SAYAW: Filipino Dances
Make your own free website on
Mindanao Region


	This is dance from Jolo, Sulu. Literally "Sua-sua" 
means small orange plant and is the name of a courtship 
dance and its accompanying song.

	According to the Moros of the older generation, the 
movements in this dance have been modified and modernized. 
There is no doubt, however, that some parts are based on 
typically old Moro dances.

	Dancers sing as they perform the dance. The natives 
often repeat the dance as many times as they like or until 
they are made to stop. The song goes this way.

Music A. 
	Sua-ko; Sua-ko, yampa tia num
	Sua-ko; Sua-ko, yampa tia num
	Ah-Mag dahon pa unom unom
	Ah-Mag dahon pa unom unom

Music B.
	Bang ma-ka tum-tum panon
	Bang ma-ka tum-tum panon
	Ah atay ko mag ka gomon
	Ah atay ko mag ka gomon

Music C.
	Kan ka pilaran, cambia sara-ran
	Di ka dua han, di ka imanan
	Ah mag pe-pin-tas, ha-la-man
	Ah mag pe-pin-tas, da koman

Music D.
	Kan kapilaran-iman

	My little orange tree I had planted,
	With its six lovely green leaves,
	Reminds me of her
	Thus causing my heart to beat.
	That loveliest beauty among the many,
	That pretty one I cannot change,
	Walking hurriedly along the street
	Hand in hand with me
	To that lovely beauty I lost my heart.
		Literal translation of the song by 
			Lt. Alpad Arasad.
javascript button 
	COSTUME: The dancers are dressed in typical Joloano 
		 costume, an open fan in each hand.

	MUSIC is divided into four parts: A, B, C and D.

	COUNT: One, two to a measure.

	FORMATION: This is danced by one couple but any number 
may take part. The dancers hold the open fans with the second 
and third fingers on one side towards the top, and the thumb, 
fourth, and little fingers are under on the other side. 
Partners stand opposite each other about eight feet apart, 
the girl at the right side of her partner when facing the 

	SUA-SUA STEP. Point R (or L) in fourth in front (ct. 1), 
slide forward with the toes of the same foot and put the weight 
on the whole sole of the other foot. This step is used throughout 
the dance.

	ARM MOVEMENTS. With an open fan held in each hand hold 
arms in second position or at shoulder level turn the hands (from 
the wrists only) in a horizontal figure eight motion. It takes 
two counts to complete a figure eight motion.
javascript button 

Music Introduction.
	Partners walk to places, starting with the R foot. Take 
one step for every count. The fans are held down at the sides..4 M
javascript button 
Music A.

	Partners face each other.

	(a) Meet to center by taking four "sua-sua" steps, starting 
	    with the R foot. Arms as above moving continuously..4 M

	(b) The girl continues moving forward by taking four "sua-sua" 
	    steps while the boy moves backward to his original position 
	    by taking four sua-sua steps backward. Both start with the 
	    R foot.
		Take the same arm movements.....................4 M

	(c) Starting with the R foot, girl moves backward to her 
	    proper place by taking eight "sua-sua" steps. The boy 
	    takes the same steps moving forward, following closely. 
	    Arm movements are the same..........................8 M
javascript button 
Music B.
	(a) Partners face each other and join both hands with the 
	    fans still open. Take four "sua-sua" steps clockwise, 
	    starting with the R foot............................4 M

	(b) Drop hands and both go to the center by taking four 
	    "sua-sua" steps, the boy moving backward and the girl 
	    forward. Do the same arm movements..................4 M

	(c) Join both hands again and take four "sua-sua" steps moving 
	    counterclockwise. Drop hands after the fourth step..4 M

	(d) Take four "sua-sua" steps to boys place. The boy moves 
	    backward, the girl forward, starting with the R foot, with 
	    the same arm movements. Partners finish standing side by 
	    side facing the direction of the original position of the 
	    girl. The girl stands at the right side of the boy.
javascript button 
Music C.

	Partners join outside hands and raise them overhead, join the 
inside hands and hold them down at the back. The fans are still open. 
	(a) Starting with the outside foot, take four "sua-sua" steps 
to the center. Drop hands at the end of the fourth step. (4 M)..4 M

	(b) Partners stand with their right shoulders near each other. 
	    Take four "sua-sua" steps moving clockwise. Do the same 
	    arm movements......................................4 M

	(c) Turn about and repeat (b) counterclockwise. Finish with 
	    the girl standing at the right side, facing the original 
	    place of the boy....................................4 M

	(d) Join outside and inside hands as above. Repeat (a) moving 
	    backward to girls place.............................4 M
javascript button 

Music D.
	(a) With "sua-sua" or plain walking steps, the girl goes to 
	    boys original place, arms hanging loosely at the sides as 
	    she walks to the opposite side. The boy remains in the 
	    girls place..........................................6 M
javascript button 

Music A, B, C.
	Repeat the whole dance (figures I, II, III).............48 M
javascript button 

Music D.
	(a) Starting with the outside foot, partners make a three-step 
	    turn, by first turning under the arch of the front arms, 
	    then under the rear arms.............................2 M	

	(b) Boy kneels on right, hands down at the sides with the 
	    fans open. The girl stands in front of the boy. Right 
	    arm in reverse "T" and left hand down at the side....4 M
javascript button  

Mindanao Dance

All material Copyright © 2003 SAYAW: Filipino Dances All rights reserved.