Awards and Recognition

He became critical of the Bayanihan’s approach to folk dances, which he felt gave too much emphasis to formulas, appearances, and overdecorated costumes. To Obusan’s mind also, Bayanihan was too elitist and classicist, concentrating too much on the looks and the social status of its dancers. He also disagreed with Bayanihan’ s costume mistress Isabel Reyes’ reinterpretation of indigenous clothing with brightly colored sequined costumes and of Bayanihan choreographer and fellow National Artist awardee Lucrecia Urtula’s treatment of folk dances with exaggerated clockwork precision movements all in the name of theatricality and showmanship. In 1971, Obusan founded the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group (ROFG), which was acclaimed for its faithful and authentic Filipino folk dance performances.

In 1982, he was designated as Artistic Director of the first Asian Dance Company. On the same year, he directed a documentary for the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) entitled “Sayaw”, which won the grand prix award in the “International Video Dance Competition” in France.

In 1992, he was given the Patnubay ng Kalinangan award by the City of Manila for his contributions to the preservation of traditional Filipino dances.

In 1993, he was conferred the CCP Gawad Para Sa Sining Para Sa Sayaw for his researches in Philippine Folk Dances and other art forms.

In 1998, Obusan was commissioned by the Department of Tourism in designing floats themed with historical significance during the parade for the centennial celebration of the country’s independence.

Apart from being a maestro in dancing, Obusan was also a collector of Filipiniana wardrobe, an authority in folk rituals and a expert in fisheries.


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