Bituing Silangan - The Star of the Orient


During the Spanish regime, the present barrios of Loma and Zapote of Biñan, Laguna, were separated. With coconut shells as implements the people of these two barrios danced the Maglalatik, or Magbabao, a war dance depicting a fight between the Moros and the Christians over the latik (residue left after the coconut milk has been boiled).

The first two parts of the dance, the Palipasan and the Baligtaran show the heated encounter between the two groups. The last two parts, the Paseo and the Sayaw Escaramusa show the reconciliation between the two groups. According to the legend the Moros came out victorious, thus getting the coveted latik. The Christians, not contented with the result of the war, sent an envoy to the Moros to offer peace and to baptize them.

The best Maglalatik dancers are found in Zapote. In the daytime during the town fiesta of Biñan, the Maglalatik dancers go from house to house performing this dance for money or a gift. In the evening they dance Maglalatik in the religious procession as it moves along the streets. They perform the dance as an offering to the patron saint of the farmers, San Isidro de Labrador.