The Cariñosa (meaning “loving” or “affectionate one”), is the national dance, and is part of the María Clara suite of Philippine folk dances. It is notable for use of the fan and handkerchief in amplifying romantic gestures expressed by the couple performing the traditional courtship dance. The dance is similar to the Mexican Jarabe Tapatío, and is related to the Kuracha, Amenudo and Kuradang dances in the Visayas and Mindanao Area.
History and Emergence
The dance originated in Panay Island in the Visayan Islands and was introduced by the Spaniards during their colonization of the Philippines. It is related to some of the Spanish dances like the bolero and the Mexican dance Jarabe Tapatio or the Mexican Hat Dance.
According to the book of Francisca Reyes-Aquino, Philippine Folk Dances, Volume 2, there is a different version of the dance in the region of Bicol. In the Bicol Region Carinosa, hide and seek movement is different. In the original version, the dancers used the Fan and handkerchief as the way to do the hide and seek movement, in Bicol they used two handkerchiefs holding the two corners of the handkerchief and doing the hide and seek movement as they point their foot forward and their hands go upward together with their handkerchiefs following the movement. It is a complicated step however it is still used in Bicol Region during festivals and social gatherings.
Originally, the Cariñosa was danced with Maria Clara dress and Barong Tagalog for it is a Maria Clara Spanish Dance when it was introduced. However as the Filipino people saw and imitated this dance, they wore the patadyong kimona and camisa de chino to reveal their nationalism to their country and other steps were revised or Filipinized but the music did not change at all and reveals a Spanish Influence to the Filipinos. As stated by the book of Francisca Reyes-Aquino, dancers may wear balintawak style (a native dress of the Tagalog regions), camisa (a white sleeve) or patadyong kimona (a dress of the Visayan of people) and for boys, a barong Tagalog and colored pants. Because it is the national dance, the dancers may wear any Filipino costumes.
The music of Carinosa shows a great Spanish influence to the Filipinos. It is 3/4 in rhythm like some of the Spanish dances. The Philippine Rondalla are playing this music of the dance where it is an ensemble or an orchestra of string instruments in the Philippines similar to the Spanish musicians in Spain that comprises bandurrias, mandolins, guitar, basses, drums, and banjos. Mostly men are playing rondalla instruments but women may also take part.