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Filipino Theater (Early Beginnings)

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Submitted By si0mine05
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Indigenous Theater The Rituals The native Filipino beliefs are central to gods and deities, who controls forces of nature, the passages of all living things and the vital activities of the tribe. And to communicate to gods special mediums are to be used. The babaylans, tambalan, albularyo are these medium. There are many rituals but the ritual which is drama is where the shaman goes into a trance and kills the sacrificial animal common to these rituals which represent as the supplicant or humble petitioner to the gods to provide for the people. Throughout centuries rituals are known as – pag-aanito, anituan, anito-baylan, bunong, pagdidiwata and a host of other indigenous lexis. Rituals are used for variety of reasons. To cure sickness, for a bountiful harvest, rites of passage, marriage and a host of other reasons, all involve carrying out sacrifices, chants, prayers, offerings that aims to appease, please the higher being. If these rituals do not get the sick cured, they do not deserve to get well. The Aeta of Florida Blanca has a ritual where a shaman dances to “scare” away sickness. The sick sit on the grounds in rows covered in red cloth as the gitada (guitar) plays and the manganito (priest) dance frighten the sickness causing spirits away with bolos or offers them food in banana leaf to leave the infirm. Towards the end of the dance, the long red cloth is pulled symbolizing the “departure” of the spirit. Rituals connected to harvest usually involve killing sacrificial animals as thanksgiving. Sacrifices are also offered to prevent or control natural or human disasters, such as destruction of the harvest, enemy attacks and of epidemics. When lightning strikes a field or a falling star shoots across the sky, the Ifugao believes that the gods are angry over their evil deeds. To appease them, they slaughter a pig and stick its head on a bamboo...

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