R. delos Reyes
E. de Guzman
There had been visitors since this ENGLISH version has been added last February 24, 2005.
Each year, during the middle part of May, as the bamboo musicians of Obando are energetically blowing air into their wind instruments, the old men and women in antique Pilipino clothes are continuously dancing and teasing each other along the street, and after them follow the carriages of Saint Paschal, Saint Claire and the Our Lady of Salambao. The hymn of "Santa Clarang Pinung-pino (Very Gentle and Modest St. Claire)" is can be heard all over the place. Most of the pilgrims, whom most came from the nearby provinces of Bulacan: Pampanga and Nueva Ecija; and even until Manila, are dancing while reciting the Rosary and the Litany. Most of them are wishing for either a child, spouse, or a good business. Some of them are doing this dancing every year as their perpetual devotion. For example, the members of the women's organization of barangays San Pascual and Hulo dance every year during the feast days as this is their lifetime committment. Ms. Adang of Barangay San Pascual has been given a daughter. Hence, she is dancing every year to honor St. Claire. Ms. Sima of Barangay Paliwas feels so healthy and energetic while dancing, even without stopping! There are also couples who have been doing the nine-day novena before the feast day and during the feast day itself, they are vigorously dancing behind the carriage of St. Paschal while making their wish of having just even one child.
This is the magic of Obando. Thousands of people are going to Obando to celebrate the feast and they are dancing to St. Claire in order to ask for children. The dance turned to a prayer. The fandango dance is a combination of feet, hands and hip movements so as to make the Spirit of Life enter the womb.
The feast lasts for three days: May 17th for St. Paschal, May 18th for St. Claire and May 19th for the Our Lady of Salambao. The dancing lasts for three days, as well.
Throughout the years, the Obando Fertility Dance can be considered to have a very strong and solid foundation. From this, we can also find some answers to the questions such as what image and how our town's (Obando) culture progressed before the time of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.
Also, why was it that Obando became the famous town for doing this fertility dance? Where is this little town located? What was its history?