Pastor Ed Lapiz  Day by Day Ministries Cultural Redemption


The Soul of the Filipino in Dance

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The Christian 
and Dance

The Redemption of Dance for Christian Worship


There are matters concerning bodily movements in Christian worship that might as well lead to the ultimate question: To dance or not to dance?

To clap or not to clap? To raise hands or not to raise hands?
To kneel or not to kneel?



Pastor Ed Lapiz is the founder and Artistic and Dance Director of KALOOB Philippine Music and Dance Ministry. Read more

The mission of cultural redemption is not to pull the Church back to the Stone Age, but to spur her into the future, only with feet firmly grounded on solid cultural heritage and sense of selfhood. Churches need not revert to anthropological “purity” in music and dance, though it will surely be enriching to feature it in special events, and to offer it to the Lord periodically. The goal is to see the Church use and reinterpret for contemporary worship the rich musical, dance, and costume heritage of our people. This is mainly because the dance and music vocabulary of the Filipino Christian church today, at least those that use dance in worship, is needy of enriching and Filipinization.

We should evolve a Filipino Christian liturgy and contribute the same to the Universal Church. We can inspire and assist churches in other countries to also redeem their culture for God’s glory and therefore protect it from further destruction by the same Christian Church.

It is KALOOB’s vision to make the Filipino Church really Filipino in essence and form and to encourage other national churches to do the same with themselves.

Redemption of dance also results in the redemption of tribal and other colonized people’s dignity from religious colonization.

Sadly, Christianity has been used as handmaiden of colonization because nearly every tribe and nation that has been colonized was Christianized or vice-versa. By imposing Western Christian aesthetics on Christianized peoples, the latter’s sense of self and dignity was badly damaged and Western ideals were overly celebrated and exulted.

If Jesus is Truth and His Truth sets free then cultural communities must be set free to become Christians in the context of their cultural heritage and sense of being.

At present, most worship teams are confined to and limited by borrowings from foreign forms (i.e. tambourine, “ballet,” etc.), missing a treasure trove of sounds and movements more expressive of the Filipino soul.

The Paunjalay features the sprightly movements of woodpeckers whose appearance signals the beginning of the planting season. Ladies in genuine Yakan costume from the ancient looms of Basilan dance to the authentic beat of the agong, kulintang and gabbang.

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Singkil: A royal Maranao ritual featuring the princess and the prince dancing among clashing bamboo poles arranged and clapped together in syncopated rhythm. It is performed by Kaloob to demonstrate the snares of sin and the way to avoid entrapment.

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A YouTube user uploads footage from the movie King David but replaces the original soundtrack with the song, “Dance like David Danced.”

Click for more information

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