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Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival: Still a colorful event in Tacloban
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Louie Guarin
Date: 2004-07-23
After all these years, Tacloban City’s Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival (PKF), have remained as one of the most colorful events in the country. Aboard SuperFerry 18, together with friends from the advertising industry, we all headed to Leyte to witness the event.

I was one of the jurors of the PintadosKasadyaan Festival two years ago, and watching the festival is a letdown. The 2002 festival was more flamboyant, colorful, organized and unique. As far as production numbers are concerned, the recent event suffer from comparison. Only a few groups participated, from 15 municipalities two years ago, it is now down to seven. Perhaps it is the sign of the times, marred by a small budget and political conflicts.

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a whole-month affair of merry-making. Highlights of which are the 9th Leyte Kasadya-an Festival of Festivals, the 17th Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the “Pagrayhak’’ Grand Parade.

The Leyteños have a unique style of celebrating a religious festival, in a colorful and wacky way. These festivals originated from the feast day of “Señor Santo Niño de Leyte” held every June 30.

In 1888, missionaries from Spain brought the Santo Niño image known as “El Capitan” in the island. Its rich and colorful history enhanced the devotion and worship of the Leyteños to the Child Jesus.

Then in 1986, the Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed. The founders, composed of civic-minded businessmen and entrepreneurs of Tacloban City started organizing some religious-cultural activities for the Tacloban City fiesta in honor of Señor Santo Niño. Thus, the celebration of the Pintados Festival ushered in.

Pintados was first celebrated on June 29, 1987. The Visayans were adept in the art of body tattooing. Men and women as dictated by culture were very fond of tattooing themselves.

The Pintados Festival showcases the rich cultural heritage, indigenous music and dances of the people of Leyte and Samar enhancing the religious-cultural heritage of the Pintados.

The Leyte Kasadya-an Festival of Festivals is a celebration that showcases the unique culture and colorful history of the Province of Leyte. This festivity was first celebrated in May 12, 1996 through the inspiring leadership of former Leyte Governor Remedios Loreto-Petilla.

The first three years of the Kasadyaan Festival celebration were held on different dates. However, since 1999, the celebration has been held every June 29, the Feast of the Señor Santo Niño de Leyte.

“Kasadya-an’’ means merry-making and gaiety in Visayan. During the celebration, various municipal festivals of Leyte converge in Tacloban City, the original capital, to stage a pageantry of colorful and vibrant dance-drama parade.

The festival plays a crucial role in instilling a sense of pride among the Leyteños. Each municipal festival has a unique storyline of their own. The contingents proudly portray their local history, folklore, legend and way of life.

This year’s winners in the Kasadyaan Festival are: TOLO-USA Festival of Tolosa, 1st place; PASAKA Festival of Tanauan, 2nd; and the LING-GANAY Festival of Alang-Alang, 3rd. While winners in the Pintados Barangay-based include Mandaragat Tribe of Barangay 56A, 1st place; Bangkaw Tribe of Barangay 84, 2nd; and Tinaguiktik Tribe of Barangay 83-C, 3rd.

Grand prix winners in the Pintados School-based and Pintados Merry Makers categories were Saint Therese Educational Center and Asian Development Foundation, respectively. All winners received cash prizes and trophies.


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