Erehwon Dance Company celebrated its fifth anniversary by presenting  a colorful celebration of Philippine dances through “Hampak.”  Choreographed beautifully were a collection of diverse brisk and striking rituals and movements of indigenous Filipinos, highlighting the meaning of “hampak,” which is a Cebuano word meaning “to strike, to hit, or to spank.”

Among the dances performed were the popular tinikling and the regal singkil, a dance originating from Maranao, traditionally performed by women from a royal family.  Also performed was ngilin, a marriage dance from Kalinga performed during rituals and celebration such as budong or peace pact.  The celebratory fiesta scene was capped by sayaw sa bangka, where dancers gracefully swung and swayed atop stacks of benches.  Various dances with Spanish influence were also performed.

Erehwon’s14-member dance group is composed of young students from various Quezon City schools who have been honing their craft from a very young age.   Having been established in June 2018, they are now marking their fifth year as a formal dance organization under the Erehwon Art Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and providing opportunities especially for marginalized artists in both visual and performing arts.

Their talents have led the group to be chosen to perform in the Manila International Dance Festival, which will highlight the best performers from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Japan and Taiwan.

The group has performed in various dance events, including those of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Pasinaya, Friends of Cultural Concerns of the Philippines (FCCP) events, Bayanihan Folklorica, and many more. It has been part of the program for the Korean and Mexican Folkoric groups, as well as entertained audiences for various meetings and conferences. The dancers all come from economically challenged families, and dance is their breather, their inspiration to achieve more in life.