CultureUpdated on March 22, 2001
Genaral Information
Boracay island is a part of Visayas and their culture is slightly different from Manila's. However many workers come from Manila and other part of the Philippines.
(Photo: Students after school)

English is one of the official languages of the Philippines and there are no communication problems in English.They are the best English speakers in Asia. If your mother tongue is not English, you may have some difficulties in listening to Filipino English because of their strong accent.Their language abilities depend on individuals and education background.Some people speak English as if they were brought up in USA.
The national language of the Philippines is Filipino, though they have many local languages.

The main language in Panay is Ilongo but, in Boracay, they speak their own language Aklanon, the language of Aklan. Its vocabulary and grammar is a little bit, but not very much, different from Tagalog spoken in Manila.
Such a local language is called a Vernacular Language, not a Dialect, by language experts.
For more information on languages in the Philippines, visit Ethnologue: Philippines, a part of SIL(Summer Institute of Linguistics) site.SIL has made huge contribution toward the research on languages of cultural minorities in the Philippines.

They have many Spanish origin words or expressions, as the Philippines was a colony of Spain.Spanish is not spoken in conversation any more, but they still count numbers and tell time in Spanish.For example, they sometimes say ,"A las dos y medya." instead of "It's two thirty."

Music and Cutural Dances
(Photo: credit to The Folklorico Filipino Dance Company)

(1) Music
Songs in English are popular among the people, as they usually understand the language well. There are many music oriented FM and AM radio stations, and music is abundant in daily life.

OnTheAir: ABS-CBN / DWRR [101.9MHz]

Traditional music was influenced by Spanish.

Music samples:
Dahil Sa'yo (Because of you)
One of the most well known music in the Philippines.

Dahil Sa Iyo by Philippine Madrigal Singers - beautiful a capella feature ( Philippine Madrigal Singers LIVE, 1981 Patras, Greece / Publisher unknown) This link may be deleted in next January.
Music by the recent artists is available at the following links.
OPM lyric archive - realaudio
OPM lyric archive - midi
OPM stands for Original Pilipino Music.
(2)Traditional Dances

Filipino traditional dances are usually categorized into five suites, Mountain(Igorot), Muslim(Moro), Maria Clara, Barrio(Rural) and Tribal(Minority).

(1)Mountain suite
The dances of mountain people such as Ifugao, Bontok, Kalinga and etc.Musical instruments they use are gongs, dram and primitive flutes.
Music sample: Lumagen Dance of Kalingas.

(2)Muslim suite
People in Sulu islands dances in many occasions in life.Fast sixteen beat rhythm is jaunty.Their famous bamboodance is Muslim court dances.
Music sample: Singkil Baboo dance performed by a princess
Music sample: Pangalay Dance from Jolo

(3)Maria Clara suite
Dances of sophisticated steps are tradition of Spain and Europe.Maria Clara style is dance of noble citizens.
Music sample: Aray Maria Clara style dance

(4)Rural suite
Well known Filipino dances are dances of barrio that means "village".Tinikling is virtually Philippine national dance that is sometimes called "bamboo dance".
Music sample: Pnadanggo sa ilaw Dance with three oil lamps on dancers' head and the back of each hand
Music sample: Tinikling Honored National Dance, Bamboo dance
Music sample: Tinolabong Dace of Capis of Panay in Visayas

(5)Tribal suite
Cultural minorities those are non-Christian and non-Muslim in Mindanao such as Mansaka in Davao,Bagoboe in central Mindanao, Bukidnon in northeastern Mindanao, Tagabili(T'boli) in south Cotabato,Yakan of Basilan island and etc.
In Boracay island, you will find Filipino traditional dances at Titay Main Garden Theater-Restaurant & Bar.The dinner show is suppose to start at 7 p.m. every evening. They perform different dances each day.The restaurant is located near Lorenzo main and Casa Pilar. If you expect sophisticated dance performance, "the Bayanihan dance company" of Manila is recommended, though they often go out of the country.
Music samples of the Bayanihan dance company are here at book shop.
More information is available at the following links.

(1)Noel's Pilipino Folk Dance Glossary
Categorized Philippino Traditional Dances with MIDI and WAV samples
(2)The Bayanihan Dance Company
Introduction of Bayanihan Dance Company
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