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Talik Barak

DanceTalik Barak
MeaningDance of the monitor Lizard
Dance CultureHighland Tribal Community
Place of OriginZambales
Ethnolinguistic GroupNegritos , Baluga or Agta
ClassificationEntertainment , Mimetic
Background / Content

Small hidden groups that escaped the attention of the Christian forces were allowed to grow on their own, keeping their traditions of old. The Spaniards tried to remove all things they considered “pagan”. Religion, language and script were affected, and many of the old nature ways were lost, some dance styles among them. The short Negritos or Agta or Baluga of Zambales who featured recently in the Mt. Pinatubo disaster would not have been noticed by the world, and even the Filipinos, had it not been for this calamity. They have, before the eruption, been dancing the most colorful, vigorous and authentic tribal dances of the Philippines. In the early 60’s, the Mt. Pinatubo area was one of my first research areas. It was then that I got introduced to these simple, friendly and happy bunch of humans. From then on I visited them on and off for many years, learning their simple ways, their love for the open space, and their love for singing, dancing and making merry.

Ramon Obusan recorded 24 dances from the Pinatubo Negritos, dances they danced in pre-Spanish days which still exist. today. Many are mimetic in nature in imitation of animals and fowls they encounter in the wild like the Barak (monitor lizard), Bake (monkey), Puyo (quail) and manok (chicken). Accompaniment is largely by a native guitar called “gitada” or simply banging on a can, or a bamboo tube or striking stones together. TALIK BARAK (dance of the monitor lizard) is a unique imitation of two lizards slithering over bamboo poles , skillfully clinging to trees, rocks and finally they rest after a day’s hunt for food.

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