Alcamfor (Philippine Dance)

Alkamfor is a couples dance from Leyte, a province of the Philippines located in the Visayas group of islands. In this dance, the girl holds a handkerchief laced with camphor, a substance that is locally thought to induce romance. She flirts with the man by waving her scented handkerchief in front of his face.

The word alkamfor comes from the Spanish alcanfor, meaning camphor. Filipinos also spell it as alcamfor. In the Philippines, it refers to mothballs.

In the old days, clothes were kept in wooden chests with a few naphtalene balls to keep away moths. The camphor gave off what was considered a pleasant scent that supposedly attracted men.


Ang alcamfor ay nagmula sa mabangong halaman. Ang panyo ng dalaga ay pinababanguhan ng perpumeng alcamfor. Ang sayaw ay may impluwensiyang Pranses at Kastila.

Ito ay sayaw ng pagligaw. Ang unang bahagi ng sayaw ay nagsisimula sa mahinay na kilos bago ito susundan ng mabilis na hakbang sa Kastila.