Transmission of Araquio Music, Songs, and Movement Conventions: Learning, Experience and Meaning in Devotional Theatre
By: Florante Ibarra
Published: 05/16/2012
Uploaded: 11/20/2017
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2012 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Movement, Songs, Transmission

Description/Abstract: Araquio, a verse play on the search of The Holy Cross, is an indigenous folk theatre in the town of Peñaranda, province of Nueva Ecija, the Philippines that has survived for over a hundred years. This ethnographic study explores the holistic nature of the transmission and learning processes of Araquio music, songs, and movement conventions as a theatre-ritual. The transmission of the Araquio tradition as a social phenomenon is an avenue for music learning that may, in fact, overshadow it's being a diminishing tradition.
Using the framework of Merriam’s (1964) “3 modes of enculturation” and Geertz’s
(1973) “interpretation of culture”, I investigate the transmission and learning processes in the Araquio tradition and sought to reveal how these processes were meaningful to the practitioners.Participants in this inquiry involve 21 adult practitioners, namely: 4maestros,
9musikeros, 3 female singers, and 5 male personages. An ethnographic method is
employed using participant-observation, field notes, informal and semi-structured
interviews, and video footage of the 3-month preparation and 2-day Araquio performance. Guiding questions have centered on how practitioners choose their path in the Araquio, motivating factors of their involvement, transmission strategies, their teaching and learning experiences, and meanings that define these experiences. Twenty
three video clips are appended as part of the dissertation to offer readers knowledge and awareness of the Araquio music, songs, dances, and movements.
As a living tradition, intergenerational learning is found to be the product of transmission by enculturation occurring in the Araquio. It happens within a genealogical
generation. The skills are passed down aurally and orally from their great ancestors to their descendants in the modern era. This is a significant lifelong attribute of the Araquio’s
teaching and learning process. The practitioners, through the unspoken meaning of the tradition, have certain unspoken factors: the unity of purpose, ancestral adhesion, unification of tribal strength, and shared experiences. Given their strong religious beliefs, self-initiative and self-discipline, common communal goals, and of their religious faith and socialism, it is believed that the Araquio tradition will survive the future passage of time and for many generations to come.