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Epanto, Jovelle I.

PE102-Sat. 5:00pm-7:00pm
January 10,2009

Francisca Reyes Aquino

Francisca Reyes Aquino was born on March 9, 1899

in Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan to Filipe Reyes and Juliana
Santos Reyes and the eldest among three children. She
finished her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in
1924 from the University of the Philippines and obtained
her High School Teacher's Certificate in 1923.

From 1921-1923, Francisca traveled to remote

communities in Central and Northern Luzon in search for
folk dances to use in her Physical Education class. She continued gathering folk
dances, songs, and games for her master's thesis at the University of the
Philippines in 1926. She revised her work in 1927, and published it as Philippine
Folk Dances and Games. Then she was asked to chair a committee at the
university that would go to the most remote areas of the Philippines to gather
material directly from the old people who used to dance them in their younger

In 1934, Francisca married Professor Ramon P. Tolentino, Jr., then

Assistant Director of the Department of Physical Education but after four and
half years of a close personal and professional partnership,her husband died in

In 1947, she married Serafin Aquino, secretary-treasurer of the Philippine

Amateur Athletic Federation, an enthusiastic collaborator in presentation of his
wife's work. That same year, Frances Reyes Aquino became the superintendent
of Physical Education, Bureau of Public Schools. She was awarded a Doctor of
Sciences degree in Physical Education, Honoris Causa, from Boston University
and, in 1959, a Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa, from Far Eastern

She was named National Artist for her contributions in dance in 1973, the
very first woman to receive a National Artist Award. She traveled the
Philippines to observe and record dances and formed various dance troupes,
including the Filipiniana Dance Troupe. She also organized the Filipiniana Folk
Dance Troupe which performed for servicemen as a part of the United States
Army Special Services for seven months in 1945. In 1949, Dr. Reyes Aquino
founded the Philippine Folk Dance Society to bring together physical education
students, teachers, administrators and individuals interested in folk dancing.

Dr. Reyes Aquino received the "Philippine Republic Award of Merit" for
her untiring efforts in collecting, compiling, and propagating folk dances, and for
her outstanding contribution to the advancement of Filipino culture in the field
of dance. Other awards include the Cultural Award, UNESCO of the Philippines;
the Rizal Pro-Patria Award; certificate of merit Bulacan Teachers Association; the
Ramón Magsaysay Award, and an award for outstanding alumna, College of
Education, University of the Philippines.

Aquino was the author of Philippine Folk Dances and Games, which focused
on studying native Philippine dances. Her efforts led to the popularization of
Philippine folk dances. She was a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay
Award for government service in 1962.

Active in organizations whose programs related to her work, Dr. Reyes Aquino
was a member of the Women's Athletic Committee of the Philippine Amateur
Athletic Federation from 1940 to 1954 and again in 1955 to 1956. She also served
on the Curriculum Committee of the National College of Physical Education, the
National YMCA Board in 1945 and 1946, the Entertainment Committee of the
International Society for Education in 1960, and as a member of the United
Nations Association of the Philippines from 1956 until her death in 1984.