Monday, August 23, 2010

Pistahan 2010


It was the 17th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival last Aug. 14-15 at Yerba Buena Gardens. "Pistahan" literally means fiesta which involves celebration of good food, culture and tradition.
"Over the past 17 years, the Pistahan Parade and Festival has honored the customs and traditions of Filipino Americans through arts, crafts, performances and cuisine. This is an event that promises a wonderful glimpse into the exciting and vibrant experience of the Philippine culture that San Franciscans and the surrounding Bay Area have come to appreciate everyday."- excerpt from Mayor Gavin Newsom's Letter to EXPO Magazine


The Singkil recounts the epic legend of the "Darangan" of the Maranao people of Mindanao. The dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the Muslim princess. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies of the forest. The crisscrossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. Royal princesses to this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult and noble dance. -Noel's Pilipino Folkdance Glossary


This looks like the "Kinakulangan". The royal walk or "kini-kini" of the Maranao women is illustrated in the Kinakulangan dance. Male attendants follow the ladies as they gracefully manipulate mosala, or scarves, displaying their elite social upbringing.


Looks like the Maglangka Folk Dance.
"Literally meaning "to dance," the maglangka is used to mold the adolescent girls into ladies of good breeding and accomplished dancing skills. The girls are strictly taught to gracefully execute movements imitating birds in flight, fish swimming in the sea, or branches swaying in the air while remaining in the confines of a square cloth. these movements require intense concentration and innate style as the ladies express emotions and entertain guests."-


It's always uplifting to be surrounded by familiar things like our native food & language. It feels like I didn't leave Philippines at all.


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  1. Terrific post for the day and I love your photos! So colorful and so very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Shey! Enjoy your week!


  2. I like traditional dances of all countries! They show some features of their culture.

  3. In all my years here I have lived here I haven't attended one of the Pinoy celebrations - such a pity really. I will keep this in my calendar to watch out for next year.

  4. Wonderful shots of parade and festival. The costumes of people performing are nice.

  5. Wow! The dances and costumes remind me of my high school days when we dress up during our Filipino Day. We have one coming up the 19th Festival of the Arts on Sept 11 and 12.

  6. Senor Sisig!:p
    what a wonderful festival--showcasing our culture in SFo. when i saw the brick church in your first photo, i knew this was in Yerba Buena Gardens. i remember walking in this park from the museum to the Moscone Center. one of my dreams is to learn how to dance Singkil (syempre dream lang yon! hahaha).

  7. Love outdoor festivals with food. What a lovely Filipino celebration.

  8. That would have been something for me ! Looks so colorful and fun !

  9. Wonderful shots from the festival. Looks like a great event to attend.

  10. Wonderful festival and colorful shots. Thank you very much for sharing.

  11. wow! parang sa pinas ka alng girl! lovely! sweet photo of you and your hubby as well ;) good day!

  12. How fun! The ladies' dresses are very much like Vietnamese Ao Dai. First time I see...learn something new everyday. :-)

  13. aaaaaw its heart warming to see our culture being celebrated way over there! i'm sure you enjoyed eating filipino food too hehe.

    thanks for visiting my blog! i wouldn't be surprised if there were ghosts in the malinta tunnel. our tour guide told us he's seen 5 ghosts in all his 20 years as a tour guide in corregidor!

  14. a great fun post!
    thank you for sharing!!

  15. Beautiful shots - especially love the dancers. Very graceful

  16. a great activity as the west appreciates our roots. nice to be part of it.

  17. So many beautiful costumes and all great photographs.

  18. THAT's A PARTY! Wish I could be there.

    PS: Unfortunately bears aren't always scared of dogs. Often, they will chase the dog, and the dog leads the bear right to you!


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