Tapat of the Ilocanos

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A young man’s love is sometimes broached in a song, as in the so-called Tapat of the Ilocanos, which is simply serenading. A more elaborate or romantic form of this type of courtship is also of Ilocano vintage and it is generally practiced in Rosario, La Union, a place better known as “the gateway to Ilocandia.” The custom is locally known as suayan, and it is simply a kind of balagtasan-in-song. In other words, its mechanics follows. A young man unburdens his feelings and passion in song and his lady love also answers in song. The young man again counters with another song and his heartthrob gives her reply in a different song. This process goes on for as long as they don’t arrive at an understanding. When they do, then its certain that church bell will soon toll for them.

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Source:

Anima, N. 1975. Courtship and Marriage Practices among Philippine Tribes. La Loma: Omar.

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