Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pintados de Pasi: Honoring Music, Dance and Culture

photo by Ray Tabafunda
Known as one of the finest showcase of festival traditions in the province of Iloilo, the annual festival of Pintados de Pasi will take place on March 12 -22, 2015 at in Passi City, Iloilo. The event features a variety of tribal dance moves and storytelling that will honor their collected history, culture and tradition.

An array of entertainment activities daily will be provided to visitors to gain a better understanding of their own history and customs. With this year’s theme, “Passinhon nga Kultura: Handurawon kag Pasanyugon,” the celebration will open on March 12 (Thursday) with the Opening of Food Festival; March 13 (Friday) Kawasaki CT Big Dominate at Plaza Paloma; March 14 (Saturday) mass at Parish at 6 am, Parade and Pasundayag and Opening Program at 8 am, Golden Hearts Award: Songs and Dances of Yesteryears at Passi Social Hall at 7 pm and Globe Night at Plaza Paloma at 9 pm;  March 15 (Sunday)  Talents Night for Bb. Pintados at Passi Social Hall at 7 pm; March 16 (Monday) Pasundayag sang Academia 2015 at the Plaza Paloma at 7 pm; March 18 (Wednesday) Sinadya sa Suba/ Pinta Lawas at the riverbank beside Passi Bus Terminal at 7 am;  (March 19 (Thursday) Search for Bb. Pintados at 7 pm; March 20 (Friday) Karosa Parada and Carabao Painting Contest at 7 am; March 21 (Saturday) Talk N Text BasketbolSaya and Bingo Panalo at the Passi Montessori and Plaza Paloma 7 am till 7 pm; and, March 22 (Sunday) Tribe Competition at 8 am.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

According to a Spanish chronicler who came to visit the different islands in the Visayas sometime in 1565, they were welcomed by heavily tattooed men and women of the islands. They called the island “La Isla De Los Pintados” or “Islands of the Painted Ones where the men and women were named Pintados. Originally, the Pintados are a warlike race.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

It was said that the painted men undergo an initiation ceremony, his rite of passage done with his first exposure to decorative scarring and piercing popularly known as tattooing, with simple geometric patterns using black powder.  They prick their skin with sharp pieces of iron and then apply black powder to the open wounds which is absorbed into the skin permanently.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

The patterns developed have emotional meaning attached to them. Patterns, normally geometric have been found tattooed on the chests, shoulders, arms, and thighs. The patterns in their bodies convey a strong bond and meaning amongst people in their community. They are a connection to their past and carry a very strong cultural meaning in their lives.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

Tattooing forms part of their culture since the beginning of time. Primarily, tribes practise body painting as it is a part of their tribal ritual and as a mark of their status. When they become warriors sent for battle except for a loin cloth, their bodies were given additional streaks of patterns depending on the number of enemies killed after the fight.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

The annual celebration of Pintados de Pasi Festival is to recognize and celebrate their ancient cultural practice and take pride of their ethnic roots for its from looking back into who they once were that they become more enlightened with where and who they will be in the future.

The component city of Passi is 50 kilometers away or an hour and twenty minutes away from Iloilo City. It is located along the Central portion of the province using the Iloilo-Capiz National Highway.  Made up of 51 barangays over a land area of 25,068 hectares, it annually celebrates its cultural festival every March and Religious Festival every February in honor of San Guillermo.

Visitors to Passi City can take the bus at Northern Iloilo Public Transport Terminal in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City.  For more information, please contact Miss Lucy A. Jangayo at the Office of the City Mayor at (033) 3115087.

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