Hawaii, USA – World record attempts are far and few. Those who break the record in a task or action make it more challenging for others to break. In many ways, the Filipino community in Hawaii has broken several records. They have come together to produce a one-of-a-kind, cutting-edge, 14.5 million dollar Community Center; the largest facility of its kind outside the Philippines and in the United States of America. They have raised millions of dollars in government-supported grants, private foundation grants and pledges from hard-working community members. They have unequivocally given the best effort a community possibly could. And they did all of this in a mere ten-year time span. What a record! 

On June 16, another record of a different sort may be broken. For many around the world, the traditional Filipino dance “Tinikling” (teeh-NEEHK-lihng) is a favorite. It is the most popular and best known of the Philippine dances and honored as the Philippine national dance. This dance displays coordination, endurance, agility, and grace as the dancers step in and out of the bamboo sticks. 

Tinikling is very similar to jump rope, but instead of a spinning rope, two bamboo poles are used. Two people hold the poles, one pole in each hand. They hit the poles on the floor, then raise them, then hit the poles together. The person(s) in the middle hop over and outside the poles before they come together. The sticks are repeatedly being opened and closed by two performers during the dance. There is a rhythm that the performers with the sticks must follow, but the rhythm isn't the same for all the other performers. The speed changes, twists, turns, and steps are what make the Tinikling an exciting dance to watch.

The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles. Tinikling means "bamboo dance" in English.

Members of the Hawaii community will conclude the array of events during the Mabuhay Festival June 11-16 by attempting to set the world record in this beloved dance. The world record attempt will be at the Daiei Barrio Fiesta on June 16, 2002 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A great number of highly trained performers will dance simultaneously on a single pair of large bamboo poles measuring 50 feet. Thousands are expected to attend the event, drawing major national attention via print and broadcast media. Please join us to witness if the dancers can escape the bamboo poles ferocious bite and dances their way into the record books with the Tinikling. 

The Mabuhay Festival 2002 promises to be a special moment in Hawaii’s history. The theme of the festival is Isang Puso, Isang Diwa (One heart, One spirit). For more information, visit www.mabuhayfestival.org

Contact: Eric C. Barsatan
Director of Marketing
Mabuhay Festival 2002
Tel: (808) 372-0382 or (808) 942-8989
E-mail: ericb@hawaii.rr.com