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Cariñosa (Spanish pronunciation: [kaɾiˈɲosa], meaning the loving or affectionate one) is a Philippine
dance of Hispanic origin from the Maria Clara suite of Philippine folk dances, where the fan or
handkerchief plays an instrumental role as it places the couple in romance scenario. This is a courtship
dance known throughout the Philippines with its flirtatious movements. The dance was originated in the
Panay Islands on the Visayan Islands and it was introduced by the Spaniards during their colonization of
the Philippines. It is related to some of the Spanish dances like the bolero and the Mexican dance Jarabe
Tapatio or the Mexican Hat Dance.

Originally, the Cariñosa was danced with Maria Clara dress and
Barong Tagalog for it is a Maria Clara Spanish Dance when it was
introduced. However as the Filipino people saw and imitated this
dance, they wore the patadyong kimona and camisa de chino to
reveal their nationalism to their country and other steps were
revised or Filipinized but the music did not change at all and
reveals a Spanish Influence to the Filipinos. As stated by the book
of Francisca Reyes-Aquino, dancers may wear balintawak style (a
native dress of theTagalog regions), camisa (a white sleeve) or
patadyong kimona (a dress of the Visayan of people) and for
boys, a barong Tagalog and colored pants. Because it is the
national dance, the dancers may wear any Filipino costumes.

The music of Carinosa shows a great Spanish influence to the
Filipinos. It is 3/4 in rhythm like some of the Spanish dances. The
Philippine Rondalla are playing this music of the dance where it is
an ensemble or an orchestra of string instruments in the
Philippines similar to the Spanish musicians in Spain that comprises
bandurrias, mandolins, guitar, basses, drums, and banjos. Mostly
men are playing rondalla instruments but women may also take
Dance Steps
 The 1st figure is the “Three Steps and Point”. It starts with the right foot, take three steps sideward
right. Point left foot in front. Right hand in reverse “T” position and left hand on skirt/waist.
Kumintang right hand when pointing left foot.
 The 2nd figure is “Pointing”. It starts with the right foot, take three steps forward and meet at the
center. Take four touch steps in front, right and left alternately. Take four steps forward to partner’s
place, passing each other by right shoulder. Turn right about to face each other and close right to
 The 3rd figure is “Back-toBack”. The partners meet at the center as in figure II. Turn right about to
be in back-to back position, slightly to right of partner. Girl holds skirt; boy places hands on waist.
Point right foot in front and shake right index finger at partner over right shoulder by left shoulder;
left hand on waist. Step right sideward to be side by side with partner by left shoulder; place right
hand on waist.
 4th figure is the “Hide-and-Seek with Fan”. The girl hold and open fan with right hand. Point right
foot in front and cover face with fan. The boy-point right and left foot alternately in front and look at
partner from underneath the fan, hands on waist.
 5th figure is “Kneeling and Fanning”. Take three steps forward to the center. Girl kneels while boy
passes around on right of girl to stand behind her and faces the same direction as girl. Boy points
right and left foot four times alternately in front, looking at girl over her right and left shoulder
alternately. Girl looks at partner over her right and left shoulder alternately.
 6th figure is “Hide-and-Seek with Handkerchief”. Partners meet at the center as in figure II. Boy
takes handkerchief at corners in a perpendicular position between their faces with boy’s hands on
top at face level.
 7th figure is “Flirting with Handkerchief”. Partners turn right shoulders toward each other. Starting
with right foot, take eight waltz steps forward, moving around clockwise. Girl holds handkerchief at
one corner and place it over her right and left shoulder alternately at every measure, looking back at
the boy at the same time. Boy, in the meantime, follows behind girl, stretching out right and left
hand alternately, as though they were trying to catch the free end of the handkerchief.
 The 8th and last figure is “Flirting”. Start by taking two waltz steps to meet at the center. With girl
leading in front, partners take six waltz steps forward moving around clockwise.