Philippine Folk Dance

Founded in 1949 by Francisca Reyes-Aquino, with former members of the University of the Philippines Folk Song and Dance Club and the Bureau of Education Folk Dance Club, the society sought to preserve the traditional characteristics of Philippine Folk Dances; to enrich the knowledge of these dances and develop appreciation for them; to promote nationalism through them; and to propagate authentic folk dances. It established chapters all over the country.


In the early 50s (1953-1955), Carmen Adevoso became the President of the Society with Secretary Ms. Sally Datoc. Being the supervisor of physical education in the City Schools, membership in the Society grew in Manila. There were occasional institutes and festivals prepared by Mrs. Adevoso for public school teachers and administrators.



In 1949, the membership of the Society was slowly growing, the bulk of which was physical education teachers, students and recreation teachers. With Mr. Serafin Aquino as head of the Physical Education Division under the Department of Education, summer classes in physical education and folk dancing were offered to public school teachers at the Baguio Vocation Normal School and some selected schools in Manila.

The highlights of the Philippine Folk Dance Society projects since 1950 were the annual Dance Festivals carefully planned by Mrs. Aquino. Every year, ethnic groups were invited in cooperation with the Department of Education. This was not difficult since both the Aquinos were connected with the Department of Education. This yearly activity was managed by the officers of the Society. Carmen Gil de Montes was appointed by Mrs. Aquino to be the president of PFDS from 1949 to 1951 and Leonor Alfonso as secretary.

It is important to realize that the Philippine Folk Dance Society does not only provide opportunities for learning and appreciation of Philippine folk dances among chapter members or original members but also acted as material of folk dances. Assistance from the Folk Arts Theatre on sponsored folk dance workshops and clinics were them held from that time on. The members, on the other hand, served as judges in various folk dance contests, facilitators and notators of dances presented by notable resource persons. And in doing so, they are able to encourage more members for the different chapters all over the country.

PFDS At The Beginning

The following is an excerpt from the lecture of Ms. Salud C. Datoc – “Cultural Empowerment through Folk Dancing,” 1993 National Folk Dance Workshop

At the height of its beginning, the society was involved in one main project which the folk dance clinic was held every Sunday morning. In this project, various folk dances in their most authentic forms were shared to all those who showed interest and inclination in folk dancing.

Above all, the Philippine Folk Dance Society has always lived to achieve its noble goals and objectives which are to promote nationalism through dissemination of Philippine folk dances, to propagate authentic Philippine folk dances and preserve their traditional characteristics among the present and future generations, to enrich knowledge and develop appreciation of the Philippine Folk Dance Society and to foster fellowship and promote goodwill and understanding among the Filipinos and people of all nationalities through folk dancing. With all these in mind, the Philippine Folk Dance Society can never fail to preserve, promote and develop the folk arts of the country through the medium of dance.

The sources of information I gathered for the report came mainly from published articles, a few records from the Aquino Museum and some interviews with past presidents.

From 1956-1962, the following were the officers:

President  –  Salud Datoc

Secretary  –  Emerita Basilio

Treasurer  –  Obdulia Rigor Castillo


You should be able to demonstrate the fundamental steps of Philippine Folk Dance.




Proper Execution:20

Mastery: 15

Body Coordination: 15

Total: 50 Points

Knowing the Fundamental positions of dancing would be a guide that would help us learn the different dance steps of Philippine Folk Dance. The basic steps would be using the fundamental positions for the execution of steps.