What is Subli?


What is Subli?

Subli preceded Christianity in the Philippines and is a pre-Spanish era’s religious ritual. The people of Bauan, Batangas paid homage to the cross, reverently called Mahal na Poong Alitagtag (Beloved Holy Cross of Alitagtag) by dancing the folk dance called Subli. The dance is traced to the town of Bauan, Batangas. Subli recalls the first journey of the manunubli, early tribes who settled in Bauan as they went through the fields, the hills and rivers in search of the miraculous cross.
Subli came from the word “subsob” which means to fall with the head down and “bali” (accent on the second syllable) meaning broken. This is interpreted in the way the male dancers look down and also the way the dancers move in steps. Others said it came from the word “sobli” meaning “salisi” or the exchange of place which is a prominent feature of the dance.

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