Who was Francisca Reyes-Aquino? – Everything You need to Know about Filipino dancer Francisca Reyes-Aquino.
Francisca Reyes-Aquino is a Filipino folk dancer and academic noted for her research on Philippine folk dance. She is a recipient of the Republic Award of Merit and the Ramon Magsaysay Award and is a designated National Artist of the Philippines for Dance.
Among Reyes-Aquino’s most noted works is her research on folk dances and songs as a student assistant at the University of the Philippines (UP). Pursuing her graduate studies, she started her work in the 1921 traveling to remote barrios in Central and Northern Luzon.
She published a thesis in 1926 entitled Philippine Folk Dances and Games where she noted on previously unrecorded forms of local celebration, ritual and sports. Her thesis was made with teachers and playground instructors from both public and private institutions in mind.
This work was expanded with the official support of UP President Jorge Bocobo in 1927. She then served at the university as part of the faculty for 18 years.
She served as supervisor of physical education at the Bureau of Education in the 1940s. The education body distributed her work and adapted the teaching of folk dancing in an effort to promote awareness among the Filipino youth regarding their cultural heritage. The then President Ramon Magsaysay conferred her the Republic Award of Merit in 1954 for her “outstanding contribution toward the advancement of Filipino culture”.
Reyes-Aquino also had other books published including: Philippine National Dances (1946), Gymnastics for Girls (1947), Fundamental Dance Steps and Music (1948), Foreign Folk Dances (1949), Dances for all Occasion (1950), Playground Demonstration (1951), and Philippine Folk Dances, Volumes I to VI.
Reyes-Aquino also received recognition for her works such as the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1962 and her designation as National Artist of the Philippines for Dance in 1973.