Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe celebrates 76th anniversary

Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe is the longest running folk dance group in the country.

Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe celebrates its 76th anniversary with the “Bayan Ko” concert on November 26 (7 p.m.) and November 27 (3 p.m. and 7 p.m.) at the CCP Main Theater Lobby.

Bayan Ko is a depiction of the true identity of the Filipino people, showcasing the colorful and unique indigenous tribal and folk cultures with their customs and traditions, through music, song and dance.

The artistic team of BAYAN KO is led by Ronnie Del Barrio (Director / Artistic Director of PBFDT); Mariano Santiago (Associate Artistic Director) and Jun Arandela (Musical Director).

Originally, 'barangay' meant boats used by the Malays arriving on the shores of the Philippines during the pre-Spanish times.

Later, the name came to connote the unit of government known as the 'Pueblo.'

The word 'barangay,' with its connotation of friendly association and harmonious living was adopted by the Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe (PBFDT) to reflect its objectives of developing the physical, mental and social life of the individual through the cooperative effort of the members.

For the past seven decades, the PBFDT has traveled to the different stages of the world across Asia, Europe and North America, providing a window to the complex and culturally rich history of the Philippines.

The troupe continues to research, preserve and showcase the diverse multicultural Philippine life, with its customs, traditions, various religions, depicting the gaiety and friendliness of its people through its performances of the native arts in their authentic form.

The folk-like and unaffected atmosphere of the performances have won the world over as they present the story of the Philippines through a panorama of songs,

dances and music.

The troupe has received many citations and awards both nationally and internationally. The most prestigious of these is the Philippine Presidential Medal of Merit Award 'Patnubay ng Kalinangan sa Sayaw' (1971) — a truly distinguished award of recognition for the important contribution the troupe is making to its home country.

In 2021, the PB proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary, a testament to the pioneering leadership of the founding Artistic Director — the late Dr. Paz-Cielo Belmonte, awardee of the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining at Sayaw (1990),

Philippine Centennial Awards (1999) and the Gintong BAI Awards (2005).

The PBFDT continues to excel as one of the leading dance companies in the Philippines, playing an important role in folk dance education, with most of its members being teachers and educators.

The group has had a significant impact on the development of the Filipino youth's values in appreciation of their own culture, arts and traditions, particularly folk/traditional dance and music.

Inspired and guided by the 'Baranggay Spirit' and discipline, members and alumni have organized folk dance groups in their respective schools/universities and communities worldwide, with the continued support of the mother company, previously under the leadership of Administrative & Creative Director, the late

Eugenio Ticzon, or 'Kuya Eugene' as he is fondly remembered by most.

Indeed, the PB has expanded a thousand folds in its 76 years of existence — the longest running folk dance group in the country — and it will continue to expand to attain its mission of educating the Filipino youth towards appreciation, preservation and promotion of their Philippine cultural heritage.

Today, the dance troupe is under the new leadership of Administrative & Creative Director, Ronnie del Barrio, who joined the PB in 1982 as a Principal Dancer during his time at the PNC (now PNU). His career spans the past three decades, working as a creative director and choreographer, and a performer in London West End shows.

Del Barrio co-founded PB's sister company, the Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company (LahingKayumanggi.com), which has become widely

recognized as Europe's foremost Philippine cultural performance company.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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