The Pintados Festival in Tacloban Cty is a Filipino Festival with its own unique flavor. It recalls the Pre-Spanish history of the native Leytenos from wars, epics and folk religions. The most expected aspect in Pintados is the festive dancers, painted from head to toe with designs that look like armor to resemble tattooed warriors.
This year, the Pintados Festival once again showcase the unique culture and history of the people from Eastern Visayas. It is one of the local traditions of the province that celebrates the ageless art of body painting. So I am here to bring you all over the event by experiencing the Pintados Festival.
It was 27th of June, around 7 am when I and my boyfriend went to Grandstand for the Pintados grand parade. I can see a lot of people roaming around the area and there were also police officers securing the place. And since we have an I.D. it was easy for us to enter and exit the vicinity. But as usual it didn’t start immediately; it was around 9 a.m. when the parade started.
The procession started at Grand Stand going to Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Paterno Street, Sta. Cruz Street, Juan Luna Street, Avenida Veteranos, Real Street, Justice Romualdez Street, Rizal Avenue, and then back to Grandstand.
Under the heat of the sun, the different contingents in an amazing array of colors fill the streets of Tacloban City. At first sight, they may seem outrageous as grown men pour into the streets decorated in such dazzling colors as luminous blue or neon green. But as one gets used to this and sees the dances depicted, one gets a glimpse of the history of the people that once lived on the islands of Leyte so long ago.
Despite of the heat of the sun, the sweat, the exhausted feeling dancing all over the street, I can still see each of them smiling without any hesitations. And though I feel like I’m a dead beat that day, while taking pictures of them. I still enjoy experiencing the music, the parades, and the warm atmosphere of a fun, local festival.
Around 10:30 a.m. the parade is over, the contingents were about to prepare for the program and ritual dance which will start at 1:00 p.m. So, we decided to eat our lunch first before going back to the Grand stand.
After taking our lunch, we witnessed different ritual presentations from the contingents. Joining the festivals from the Leyte province were the Lubi-lubi festival of Calubian, Buraburon festival of Burauen, Tolo-Usa festival of Tolosa, Buyugan festival of Abuyog, Sanggutan festival of Barugo, Kaplag festival of Mahaplag, Maisayaw festival of San Isidro; Ibid festival of Caibiran, Biliran province, Patiklos festival of Sta. Rita, Samar, and Tribu Mangirisda of Tanauan , Leyte.
Seven competing contingents are from Leyte, one from Samar and one from Biliran and while all contingents were bursting with their energy, massive and colorful props that completely filled the streets as well as the basketball court sized stage.
This year’s Kasadyaan competition was won by Buraburon festival of Burauen with P750. 000 cash prize. The second place went to Buyugan festival of Abuyog with P500, 000 cash prize, while the Sanggutan festival of Barugo was the third place winner with P250, 000 cash prize. All the participating contingents will also receive P 50, 000.
The superior story line, dance execution, and set designs of Burabon Festival stood out and earned the nod of the judges. Huge and larger than life images of the Senior Santo Nino de Tacloban were the common props of the participants that expressed the adoration and filial piety of the Leytenos to the Señor Santo Niño.
Meanwhile, Kasadyaan which means “merriment” in the Visayan dialect plays an important role for it strengthens the sense of pride and portrays the local folklore and legends of the municipality. This marked the beginning of the Pintados Festival, which was first celebrated in June 29,1987. In 1995 the foundation started the Leyte Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and was henceforth called as the “Festival of Festivals.” Little did they know that they were laying the groundwork for making the festival a national cultural event depicting the rich cultural past of Leyte and its colorful customs and traditions.
The Pintados Festival managed by Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed by the people of this city in celebration of the feast day of Sr. Santo Niño. Years later, it was merged with the Kasadyaan Festival chaired then by now mayor Petilla.