- Title: PHILIPPINES: FEATURE - STRICTLY BALLROOM
- Date: 5th November 1995
- Summary: MANILA, PHILIPPINES (RECENT) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS OF WOMEN BALLROOM DANCING IN NIGHT-CLUB 2. DANCER VANGIE LABALAN SAYING IT GETS TO EVERY FIBRE OF MY BODY - IT WARMS ME UP AND IT'S LIKE YOU EXPRESS SOMETHING SO NICE, AND IT REALLY HEATS ME UP (ENGLISH) 3. VARIOUS OF VANGIE DANCING 4. VANGIE SAYING IT SEEMS TO BE A LADIES' TURF. LADIES CALL THE SHOTS. IT USED TO BE THAT THERE WERE NIGHT SPOTS WHERE UNESCORTED LADIES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER. BUT NOW LADIES GO TO THE BALLROOM NIGHT SPOTS UNESCORTED (ENGLISH) 5. VARIOUS OF DANCING 6. MAGAZINE EDITOR JULIE YAP-DAZA SAYING THIS IS THEIR WAY OF CELEBRATING LIFE AT THE END OF THEIR RAINBOW. THEY'RE NO LONGER YOUNG THEY THINK OR THEY'RE AFRAID THAT THEY'RE NO LONGER ATTRACTIVE. BUT THEY HAVE THESE BEAUTIFUL JEWELS, BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES, ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO. SO THE BALLROOM DANCING SESSIONS ARE AN EXCUSE TO GO OUT OF THE HOUSE, HAVE A GOOD TIME, PUT ON THEIR DANCING SHOES, THEIR TWINKLING DIAMONDS AND HAVE THEMSELVES A GREAT PARTY (ENGLISH) (OVERLAID WITH PICTURES OF WOMEN IN NIGHT CLUB) 7. DANCE INSTRUCTOR RAMIL MARFE IN STUDIO DURING DANCE LESSON 8. VANGIE DANCING WITH RAMIL MARFE 9. VANGIE SAYING, "I GIVE HIM FOOD. THERE WAS ONE TIME I WAS BUYING CLOTHES, I SAW THIS NICE VEST AND I BOUGHT HIM A FEW VESTS AND I LIKE TO PLEASE HIM SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? IF I HAVE MONEY I WOULD BUY HIM THINGS THAT HE WOULD LOVE, SUCH AS I'D BUY HIM A ROLEX, IF I CAN AFFORD IT WHY NOT?" (ENGLISH) 10.RAMIL SAYING, "SOME OF MY CLIENTS OFFERED ME A CAR AND OFFERED ME TO LIVE IN ONE OF THEIR CONDOMINIUMS HERE IN MANILA, BUT I REFUSED BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD WANT IN RETURN" (ENGLISH) 11.JULIE YAP-DAZA SAYING, "THEY GIVE UP SOME OF THEIR BEST YEARS TO BE GOOD WIVES AND MOTHERS. AND NOW AT THE END OF THIS LONG LINE OF CHILDREN AND HOUSEWIFELY CHORES, THEY'RE SUDDENLY FREE. THEY HAVE TIME ON THEIR HANDS. THEY HAVE THE JEWELS T HT ARE JUST LYING IDLE IN THEIR SAFES. SO NOW THEY CAN TAKE THEM OUT, PUT THEM ON, AND DISCOVER THAT THERE WAS A SECOND WOMAN STRUGGLING TO GET OUT OF THEIR SKIN." (ENGLISH) 12.VANGIE SAYING HAVE FUN, DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY. DANCE YOUR MISERY AWAY. YOU CAN BE HAPPY DANCING WITHOUT BEING SEXUALLY INTERESTED IN THE MALES. BUT IF YOU GET SEXUALLY INTERESTED, AND YOU ARE NOT ATTACHED, WELL GO AHEAD. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? (ENGLISH) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 20th November 1995 12:00
- Location: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Phillippines
- Reuters ID: LVABT6YF1H32SOO4DOHI279JPKFD
- Story Text: INTRO: There was a time when dancing was open to all ages. The middle-aged and the elderly could amble around the floor in sedate decorum, along with their juniors.
Then came the Charleston, Swing, Bee-bop, the Twist, disco, punk, techno and many other varieties. Increasingly, dancing became a test of physical stamina. And mostly for the young and fit.
but in the Philippines the older generation is fighting back.
--------------------------------------------------------------- From foxtrot to tango, cha-cha to lambada, ballroom dancing has caught the attention of thousands of middle-aged Filipinos. It has become so popular that many discos which once catered to teenagers have been given a "facelift" to welcome their parents.
Vangie Labalan is one of the thousands of women who go ballroom dancing regularly. Her favourite dance? The rumba.
"It gets to every fibre of my body. It warms me up and it's like you express something so nice, and it really heats me up," Vangie explained.
Vangie says she has discovered ballroom dancing as a perfect reason to go out unescorted - a practice once frowned upon by a conservative Philippine society. Ballroom dancing, she says, has changed all that.
"It seems to be a ladies' turf. Ladies call the shots," she said. "It used to be that there were night spots where unescorted ladies are not allowed to enter. But now ladies go to the ballroom night spots unescorted." Although there are some young people on the dance floor, the majority are women in their forties, fifties, sixties and even seventies. Magazine editor Julie Yap-Daza is a keen observer of Manila's rich and famous.
Yap-Daza explained the revival of interest in dancing.
"This is their way of celebrating life at the end of the rainbow. They're no longer young, they think or they're afraid that they're no longer attractive. But they all have these beautiful jewels, beautiful clothes, all dressed up and nowhere to go.
So the ballroom dancing sessions are excuse to go out of the house, have a good time, put on their dancing shoes, their twinkling diamonds, and have themselves a great party." But what good is partying when you have no-one to dance with? 28-year old Ramil Marfe is one of a growing number of dance instructors - young men who conduct lessons with their clients inside and outside the clubs.
Vangie says dancing with Ramil is a fun learning experience.
For five hours every day, she learns from him the various steps of Latin dancing. But for most women, a good instructor is hard to find. And when they do, these women hold on to them.
"I give him food," Vangie admits. "There was one time I was buying clothes. I saw this nice vest and I bought him a few vests and I like to please him so what's wrong with that? If I have money, I would buy him things that he would love, such as I'd buy him a rolex, if I can afford it why not?" While some instructors welcome these gifts, others like Ramil get a bit uncomfortable with such arrangements.
"Some of my clients offered me a car, and offered me to live in one of their condominiums here in Manila, but I refused because I do not know what they would want in return," he said.
But whether their gifts are accepted or not, more and more Filipinas are turning to ballroom dancing. Here in the Philippines where keeping a mistress is common and wives quietly accept philandering husbands, ballroom dancing signals a move towards women's liberation.
Yap-Daza says the women find themselves suddenly free after years of domestic duties.
"They have time on their hands. They have the jewels that are just lying idle in their safes. So now they can take them out, put them on, and discover that there was a second woman struggling to get out of their skin." Vangie says women are not necessarily on the prowl for romance when they dance, although this is not out of the question.
"You can be happy dancing without being sexually interested in the males. But if you get sexually interested, and you are not attached well, go ahead. What's wrong with that?"
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