Ang Kundiman ug Balitaw

(A message forwarded by Atty. Manuel Lino G. Faelnar)

Hi all,

It was a very interesting afternoon with Prof. Jerry Dadap yesterday as we discussed the Kundiman and the Balitaw. Jerry is a musician, a composer. He is also the Musical Director and Conductor of the Andres Bonifacio Choir. He comes from a family of distinguished musicians. The well known New York-based guitarist Michael Dadap is Jerry's brother.

On the Kundiman

Jerry had some very interesting information about the Kundiman and the Balitaw. He says that although "Usahay" and "Matud Nila" have a 3/4 beat, they are ballads, not Kundiman. They do not have the three movements required for a Kundiman.

In fact, he says, there is hardly any Cebuano Kundiman. Jerry, however, has also composed a Kundiman but the title is Tagalog. According to him, Kundiman is a Tagalog genre that has a prescribed three movements in 3/4 beat. Jerry also says that "Ay Ay Kalisod" has a 2/4 beat and so is not a Kundiman. Neither is "Dahil Sa Iyo" a Kundiman as it too has a 2/4 beat.

On the Balitaw

Jerry says that the Cebuano Balitaw has a fast 3/4 beat with the rhythm of "Ania Si Rosas Pandan". However, Dr. Jes Tirol, an engineer and educator who teaches college-level mathematics using Cebuano as the medium of instruction and who is Chairman of the University of Bohol adds in a text message that the Balitaw is an exchange of love verses between a man and a woman and must be danced by the couple; if it is not danced it is just a Folk Song, ang Awit Banikanhon. Jerry, on the other hand, focused on the rhythm exemplified by "Ania Si Rosas Pandan".

Jerry also says that the Tagalog Balitaw likewise has a 3/4 beat but it is more formalistic and, like the Kundiman, has three movements.

For a fuller discussion of the Cebuano Balitaw (Balitao), read the book of Maria Colina Gutierrez in the link below. Gutierrez confirms that the Balitaw is an exchange of love verses between a man and a woman and is danced by the couple.


The Cebuano Balitaw is usually in the minor key while the Tagalog Balitaw is usually in the
major key. Both are exchanges of love verses between a man and a woman. Visit this link for
a short discussion:


-- Atty. Manuel Lino G. Faelnar

1 comment:

Anna Lee said...

Thanks for accepting me as one of the blogger on this website. At first, i request a copy of a Kundiman Song : Paabota Sa Langit ang also a tune if there are. We need this today for our LitMus Contest come Oct. 22, 2010.
Thank you and have a nice day to all.

High School Teacher