[PHOTO - Negros again explodes in a festival of colors as this beauty dances in the streets for the Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City. The new festival is bound to give the more established MassKara Festival of Bacolod City a run]

SAN CARLOS CITY, NEGROS, NOVEMBER 5, 2012 (INQUIRER) Pintaflores was born out of the people's search for a cultural identity and tradition.

If Cebu City has its Sinulog, Bacolod City its Masskara, and Aklan its Ati-atihan, San Carlos City also dreamt 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 the City's very own started what today is one of the most popular street dancing festivals in the region - the Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City.

Pintaflores is coined from the words Pintados, the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and the "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 of 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 that products the ingenuity and skills of the choreographers and dancers.

Building a name on the streets of Cebu, Negros and Panay

It takes time to build. but, with Pintaflores, the time to gather frame is at a very young age.

new to the game and exposure, the first Pintaflores contingent of San Carlos City represented by Colegio de Sto. Tomas - Recoletos high school students, bested seasoned contestants to land third place in the free interpretation category in the heavinly-competed Sinulog festival in Cebu City in January 1993. In April of the same year, the group bagged the championship in Panaad Sa Negros '93, to province-wide cultural festival in Negros Occidental.

Represented by Barangays II and Quezon, the Pintaflores street dancing contingent emerged first prize in Panaad Sa Negros in 1996. The same group with the participation of Barangay Ermita bagged again the championship in Panaad Sa Negros 1997 and the fifth prize in Sinulog festival '98.

In Panaad Sa Negros '98, the Pintaflores group composed of dancers from Barangays Punao and Palampas and the City Hospital graced the fiesta presentation as guest performers. In Panaad '99. the Pintaflores represented this time by elementary school children, once again proved its unbeatable streak by emerging champions, consequently reaping the Hall of Fame award for topping the fiesta presentation event in four consecutive years.

Having established a name in street dancing, Pintaflores danced performers in such places as Iloilo City (1996) and the Roxas City (1997) as among the best of the best in the region, and in Canlaon City and Victorias in 1999 as the best in the province.

But the best is yet to come to Pintaflores as a new breed of dancers has 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.

San Carlos comes alive and colorful every November 5. Its streets become ablaze and animated by the sprightly dance of flower-painted dancers in colorful ethnic-inspired costumes as the traditional Pintaflores festival hits this its peak in a colorful and lively streetdancing competition.

After five years and many awards, including the Hall of Fame awards in streetdancing 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 Carloseņos.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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