Pintaflores festival is an annual event that is held in the beautiful city of San Carlos, in Negros Occidental. The festival is marked every 5th of November.
The festival’s name is unique, one that piques the interest of many a traveler. This name is a derivation of the Spanish word ‘pinta’ which loosely translates to tattoos and ‘flores’ which means flowers. This festival, in essence, is all about a fusion of arts and nature, making for a very interesting theme.
The storyline behind Pintaflores revolves around the adversity and victory of a princess who took the challenge to go to unexplored lands. Legend has it that Princess Nabingka who hailed from Cebu City, chose to take the journey from the city to a close island alongside members of her royal fraternity. The region was named after the princess and is today known as San Carlos City.
After the princess settled on the island, she suffered from a disease that necessitated quick action. The locals took to planting flower beds in the belief that this would heal the princess, but the weather had other plans and the flowers did not blossom. This led to the use of floral tattoos for the princess’ healing, a tradition that stands strong today.
Visitors attending the Pintaflores Festival should look out for the intricate floral tattoos of the dancers as they make their way down the streets. Such an amazing festival not only gives a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the city, but it is also a popular tourist attraction.
The history of this festival starts in the early years of San Carlos City. It is a city located at Negros Occidental, Philippines.
The story started a long time ago during the 17th century in the Spanish colonization period. Just for the record, Spain colonized the Philippines for over 300 years from the early 15th century up to the late year of the 18th century and sometime in between, this amazing story gave birth to a wonderful and lively festival that became part of the culture.
Once upon a time, it was told that there was a beautiful princess from Cebu City, a neighboring island just across San Carlos City Neg Occ. that had crossed and visited the people. The name of the beautiful princess is Nabingka.
For an additional info, San Carlos City was previously named and called as Nabingkalan. But as years went by and as the town progress and prosper, it has later been changed to San Carlos City.
The beautiful princess who visited is not only beautiful but is also famous for her deep love for people and the love for knowledge. She is quite loving and intelligent.
Under the Spanish regime, this princess ruled over the place which at that time was Nabingkalan.
One day, the princess got seriously ill and would really want to have her strength back so she could continue serving the people. She came to see many folk healers or what natives call, the “babaylan” and they had advised the princess to plant some flowers in her garden and that would give her strength back. However, flowers would not even last that long to grow or bloom due to the harsh weather at that time.
As an improvised solution, the “babaylan” or the folk healer asked the people of Nabingkalan to just paint some flowers on her garden. Later on, the princess illness was gone and she was well again.
To celebrate the regained strength and health of the princess, people rejoiced and celebrated the news. Since that day, people decided to make a tradition out of it where the ladies in the barrio would wear colorful and flowery gowns to honor and portray Princess Nabingka.
The events of that day don’t just including wearing gowns. Some artists of the late generation have been innovative in celebrating and honoring Princess Nabingka by painting flowers all over the body. It goes by the name of the festival which is Pintaflores which is derived from painting flowers.
This is one of the best, happiest and exciting festivals in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. Other festivals in the same province held would be the Balay Negrense and Masskara Festival.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!