Pinta Flores Festival: San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
The sun always shines in Negros. In a way, there is always hope in San Carlos
The festival must be characterized with
a vibrant and festive mood of
merrymaking as a thanksgiving for the
bountiful blessings of the Almighty to our
beloved city and its people
The Pintaflores Festival shall be considered as the official festival of the City of San Carlos, Province of Negros Occidental which is being held every 5th of November on the same day of the commemoration of the historic "Al Cinco de Noviembre" which is declared a provincial holiday of Negros Occidental.
The festival must be characterized with a vibrant and festive mood of merrymaking as a thanksgiving for the bountiful blessings of the Almighty to our beloved city and its people.
The Storyline: "The Tale of Nabingkalan and her Dances of Flowers"
In the mid-eastern coastline of the Buglas (Negros), facing the island of Zubu (Cebu) a lush and green valley is left uninhabited and untouched by human civilization until such time that a princess named Nabingka rom a flourishing tribe somewhere in the neighboring island was destined to reach the plains as she fled away from the warring tribes of her place.
The sunflower is a symbol of Pinta Flores
Aboard in a balsa (bamboo raft) with her warriors Princess Nabingka sailed across the deep trench of Tañon Strait and reached the plains now called San Carlos City. In her favor, the first inhabitants named the place Nabingkalan (coined from Nabingka, the name of the princess and lan, a suffix of Visayan origin which means "in honor").
It was believed that after the princess landed her new abode, Nabingkalan, she was melancholic and afflicted with an incurable disease perhaps caused by her remorse due to loneliness being away from her family.
Princess Nabingka, became weak and the tribesmen with their families wept for almost a year until such time that a babaylan implored the nature spirits and predicated that the Princess was saddened due to the absence of flowers in the place. The babaylan then ordered that all tribesmen should plant flowering shrubs, vines and trees. But the humid weather of the plains, the flowers didn't bloom and the babaylan this time summoned all tribesmen including women to have their bodies tattooed with flowers. In magnanimity all tribe members tattooed their bodies with flowers endemic to her hinterland to remind the Princess of her bountiful and glorious days with her family.
Due to the glee on what he saw, the chieftain then threw a bangaw (food party) to signify his happiness. He ordered a hudyaka-pahalipay (merrymaking – thanksgiving) in honor of San Carlos de Borromeo, the patron saint of his journey. The journey that led him to the discovery that indeed her beloved daughter has now a place and a people of her own.The news about the plight of the princess reached her family's tribe and the chieftain who is his father decided to follow the journey of her daughter. The chieftain accompanied by a priest sailed to Nabingkalan bringing the image of San Carlos de Borromeo as a traditional Christian gesture of spirituality on journeys. As he reached the place of the princess he couldn't believe what he saw as the princess was alive and now back in her vigorous health.
Sunflower as the city's symbolic flower
"The sun always shines in Negros. In a way, there is always hope in San Carlos…."
This metaphorical statement underscores the strong disposition of resilience among the people of San Carlos that despite the storms in life still Carloseños are looking forward to a brighter and more vibrant future.
Amidst the people's quest of cultural and historical identity as symbolized by a flower, in an unknown origin, the Sunflower seemingly emanated as her symbolic flower. To give justification, the City Tourism Office conducted a brief research to the culture of Carloseños and discovered two major significant values among others. Surprisingly, these values equivocate to that of a common characteristic of a sunflower.
The people of San Carlos are known to be hardworking and resilient, values that connote to a strong grip of hope and being optimistic amidst life's crisis, whereas, a sunflower is known to be a symbolism of the sun and it is believed that sunshine connotes hope.
Another justification, that sunflower is known to symbolize adoration which the Pintaflores centers on the theme of the adoration of flowers as ritual of thanksgiving.