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 My Thesis Rationale

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« Posted on: November 02, 2008, 04:30:47 pm »


Rationale of the Study

   The development of dance in the Philippines parallels the history of our culture and it is one art form Filipinos excel in. The ethnic and regional dances in the Philippines are of profound significance. They furnish the student of history, sociology, psychology, religion and others with a rare and living documentary making recognizable various strata of cultural development (Phil.2000, 1995:56). It reflects the country’s diverse influences and the many sided character of the people. It also demonstrates the Filipinos proclivity for expressing joys, sorrows, labors, and celebrations. According to Larry Gabao, President of the Philippine Folk Dance Society in his introductory message in the book Sayaw Vol. IV, A country’s dances are the most expressive art form of the people.  These traditional dances are considered one of the major cultural exports In fact, Philippine Folk dances are known worldwide and have gained the admiration of heads of state, foreign dignitaries, art lovers and dance enthusiasts. Many of the leading hotels and restaurants in Manila and other key cities stage cultural shows which provide the visitor with a sampling of Philippine cultural expression often performed by members of the country’s superb ethnic dance companies, such as Bayanihan Dance Company and Karilagan Dance Troupe. (Hullet, 1982:45) Bayanihan Dance Company has become an internationally known dance troupe that aims to preserve and popularize traditional Filipino dance forms. Polished and theatrical, it functions as a dancing promotional group for the Philippines around the world. (Insight Guides: Philippines, 1998:76) Bayanihan Dance Company became a hit at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, where it was judged the best of thirteen national troupes. The world became aware that dance, culture, and the arts in general are thriving in this part of the world. Since then Bayanihan has been a source of national pride in promoting the country’s folk traditions for forty years. In 1995 the company was selected as one of the top groups of artists at the first Council Des Organizations de Festival et de Folklore et d’art Traditionnelles Work Folklore Festival in Brunssum, Netherlands. Other folkloric groups followed Bayanihan: Filipiniscas Dance Company, FEU Folk Dance Troupe, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Ensemble, Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company, Kasiyahan Dancers, Dagyaw Theater and Dance Company, and UP Visayas Teatro Amakan, among others. (Alejandro, R. Dance Magazine, Jan.1998) In Cebu, some of its local dance troupes are school based; University of San Carlos, Southwestern University, University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines, Adelante Dance Troupe of the University of San Jose-Recoletos and the newly organized dance troupe recognized by DepEd region 7, the Lumad Kina-iyahan Cultural Troupe of Abellana National School. It sometimes seems to the envious foreigner that the talent for music, dance and the arts is built into the Filipinos genes, making the arts and the entertainment scene in the Philippines one of the loveliest and best in Asia. (Buenavantura, 1984:58)   
   However, it is sad to note that the young generation of today seems not to show eagerness and appreciation for these dances.  Most young people consider folk dancing invaluable addition to Physical Education work in schools. To them all dances are alike, long, monotonous, and boring rather than entertaining. (Aquino, F.1985: 2) As a matter of fact, at the University of San Jose-Recoletos, Grade School Department, the researcher, being a grade VI Music, Art and PE teacher and at the same time the Moderator/Choreographer of the Josenian Graders Cultural Troupe, has observed that most of the pupils lack the appreciation for these folk dances. In a survey done involving former members of the JGCT, it was revealed that before they became members of the troupe, they were not interested to watch and perform folk dances. They did not know the values and importance of Philippine folk dances. It was only when they started learning and performing the various folk and ethnic dances that they were able to understand better the history, culture, and traditions of our country. Now that they are in high school, their attitudes towards folk dances have changed and they always look back to their grade school years and their experiences in the JGCT.  They are now proud that they are involved in propagating love for Filipino culture especially folk dances. In one of our monthly meetings of the Cebu Colleges and Universities Choreographers Association (CCUCA), Mrs. Francita Pacana, choreographer of USC Dance Troupe and Mr. Walter Betito of ANS Lumad Kina-iyahan Cultural Troupe made mentioned that for the past years, they always had the problem of inviting students to become members of the troupe, especially male dancers. (CCUCA Minutes of the meeting, Nov.2003) Also, in the Dance Congress seminar-workshop last April 2003 at Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, it was observed that only few participants joined in the folk dance workshop. Many opted for dance sports, jazz and modern contemporary disciplines. This is surprising because most of the workshop participants were PE teachers, supervisors and chairmen.
   According to Mila C. Janson (1991) in her thesis, “Sayaw sa mga Pastores in the Province of Cebu”, Teachers should be aware of the importance of the conservation, revival and promotion of our cultural heritage. It is a deep, personal and almost social primordial factor that needs to be taken into consideration more seriously. It was also UP President Jorge Bocobo who had the foresight to come up with a program to preserve the national heritage in Music and Dance. (Rodell, 2002:189) Larry Gabao the President of Philippine Folk Dance Society mentioned that the main aim of the association is to preserve the vanishing traditions of our country such as folk dance. (Sayaw, vol. V)   R.A. 7356 cited the following important objectives of the Philippine Educational System: 1) to transmit to the future generations the values of society, 2) to foster creativity and 3) to develop reflective and critical thinking in the individual. In order to achieve these objectives the schools come up with programs, curricular offerings and utilize different teaching strategies. The Philippine Folk Dance is found to be one of the most effective medium of pursuing these aims because folk dancing naturally abounds in cognitive, affective and psychomotor values. In the cognitive aspects, the students learn historical facts, customs, traditions and the art of the past generation especially the native dances and their music. Aesthetic appreciation, morality, proper decorum, love of our cultural heritage and patriotism are among the affective objectives that can be attained through introduction of Philippine folk dances. It is an accepted fact that dancing, being a performing art is rich in psychomotor values. More importantly to the resourceful dance teacher, maximizing the value of dancing as a learning situation provides excellent opportunities for the development of creativity as well as reflective and critical thinking. (Manuel, 1991:1) According to Francisca Reyes Aquino (1985, Dances for all Occasions) dancing is a significant part of the Physical Education Program. It is an ideal and wholesome form of exercise and is accessible for people of all ages. She believes that folk dancing is an essential unit of the total Physical Education Program to imbue in the pupils the thought that folk dancing is a wholesome form of entertainment. It fulfills every requisite of an ideal exercise – the practicality and satisfaction of aesthetic sense. To understand this, The Philippine High School for the Arts was put up on the year 2000. Preservation, documentation, and research are gaining footholds through the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Ethnologists are also researching folkloric dance. Foremost among them is Ramon Obusan, whose unpublished book Dances of the Philippines is much-awaited. (Alejandro, R. Dance Magazine. Jan. 1998) He initiated the organization of The Philippine Folk Dance Society, being the premier institution which aims to: promote nationalism and patriotism trough folk dances; develop appreciation of folk dance among the youth; and foster goodwill and understanding among Filipinos. (Sayaw, Vol. V)
The researcher echoes the concern of PE teachers, lovers of Folk dance, PFDS-National Chapter, PFDS-Cebu Chapter, CCUCA and CGCV. These questions are raised: How far have we gone through in implementing the PE Folk dance program? Have we given emphasis to the implementation of the topics? What is lacking in the PE Folk dance program? These questions prompted the researcher to come up with this study with the aim of coming up with a Developmental Program in Folk dancing for Grades IV-VI. The main purpose of the program is to equip the PE teachers with the skills in teaching folk dances. Moreover, it is aimed at changing the outlook of the pupils and students towards Philippine folk dances. 

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