One of the country’s dance icons, Rose Borromeo, recently returned to the Philippines for good after 31 years in Singapore, where she established a well-known dance studio— continuing the mission she had started here with her sister, Julie Borromeo, many years ago at her home studio, DanceArts.
Aside from teaching jazz and ballet in Singapore, Borromeo also opened flamenco classes. In the 1970s, she was a well-known proponent of the Spanish dance with partner Ruben Nieto.
In Singapore, her flamenco classes were well-attended and patronized not just by locals but also by ex-pats. Flamenco became so popular in Singapore that Borromeo and her students would often be invited to perform in Spanish-related festivities.
She invited well-known flamenco guest teachers from Spain and also adapted the flamenco syllabus for teaching the dance to foreigners from Perth, Australia.
Among those she nurtured was Angel Gomez, presently the only Filipino bailaor to reach a level of excellence in flamenco, long after Nieto.
Award from Spain
On April 18, Borromeo’s efforts in this art were recognized by Spain, which bestowed on her La Cruz de Isabela La Catolica, fifth category (Cruz de Damas ), for pioneering Spanish dance, and introducing and promoting Spanish culture and arts in schools, communities and universities through dance and lectures in multicultural Singapore.
Giving her the award were Spanish Ambassador to Singapore Don Palomer Guet, Peruvian Ambassador to Singapore Raul Patino, Portuguese Ambassador to Singapore Alfonso Henriques de Azeredo Malheiro.
In Manila, the tireless Borromeo continues where she left off at her new studio on Shaw Boulevard. This month, she brings in from Seville well-known flamenco maestro Manuel Bezantos for a two-day master class.