The Most Popular Folk Dance in the Philippines: A Ranking

Choose the folk dance you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 06:05
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion makes a difference! We're thrilled to present you the ultimate challenge in determining the most popular folk dance in the Philippines. With an incredibly diverse and colorful culture, the Philippines boasts a rich array of traditional dances, each with its own unique charm and story. Now, it's your turn to make history and cast your vote for your favorite folk dance, or even suggest a missing one, as we embark on a rhythmic journey through the enchanting world of Philippine folk dances. Don't miss this opportunity to showcase your love for this captivating art form, and let's together unfold the vibrant tale of a nation's heritage. So get ready, put on your dancing shoes, and let the countdown to the Philippines' most beloved folk dance begin!

What Is the Most Popular Folk Dance in the Philippines?

  1. 1
    Tinikling - the most popular and well-known folk dance in the Philippines, known for its intricate and fast-paced footwork.
    Tinikling is a traditional Philippine folk dance that originated in the province of Leyte. It is a lively and elaborate dance that imitates the movements of the tikling bird. The dance involves two participants skillfully and gracefully moving in and out of a pair of bamboo poles being rhythmically clapped together by two other participants. The dancers must carefully step over and in between the moving bamboo poles without getting trapped or hit, showcasing their agility and coordination.
    • Origin: Leyte, Philippines
    • Inspiration: Movements of the tikling bird
    • Number of participants: 4
    • Required props: Bamboo poles
    • Rhythm: Clapping of the bamboo poles
  2. 2
    Singkil is a traditional dance from the Maranao people of Mindanao, often performed during weddings and other special occasions.
    Singkil is a traditional dance originating from the Maranao people of Mindanao, Philippines. It depicts the famous legend of the Darangen epic, and it is often performed during weddings, fiestas, and cultural festivals. The dance beautifully portrays the story of Princess Gandingan who gracefully maneuvers through a crisscrossing set of bamboo poles as they are rhythmically being moved by her handmaids.
    • Origin: Maranao people of Mindanao, Philippines
    • Purpose: To portray the legend of the Darangen epic and showcase the grace and agility of the dancers.
    • Significance: Symbolizes the beauty, femininity, and resilience of the Maranao women.
    • Music: Accompanied by the kulintang ensemble, which consists of gongs, drums, and other percussion instruments.
    • Costumes: Dancers wear traditional Maranao attire, including the malong (a colorful tube-like garment) and a sash called 'paninding.'
  3. 3
    Maglalatik is a mock-war dance that originated from the province of Laguna, performed by male dancers wearing coconut shells.
    Maglalatik is a traditional Filipino dance that originated in the province of Laguna, Mindanao. It is often performed during festivals and special events. The dance is known for its vibrant and energetic movements, showcasing a mock battle between two groups of coconut shell-wearing warriors.
    • Origin: Laguna, Mindanao
    • Purpose: Entertainment, celebration of Filipino culture
    • Costumes: Coconut shell armor, colorful skirts for female dancers
    • Music: Traditional Filipino gongs and drums
    • Number of Performers: Usually 4 to 8 dancers per group
  4. 4
    Pandanggo sa Ilaw is a dance that originated from the province of Lubang, performed with lighted candles on the hands and head of the dancers.
    Pandanggo sa Ilaw is a traditional Filipino dance originating from Mindanao. It is characterized by performers gracefully dancing while balancing and manipulating lighted oil lamps or candles in each hand. The dancers wear traditional garments and move in a slow, swaying manner, showcasing their agility and control over the delicate lamps. The dance is often accompanied by live music, typically using bamboo instruments like the banduria and octavina.
    • Origin: Mindanao, Philippines
    • Dance Style: Traditional Filipino dance
    • Props: Oil lamps or candles
    • Costumes: Traditional garments
    • Movement: Slow, swaying
    Pandanggo sa Ilaw in other rankings
  5. 5
    Cariñosa is a dance that originated from the Spanish colonial period, characterized by graceful and flirtatious movements.
    The Cariñosa is a popular folk dance in the Philippines that showcases the charm and grace of Filipino women. It is often performed during cultural festivals and events. The dance portrays a romantic story of a young woman and a suitor who are expressing their love for each other through graceful movements and gestures.
    • Origin: Philippines
    • Dance Type: Folk dance
    • Music: Traditional Philippine music
    • Costume: Maria Clara-inspired dress for women, Barong Tagalog for men
    • Movements: Gentle swaying, handkerchief waving, flirtatious gestures
  6. 6
    Itik-Itik is a dance that originated from the province of Surigao, inspired by the movements of ducks in rice fields.
    The Itik-Itik is a popular folk dance in the Philippines that originated from the province of Surigao del Norte. It is known for its graceful and lively movements inspired by the way a duck moves and walks. The dance is traditionally performed by a female dancer who imitates the movements of a duck, specifically the way it flaps its wings, waddles, and splashes water on its back. The Itik-Itik is often performed during festive occasions and cultural events in the Philippines.
    • Origin: Surigao del Norte, Philippines
    • Gender: Performed by a female dancer
    • Movements: Imitates the movements of a duck
    • Inspiration: The way a duck flaps its wings, waddles, and splashes water on its back
    • Occasions: Performed during festive events and cultural celebrations
  7. 7
    Kuratsa is a dance that originated from the Visayas region, often performed during festivals and celebrations.
    The Kuratsa is a popular dance in Mindanao, Philippines, known for its upbeat and lively movements. It is typically performed during special occasions, such as weddings and festive celebrations. The dance showcases the unique blend of Spanish and indigenous Filipino culture.
    • Origin: Mindanao, Philippines
    • Style: Folk dance
    • Music: Fast-paced, often accompanied by rondalla music
    • Costume: Colorful traditional attire
    • Partnered dance: Performed by couples
  8. 8
    Subli is a traditional dance from the province of Batangas, performed to honor the Christian cross and the Virgin Mary.
    Subli is a traditional Filipino folk dance originating from the province of Batangas. It is a ceremonial dance performed in honor of the Holy Cross. The dance incorporates both indigenous Filipino movements and Spanish influences, combining graceful and intricate steps with storytelling elements.
    • Origin: Batangas, Philippines
    • Significance: Performed to honor the Holy Cross
    • Influences: Indigenous Filipino and Spanish
    • Dance Style: Folk dance
    • Movements: Graceful and intricate
  9. 9
    Sakuting is a dance that originated from the province of Abra, performed by male dancers using sticks to simulate a battle.
    Sakuting is a traditional folk dance in the Philippines that originated from the province of Abra. It is performed during festivals or special occasions, showcasing the martial skills and agility of the dancers. The dance is a depiction of a mock battle between the Christians and the non-Christians, as it tells the story of conflicts and reconciliation.
    • Origin: Abra, Philippines
    • Purpose: To depict a mock battle and reconciliation
    • Instruments: Gongs and bamboo sticks
    • Movements: Traditional martial arts-inspired movements
    • Costumes: Colorful traditional attire with headgear and accessories
  10. 10
    La Jota Moncadeña is a dance that originated from the province of Sorsogon, influenced by Spanish and Mexican culture, characterized by lively and energetic movements.
    La Jota Moncadeña is a traditional folk dance in the Philippines that originated from the town of Moncada, Tarlac. It is a lively and energetic dance that showcases the influence of Spanish and Hispanic cultures in the country. The dance is performed by couples or groups, accompanied by the lively tune of jota music.
    • Origin: Moncada, Tarlac, Philippines
    • Influence: Spanish and Hispanic
    • Typical Music: Jota music
    • Dancers: Couples or groups
    • Dress: Colorful traditional Filipino attire

Missing your favorite folk dance?


Ranking factors for popular folk dance

  1. Cultural significance
    The importance and relevance of the folk dance in Filipino culture and history. This can be determined by its origin, representation of regional traditions, or depiction of significant events in Filipino history.
  2. Widespread recognition
    The extent to which the dance is known, performed, and appreciated across different regions in the Philippines. This can be measured in terms of media coverage, inclusion in cultural festivals or events, and the frequency of live performances throughout the country.
  3. Aesthetic appeal
    The attractiveness and distinctiveness of the dance's visual and musical elements. Factors to consider include the costumes, choreography, and accompanying music or songs.
  4. Community participation
    The level of involvement and engagement of local communities in performing and preserving the folk dance. This might include the availability and accessibility of dance lessons or workshops, or the presence of local dance groups dedicated to promoting the dance.
  5. Intangible cultural heritage status
    Recognition by national or international cultural organizations, such as UNESCO, as a form of intangible cultural heritage can indicate the dance's significance and popularity.
  6. Adaptability and versatility
    The ability of the dance to be performed in different contexts or adapted to suit various audiences and settings. This might include the potential for fusion with other dance styles or collaborations with contemporary artists and performers.
  7. Educational value
    The extent to which the dance can be used to educate and inform people about Philippine culture, history, and traditions. This might include its inclusion in school curricula, cultural programs, or public education initiatives.
  8. Timelessness and enduring appeal
    The ability of the dance to retain its cultural relevance and popularity over time, despite changes in social and cultural trends.
  9. International recognition and appeal
    The extent to which the dance is known and appreciated beyond the Philippines, such as through performances at international festivals or cultural events, or via online platforms and social media.
  10. Authenticity and preservation
    The ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain the integrity and authenticity of the dance, including documentation, research, and support from cultural institutions or government agencies.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular folk dance in the Philippines. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or folk dance is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 170 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each folk dance once every 24 hours. The rank of each folk dance is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular folk dance in the philippines

The Philippines is known for its vibrant culture and diverse traditions. One of the most popular forms of cultural expression in the country is folk dancing. Folk dances are an important part of Filipino culture and are often performed during festive celebrations and social gatherings. Among the many types of folk dances in the Philippines, one of the most popular is the Tinikling. It is said to have originated in the Visayan islands and is known for its fast-paced rhythm and intricate footwork. The dance involves two people holding bamboo poles and rhythmically tapping them together while dancers jump and weave in between the poles. Other popular folk dances include the Itik-Itik, which is a dance that mimics the movements of a duck, and the Pandanggo sa Ilaw, which involves balancing candles on the head while dancing. Each dance has its own unique style and cultural significance, reflecting the rich history and traditions of the Filipino people.

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