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Pintados-Kasadyaan festival tradition lives on

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 7, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Buy your airline tickets and book your hotel rooms as it is now official - the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival tradition will once again be in the limelight on June 27 despite all odds and deliberate moves to prevent its re-staging this year.

Palo Mayor Remedios “Matin” L. Petilla, chairperson of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and Mrs. Evelina Acebedo, vice-president of the Pintados Foundation made the pronouncement at a press conference moderated by PIA Region 8 Director Olive P. Tiu on June 6 at the Gazebo of the RTR Plaza.

Ten Kasadyaan contingents and ten Pintados tribes, Mardi gras groups and merry makers are set to participate in the grand Pintados-Kasadyaan festival, the largest, grandest and most colorful festival not only in the province of Leyte but in the entire Eastern Visayas Region.

The union of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival caught the eyes of the national festival connoisseurs as it bagged the Best Tourism Practice Award – Festival Category (provincial level) during the 2010 Association of Tourism Officers (ATOP) National Convention held in Subic Bay.

The year 2012 marks the 17th year of the joint celebration of the Kasadyaan Festival and the 26th year of the Pintados Festival which is the oldest festival in Region 8.

As in last year’s staging, no street dance parade will be conducted as the City Government did not give permit despite request as early as January 2012.

Mayor Petilla gave the assurance, however, that this year’s Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals will be as grand if not more grand as ever with the tribes and the contingents showcasing the rich history and culture of the Visayans through their world-class performance at the Leyte Sports Complex (formerly known as Grandstand).

In lieu of the street dance parade, the contingents will hold mardi gras to celebrate and pay homage to Senior Santo Niño, the Patron of Leyte, Mayor Petilla said.

There will be nightly activities at the RTR Plaza starting June 8 while trade fairs, pet shows, garden shows and water sports activities will also be conducted. Also included in the activities is the holding of the search for Mutya ng Kasadyaan and Ms Pintados.

The first Pintados Festival on June 29, 1987 was in memory of the first inhabitants of the Visayas called “Pintados” whose art of body painting amazed the Spaniards. The Visayan men had their bodies tattooed from ankles up to their upper torso and the neck. The braver ones even extended their tattoo marks up to their cheeks, around their eyes and forehead.

The Festival is a brainchild of a group of pro-active businessmen in the city who saw the need to organize a big relevant event that would set a joyful mood as a fitting homage to the Patron of Tacloban, Senor Santo Niño.

As the late Board Member Roque Tiu, the founding president used to quip, the Pintados Festival will not have reached its 26th year if the Taclobanons and the entire people of Region 8 did not accept and welcomed the celebration of the Pintados Festival on June 29, 1987.

With then Parish Priest of Tacloban now bishop of Naval, Msgr. Filomeno Bactol as chairman, Atty. Roque A. Tiu as the President, OIC Mayor Butch Veloso as the honorary chairman, Manager Shane Lim of Tacloban Coca-Cola Plant, Manager Rommel Gonzales of the Philippine Airlines, Manager Mon Torralba of San Miguel Corporation, Mr. William Chan, Mrs. Evelina Acevedo of the Katolinan Dance Company, among others, formed the Pintados Foundation, Inc.

This group made a thorough research with the help of the experts in the culture and the arts, and finally came up with the Festival that kindles appreciation for the Eastern Visayan culture.

The Pintados Festival showcases the ancient practice of body painting and shows how the Visayan ancestors came to accept Christianity and develop great love for Santo Nino.

After 26 years, the Pintados Festival evolved to be one of the landmark events in the province of Leyte drawing Visayans from all over the world to come home just to be part of the annual festivities.

It is now celebrated jointly with the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, making the celebration of the feast of the Santo Niño, an event the people of Leyte and the entire Region 8, can truly be proud of.

On the other hand, the Kasadyaan Festival was first staged in 1996 as project of the Eastern Visayas Regional Tourism Council through the inspiring leadership of then Governor, former Congresswoman of the First District of Leyte, now Mayor of Palo, Leyte Hon. Remedios L. Petilla.

As one official of a winning contingent some years back said, it is not the winning that matters but the privilege to be part of the huge group of people who united and bounded themselves together despite all odds, to continue paying special homage and tribute to the Senior Santo Niño, the Patron of the Province of Leyte.