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Friday, March 14, 2008

Daling-daling of Sandakan uploaded to Youtube

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This is just a fun video of my relatives dancing daling-daling to a
Bajau music.

I had seen much better performances in marriage ceremonies than the
videos that I can get hold of. Most of these commercial videos are
from Semporna so they are Bajau based especially Ubian.

The Sabah's ministry of culture had produced an audio CD called
Gemilang Sari which compiles the music accompanying these dances.
Daling-daling is mentioned there accompanied by a vocal song. The
original song is written in pure Suluk but this one has Malay words.
The English words, such as "Darling-darling" and "my girl- friend"
must have been there originally but not the Malay words. The word
Sandakan had been removed so I cannot verify the original Daling-
daling song.

I interviewed my aunty who was a dancer in the 1940s. She learned the
dance from Tausug from the Philippines. She call the dance mengilai or
mengilok, which just means to dance. They usually dance to the sound
of the bronze kulintangan. The style is different compared to the
current ones. There is too much hip and breast movements. But based on
her demonstration, she also must have moved her hips when she executed
her dance moves, although more gently.

The current version of the dances are named lolai, doldang and
pakiring, based on the names of the songs. More will be invented but
all appear to follow the same original daling-daling movements, that I
first saw in the 1970s, performed by men to a Suluk daling-daling

Now the Semporna bajau claimed that daling-daling originates from
Semporna, and sung in the bajau dialect. It may be true in the 1990s
when the Semporna bajaus had popularised this dance. One theory is
that the Suluks in Sandakan, had disallowed their women from dancing
because of the numerous jealousy fights. The bajaus, tend to be less
religous so they developed this dance.

Unfortunately the bajaus also claimed that Igal-igal is the true name
for daling-daling, but the dance which they showed is very different
from daling-daling, because their feet are virtually static so the hip
movements are not prominent.

Igal-igal is similar to other native dances in emphasising hand
movements only. That is why daling-daling is unique. It must have been
adapted from the Indian dances which are shown on films here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Igal-igal lost to Brazilian Samba: why not Daling-daling?

I don't understand why DBKK chose Igal-igal, modified to look like
Daling-daling with similar story lines and costumes, to show to an
international dance show at UMS.

It is the first time that I see Samba in real-life. It is impressive.
The women dancers gyrate both hips and breasts, vigoruously. The Salsa
is very complicated and gymnastically superb but it is a dance oi only
two people, unlike the Samba and other native dancers. The Africal
dancers are athletic which is similar to the Break dance routines of
the black people in USA, and now Shuffle.

The only disappointment is in the not showing of Daling-daling. It is
a match to the Samba but more gentle and has a good story. I've just
got the CD of this song for the Daling-daling dance, sung by a
suluk singer, Asidah Utoh. I was just told by my uncle about this and
he pointed out that there is the word Sandakan in that song.

He told me that officially Daling-daling is supposed to be from
Sempurna and the song tells about the story of someone visiting
Sandakan. I dispute this because there is hardly any Suluk in
Sempurna. Only Simunuls and other Bajau tribes. Most probably the
story is about a group of people from the Sulu islands visiting
Sandakan but according to my uncle, Daling-daling, in its present
state is developed in Sandakan.

I notice that Daling-daling is a song, copyrighted by a Filipino band
but I haven't heard the original sound-track of this song, in order
to compare with the song sung by Asidah Utoh.

The original music for the Igal-igal has no vocal song. Only the noise
of a Kulintangan. It is described by the Gemilang Sari CD that it is
based on an Eagle, but based on my observations of these dances, only
the hands move intricately. Nothing much moves. It is similar to our
local dances, but the hand movements emulating the Daling-daling which
in turn, is similar to the Belly-dancing of Morocco(I saw at a
Discovery Channel). The Egyptian Belly-dancing is mostly the movements
of the hips.

Now I theorise that Daling-daling is developed from the Belly-dancing
of Morocco(?),or some other Arabic nation, but modified for South East
Asian cultures making it similar to Thai and Indonesian dancing, with
long finger nails, tall and golden head-gears.

I really missed the video of a daling-daling performance. I'd like to
capture it on video and share it at the internet.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

othmanskn sends you a photo of: "Island Vista"


This is the photo of the unique Kelambu Beach, one of the fines in the world.

You can see this photo from Google Earth by enabling the Geographical Web view at the coordinates 6.987323N 116.724951E

or from the server where the photo is kept at:


Photos of the World at