Wednesday, July 27, 2011

music, history: dayang dayang, sulu princess, pakiring

‘Dayang Dayang’ is a popular dance song in a language that is unfamiliar to many. i dont know wer u from but u jus cant miss this song specially if you grew up in the province. i remember this was like a staple song in every 'disco' events in provincial places. do they still play this?
i first thought that Dayang-Dayang is a Bahasa song popularized to the rest of the philippines by filipinos living in the sabah-sulu region. i assumed that it is wat they call in indonesia as ‘Dangdut’ music.. i was wrong! jus recently, a friend and i wer debating about its origin. me thinks it came from malaysia or indonesia, he on the other hand says its a badjao song. so we consulted the internet and discovered more than jus its origin! this song is very steep in history.
take a look of this video

Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao Kiram (1884)
some interesting facts about Dayang Dayang
Hadji Dayang Dayang Piandao is the first lady of Sulu. The title Dayang Dayang, by which she is popularly known, means "princess of the first degree", a title given only to the daughters of the Sultan.
...Five women slaves were needed to give her a bath, one takes care of the soap, another of the towels, a third cleans her hands, a fourth her feet, etc. Five sleep by her side as special maids.

Before the abolishment of slavery the Sultan used to keep as many concubines as he cared for, usually twenty or thirty at a time who are calculated to have numbered at least 500 in all, and all of these were Dayang Dayang's slaves.
Intelligent as she is, and she proved to be an excellent executive and administrator. By common consent, Dayang Dayang is the most progressive of the Mohammedan women. She believes in the friendship and ultimate assimilation of Muslims and Christians, and is exerting all her influence and efforts to bring about better relations between them.
a royal background! amazing!
A modern variant of this dance (Pangalay) popular among the peoples of Mindanao, Sulu and Sabah is called Pakiring, and emphasizes movement of the hips (kiring-kiring) more than the traditional dance. It is performed to electro versions of traditional songs and is fast overtaking the traditional Pangalay in popularity at weddings.
source: wiki
Dayang-dayang is not my type of song but upon learning its story, im starting to appreciate it.


  1. GREAT READ! Was looking for Dayang-Dayang story and your blog came up.

    Yes, they still use this song in provinces and mostly in indigenous communities. In between ritual dances. they'd play this because it resembles the sound of gongs. Even old people will dance to it. :)

  2. yeah, i too...was searching for its history...a friend of mine said it's a national song for an Asian country...yet, i found out it's original song comes from the Philippines...just wonderful...

  3. But what about the song? Where did the original recording come from?

    I searched on Wiki and found this song called "Pakiring". I searched on YouTube and lots of videos playing it that are completely different to the Dayang Dayang in that video.

  4. wow!!! i've been listening to this song as long as i can remember...
    always been interested in learning what is the meaning of this song >_<
    thank you 'cause i've learned about what the is for >_<