The Production of the Pastora in Camarines Sur, Philippines
Authors: JIYE A. MARGATE
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The purpose of the study was to document the pastora, a song-dance performance during Christmas season that calls to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in two towns of Camarines Sur, Philippines. Specifically, it focused on its production aspect. The categories include: the handing down of oral traditions which influenced the trainers' casting, choreography, costumes, props, musical accompaniment, and performances. The researcher made use of real time data: videotaped pastora dances, observer’s notes, ex post facto data: stimulated recall and interviews. There were similarities and differences in the production of these pastora. Both of the trainers were exposed to this activity at a young age. At present, their granddaughters are members of their respective pastora groups—one way of handing down the oral tradition to the younger generations. Both groups have dresses made of silks and laces. With regard to the choice of colors, Mimay prefers to use light colors such as white, light blue, and pink while Rita favors loud colors such as red, green, and golden yellow. At present they use only one kind of musical instrument in their pastora. Pastora Baao uses a saxophone while pastora Bombon uses a guitar. The trainers also differ in standards for recruiting members. Mimay prefers to invite girls with good singing voice, good dancing ability, and good physical appearance, while Rita believes that willingness is the most important quality of a pastora. The similarities in the production of these pastora reveal the possibility that pastora in Camarines Sur came from one source. The similarities also revealed the impact of pastora in maintaining religiosity and the socio-cultural environment. The differences are influenced by the tradition handed down to trainers, the trainers’ personal outlook, geographical locations, and economic condition.