The Pintaflores Festival was born out of the city’s search for a cultural identity and tradition. With Cebu City having its Sinulog, Bacolod City its MassKara Festival, and Aklan its Ati-atihan, San Carlos City also dreamed of having its own unique festival.
In 1992, after successfully holding two activities, the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dances of Flowers as highlights of the city fiesta, the idea of blending the two concepts to come up with a presentation that could be considered the city’s very own started what today is one of the most popular street dancing festivals in the region, the Pintaflores Festival.
Pintaflores is coined from the words pintados (“painted ones”), the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and flores, the Spanish word for “flowers” that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers. The Pintaflores street dancing and ritual competition highlights the annual Pintaflores Festival every November 3-5.
It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil that depict the people’s thanksgiving and merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the Pintados tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express gratitude to man and his environment.
The street dancing is culminated by a dance ritual performed at the City auditorium. Different dance steps and musical accompaniment add to the thrill of the competition. The human flower formation is another impressive part of the dance ritual which are products of the ingenuity and skill of the choreographers and dancers.
Pintaflores has evolved as a new breed of dancers emerged with the launching of Pintaflores Bata or Pinta Bata in 1996. A street dancing and ritual competition among elementary school children. Pinta Bata thrills one with the children’s pleasing gracefulness and versatility that promises a crop of excellent dancers in the years to come.
After five years and many awards, including the Hall of Fame awards in street dancing in the Panaad Sa Negros, the word Pintaflores, like “Daan Sa Kaunlaran” and Homelot program, now has become another byword of the creativity of San Carloseños.