What to Expect at a Waray Social Gathering

Never attend a Waray gathering if you're not ready to perform the Kuratsa, a traditional Filipino dance of courtship. This is something that every Waray understands. Some even think that it is an insult if a visitor is not requested to dance the Kuratsa during a fiesta celebration or during a wedding.

"Waray ak alapa pagkuratsa" ("I was not called to dance the Kuratsa."), a Waray may say to himself/herself and may feel depressed about it; hence, any emcee feels that it is compulsory to watch for new faces among the audience and call (alap) them to dance.

In some gatherings, kuratsa is performed as a group. This -- the mass kuratsa -- is easier to do compared with the standard way of performing it, i.e., amenudo, meaning only one couple dances it at a time. When you dance with a group, you can always look at the other dancers and imitate their movements unlike when there's only you and your partner on the dance floor. Well, it's always good to be ready at all times; hence, it's advisable to practice the dance steps before attending the event. 

What to bring to the party: lots of self-confidence and cash. Kuratsa is one way of raising funds for the community or for the newly-married couple so everyone is expected to give out some money. It's also a good idea to bring cash in small denomination bills so that you can continuously throw cash (magsabrag kwarta) on the dance floor.  

What to do when you don't have self-confidence and cash: (1) politely refuse the request and give a very good reason why you will not be dancing the Kuratsa, (2) hide from the emcee or from those who know you, or (3) don't attend the party.

Youtube videos courtesy of Ms. Justine Espiritu and benny2pm

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