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Obando Fertility Rites , OBANDO BULACAN

Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
Obando Fertility Rites
"fertility dance"
May 17-19/Obando, Bulacan

The Catholicism you find in the Philippines has a considerable pinch of older animist and pagan beliefs which inform rituals and traditions. The Obando Fertility Rites are no exception, and involve childless couples dancing an ancient folk dance to encourage reproduction.

The streets fill with couples hoping for children, who dance in an enormous procession, pushing before them wooden carts filled with images of the particular saint to whom they are appealing. The parade finally comes to rest at the steps of the church, into which the frenzied dancers continue their jamboree up the aisle.

Those to whom the pre-Catholic rituals were directed have simply been replaced by Catholic saints. So, if you want a wife, you dance to San Pascual Baylon. Conversely, if you want a husband, then you dance to Santa Clara de Assisi. Finally, if you want a child you dance to the Virgen de Salambao.

According to experts the dance must be performed with gyrating hips in time to the music and with belief. Many of town's people join in the dance although they may have no particular petition. One can observe the numerous childless couples, thankful parents, grateful farmers and fishermen dance along the streets together with colorfully customed women to pray for children and a good harvest. The population growth attests to the effectiveness of the right movements.

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