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Putungan

Dance Putungan
Meaning Crowning ceremony
Dance Culture Lowland Christian
Place of Origin Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
Ethnolinguistic Group Tagalog
Classification Social, Entertainment
Background / Context

The putungan ritual-dance of Santa Cruz, Marinduque crosses many generations, relating to other time-honored traditions and culture. It has been part of big events and achievements of Santa Cruz and the whole province as well. The putungan is not anything commercial as much as
it is a performing art. Performers are devoted, refined, dedicated and rather reserved. They are also amazing dancers and singers.

Taken from the word putong (top crown), the putungan is a rare practice to honor distinguished guests, celebrants, graduates, professional exam passers, newly ordained priests and a host of other personalities.


The putungan is very old. Members in their late 70’s attest to it’s age that goes back to as long as they can remember. In the past, membership was confined to old villagers, hardly attracting the young ones. But times have changed. After realizing the good effects of the putungan as a tool for interaction and strengthening of social relations, several groups started their own putungan programs, mostly with young members. Short, simple with almost unnoticed curlicues and flourishes are features that makes the putungan unusual. It is composed of a song and dance group, a small choral group and a rondalla.


A group of eight or so ladies carries small baskets of petals and coins which they strew towards the honoree and all over the dancing area. The same number of men wave pitugo or oliva leaves whose spiky boarders are pierced with fresh sampaguita buds. The star of the show, is a young lady chosen for her charm, beauty and personality, who is given the distinction to carry a crown of flowers, the center of the putungan ceremony.


Accompanying the dance is a song of good wishes for a long, healthy, prosperous and happy life for the final salvo, all remaining petals and coins are strewn, the oliva leaves laid at his feet and the crown laid on the honorees head, with a loud shout of Mabuhay! (long life ) the
putungan ends.

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