Itik Itik Folk Dance Steps

By Julianne Ross

“Itik” means “duck” in the Philippines. The Itik Folk Dance of the Philippines mimics the flying and waddling of a duck. According to Camperspoint, the dance originated in the province of Surigao del Norte. It involves six different foot sequences as well as arm movements.

Dance Like a Duck

In this dance, the performer imitates the movements of an “itik.” Its choppy-stepped walk, splashing water on its back. This is the mating ritual of that particular bird. The dancer waddles across the floor and flaps her arms in birdlike fashion. Multiple dancers will waddle in a circle or in a serpentine line similar to that of a family of ducks on their way to the water.

History of Itik Itik

Very little is known about the origin of this dance, but there is a legend about the woman who invented it. According Camperspoint, the dance originated when a young dancer named Cayetana from the province of Surigao del Norte improvised her performance at a baptismal reception. While dancing the Sibay, she began to imitate the movements of a a duck. The audience began to imitate her, and a new Philippine dance step was born.

Rural Philippino Culture

In traditional Filipino culture, there is a mixture of pagan and Catholic belief, Catholicism having been brought to the islands by Spanish explorers centuries ago. Fiestas that celebrate the patron saints of the barrios symbolize these beliefs. These fiestas not only honor patron saints, but give homage to a barrio's namesake for a good harvest, health and faith. Commonly, they celebrate holy mass, music, dance and song.

More Dances

Other traditional dances from the Philippines include the “Maglalatik,” a war dance depicting a fight over the residue left after the coconut milk has been boiled. Also, the “Pandanggo sa ilaw,” a dance depicting drunken fishermen swinging a lighted lamp. The “Paisigin” interprets the fishing life of the Paisig River and the native methods of catching fish. The “Sakuting” is a dance from the Aba province, originally performed by boys only. It mimics a fight and involves sticks used for combat training. The “Sublian” originated three centuries ago in Dingin, Alitagtag, Batangas It is a worship dance performed in homage to Mahal Na Poong Santa Cruz, as they call the Holy Cross. In the “Tinikling” dancers imitate the tikling birds play.

About the Author

Julianne Ross has been writing since 1994. First as a journalist for the Hendersonville Star News, and "Starlog Magazine" writing actor interviews. She sold her first novel in 1999, and since then has written and sold the rights to more than a dozen historicals and historical fantasies. She holds an Associate of Arts in theatre art.