Pintaflores Festival and the Tale of Princess Nabingka
Enrico Dee | Jun 21, 2013
Every November 5th, the City of San Carlos in Negros Occidental celebrates its annual Pintaflores Festival. The festival's name is derived from the Spanish term Pinta, which refers to tattoo, and Flores, flowers.
The Pintaflores Festival retells the tragedy and triumph of of Princess who went to an uncharted land.
According to folk tales, a young princess from Cebu named Princess Nabingka sailed to a nearby island together with her men. They named the land Nabingkalan in Princess' honor. The land that is now known as San Carlos City.
Soon after they have settled in Nabingkalan, the Princess got sick. S they called the Babaylan or the village shaman to cure her. And in order for the Princess to regain her health, the babaylan ordered the people to plant beautiful and sweet smelling flowers for the Princess.
And so the people went out of their houses, and planted flowers for the princess to get cured of her illness. But there was a problem: the weather in Nabingkalan is so harsh that the plants wouldn't grow.
And the people started to become hopeless. Until the Babaylan went back to the Princess again. The village shaman this time ordered that the men and women of the village should put a flower tattoo in their body, as his is going to be the only way for the princess to get cured.
And the people followed. Everyone had their body covered with tattoo in floral patterns.
Soon enough, Princess Nabingka regained her health. And the people rejoiced, went out of their houses and danced in jubilation.
Today, you see dancers from various elementary and high schools dressed in elaborate costumes with floral tattoo on their faces and body. Their lead dancers are always a young pretty girl garbed in ball gown impersonating Princess Nabingka.
Pintaflores festival is a consistent winner at he Panaad sa Negros Festival of Festivals and the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.