Posted by June 29, 2010on
Just recently, the Province of Leyte has celebrated the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival 2010 in Tacloban City. Pintados Kasadyaan is actually a celebration of two fiestas in the province: The Pintados Festival, and the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals.
History would show that the island of Leyte was once ruled by tattooed men or the Pintados. During the early times, the more tattoo a person has on its skin, the more he is revered and respected in the community.
In 1986 the Pintados Foundation was formed to formally organized to spearhead the celebration of the Pintados Festival. The celebration was set in time for the anuual feast of Senor Santo Nino, the patron of the Province of Leyte.
The Pintados Festival is a way of bringing back into the awareness of the Leytenos of how the way of life was before. It is a reminder of an interesting segment of our history where the tattooed men were considered the bravest in the community. He is also the most respected among the many.
When conflict arises, the tattooed men were always sought for their words of wisdom. During battles, they would lead the warriors in defending their village from the attackers.
Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals on the other hand, is the brainchild of former Leyte Governor Matin Petilla. Its main purpose is to showcase the olorful festivals of each and every town of Leyte. At some point in time, even the nearby province of Samar also send some contingents to compete.
And many moons later, the festival was combined to become one big fiesta celebration in honor of Santo Nino. This Festival is known today as the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival.
This year, I had the chance to visit Tacloban Leyte and experience Pintados Kasadyaan for the very first time. Although I have seen several Leyte Festivals perform in other cities, nothing beats seeing them right in their home turf.
Although it has now become a one major event, the festival performances are still divided into two categories: The Pintados Contest and the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals Competition.
This year, we saw seven groups from Tacloban and nearby towns compete for the Pintados Category and nine towns competed for the Kasadyaan Competition.
The streetdance parade in the morning and the ritual presentation in the afternoon was just bursting with all the colors. Seeing the festivals perform gave me a glimpse of how their way of life is. Through dance it told us stories of how they prayed for the intervention of Santo Nino during disasters, or calamities. It also portrayed how they would gather as a community to thank the Infant Jesus for all the abundant harvest.
I love each and every performances, especially the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals. But I am very much hooked to the Buyogan Festival of Abuyog Leyte. The first time I saw this group perform was during the Sinulog Festival 2009 in Cebu City. That same year, they also emerged as the Grand Champion of the Aliwan Fiesta 2009 in Manila.
It was my first time to see them perform in Tacloban. I was totally blown away with the group’s very solid performance. To say that Abuyog’s costume is beautiful is an understatement. Probably one of the best festival costumes I have ever seen!
I love the routine of Abuyog! It is very very different from the ones I saw in Cebu Sinulog 2009, Aliwan Fiesta 2008 and 2009. I hop they would compete again in Sinulog 2011 and Aliwan Fiesta 2011!
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