Thursday, October 30, 2008


Negros Island is filled with beautiful festivals. One of them is the colorful Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City (adjacent to the hometown of the Haris - Canlaon City). This year's Pintaflores will take place on Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

“The Tale of Nabingkalan and her Dances of Flowers”

In the coastline of Negros Island, facing the island of Cebu, a lush and green valley is left uninhabited and untouched by human civilization until such time that a princess named Nabingka from 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.

Aboard in a balsa (bamboo raft) with her warriors Princess Nabingka sailed across the deep trench of TaƱon 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.

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.

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.

Vamos San Carlos! Viva Pintaflores!

Proud to be a Negrense, Forever Hari ng Negros!