraotan sa Dalan" (Street Dancing) Pasinggatan Festival - Taytay, Palawan




       Destination: Municipality of Taytay, Palawan
  • The street dance is a competition between clusters of different Barangays showcasing Taytay's culture and rich history.
  • Taytay's culture and rich history in the form of dance and live music in the streets of Taytay.
  • Participants are dressed in ethnic costumes re-enacting scenes when the town was under Spanish colonial rule with history that date back to approximately 16th century.






Saraotan sa Dalan (Street Dancing in Cuyonon language) - This event marks the end of 10 days of festivities in Municipality of Taytay's Pasinggatan Festival. Came from the Filipino root word "Singgat" or dazzle, Pasinggatan Festival is a celebration of the cultural heritage of the Taytay people, it involves gastronomic festival - Paguetekan, a Cuyono term which means to indulge in eating, Bituin ng Taytay - pageant presenting the candidates of every cultural group, sports days, festival of traditional dances and music among other activities. The whole town stops completely for more than a week for these intense festivities.






May 4, 2014 is THE big day at this time of the year. Participants were flaunting colorful outfits flood the streets of Taytay passing through my cousin's house. I have never seen my hometown as excited about Saraotan sa Dalan as this is my first time to witness it. It was hot summertime, an absolutely electric time here, and the whole town is riding the crest of an incredible wave of emotion, glee and, of course, good times.






The street dance according to my cousin Aida, "are set to be bigger and bigger every year." It's hard to believe, but the first Pasinggatan festival celebrated in Taytay, Palawan was maybe 10 years ago and although the event has changed somewhat since then, locals are determined to preserve the tradition. I’ve never been and I’m not sure what to expect but I definitely didn’t expect it to be as huge as it was.  I thought a couple of streets in Taytay would be closed to cars, but I didn’t realize that the whole of central Taytay would be shut off to vehicles to make way for the parade and a huge street dance.






The street dance is a competition between clusters of different Barangays showcasing Taytay's culture and rich history in the form of dance and live music. Participants were dressed in ethnic costumes and dramatize old stories of our town while dancing at the designated performance area. Each cluster has their own concept and stories to tell, re-enacting scenes when the town was under Spanish colonial rule with history that date back to approximately 16th century.






Sea of colors: The first performance of Saraotan sa Dalan at the main street of the town started at around 10 AM draw people to watch the street dance from their balconies and front houses with beautiful and loud music. I have enjoyed myself as spectator because we were positioned at the front of performance. Tribu Cinopalob showcased the tensions and disorders which culminated during Spanish colonization bridging to acceptance of Catholicism of the native Taytayanos. The group has exhibited a dazzling performance.






The temperature raised further as the street dance moves closer to its noontime. With colorful costumes reflecting the town's strong connections to Spain, the second group presented colorful fight between Taytayanos, Muslims and Spaniards. 






There are some truly inventive and some might say bizarre costumes and rituals - with mixed costumes and figures running riot and fights, scenes depicting some of the harrowing experiences of colonization are the favorite theme. Despite some aspects of the festival remembering some of the harsher part of our history, there's still opportunities for us to celebrate our culture. The group represented how Taytayanos identify themselves in different ways, adapting to different cultures and traditions as they throw their own unique chants to the crowds.






What a spectacle: The presentation includes dancers dressed in colorful clothes covered their faces with white face paint portraying Spanish colonization dancing gracefully with stories of Taytayano's strength, honor, and optimism.






Other performances were also war dances complete with weapons. Young and old performers have joined the line to re-enact some of our culture and tradition, our way of living before and after colonization. 






Taytay has developed their own exotic celebrations for the "Fiesta" season showcasing our own cultures and traditions. 









The festival originally started off as a showcase of the culture and traditions of the Taytay people, but now it is an important municipal event every year. While Saraotan sa Dalan may not be the most well-attended street dance in the country but it will surely put Taytay on the tourism map of joyful festivities and hopefully included in the likes of Sinulog, Masskara, and Dinagyang in the future.




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