I’m pretty much ignorant towards the many fiestas and celebrations of Leyte, especially those near where I live. The only reason I know there’s a fiesta coming on is because of the increase of activity in haste to prepare food for the visitors. My grandmother hosts an all-day party every year, especially since my grandfather is the town Mayor.
I’ve heard of the Pintados before, but I never really knew what it was — nor did I think about it much — since I did not live in Tacloban City. Bethel International School, despite its close proximity to the city, does not acknowledge the fiesta other than letting the students who lived in Tacloban to have a free day off, so the event was pretty much ignored by me.
However, this year it’s different. That would be because my grandfather, whom I’ve mentioned was the mayor of the town, had decided to enter the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals competition.
Kasadyaan is the Visayan term for jollity and merriment. Kasadyaan Festival is where all the festivals from various municipals of Leyte gather in the City of Tacloban for the celebration. Lively dance-drama in various colors takes place with the accompaniment of rhythmic beats of drums and bugle. This festival is very essential to the Leyteños for it strengthens their sense of pride. Every participating municipality escalates a unique storyline to portray their local folklore and legends with pride.
Our town’s festival is called the Tamyok Festival, celebrating the tamyok (fresh river shrimps) that are abundant in the river and thus the townspeople’s way of life.
The dancers, mostly consisting of high school students, practiced really hard to perfection. The band, I’m quite sure, practiced real hard as well. I can’t count the many times I lied in bed awake because they were still playing until past midnight. Though I’m a night owl, the band were my scapegoat when my grandparents asked why I’ve been lacking sleep last week… shh!
But moving on…
According to Wikipedia, the Pintados Festival is “a cultural-religious celebration in Tacloban based on the body-painting traditions of the ancient tattooed pintados warriors. In 1986, the Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed by the people of Tacloban to organize this festival in honor of Sr. Santo Niño. Years later, it was merged with the Kasadyaan Festival which is always held on June 30.”
The website somewhereintheworldtoday.com further explains:
The Pintados Festival lasts for the whole of June but the festivities peak towards the end of June as over the years it has been combined with the feast day of Señor Santo Niño (June 29th) and the Kasadyaan Festival (June 30th). Highlights include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the “Pagrayhak” Grand Parade.
Yesterday on June 27th was the culmination of the Pintados festival, I suppose. I’m not quite sure since Pintados, Kasadyaan and Sangyaw (another festival happening tomorrow on the 29th) sound the same to me. I personally blame my ignorance. Anyway, I took as much pictures as I could of the parade, even though we weren’t allowed to continue into the Tacloban City proper due to some conflicts.
In the competition, my town won 8th place, which is nice since the competition was tough. This was just out first try, and it’s a real blessing that the children’s hard work are being repaid with their win. 8th place might not be much to some people, but at least we placed, right? There were fifteen contenders after all. ^__^
Note: There’s been news that the judges had calculated the scores wrong. Apparently my town, originally in 8th place, is not in 5th. I’m not sure, but my grandparents are insisting that I make that clear. >.<