invited guest- Tribu Lumad Basakanon of Cebu City
Excitement filled my veins on the 28th of June 2014.  I, along with friends from Manila, boarded the first flight to Tacloban City sleep-deprived.  Ever since typhoon Yolanda struck my hometown, I am inevitably bound to accept that early morning flights will be part of my itineraries.

The homecoming is not only for our project #1pencil1notebook but for the feast of Tacloban City in honor of Senor Sto. Nino, reunion with family and friends and for the annual Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival as well. Despite rumors on the non-holding of the festivities for this year, The Pintados-Kasadyaan Foundation headed by its executive chairperson, Mayor Remedios Petilla of Palo, Leyte, decided to push through with the event.

It was a huge success.

The event was scheduled to start at one in the afternoon.  The weather was good and the scorching heat of the sun made its presence felt.  We entered the Leyte Sports Development Center (known as Grand stand) in time for the festival parade together with one of the emcees, my good friend, May Petilla-Militante.  

The Parade

The expected street parade did not happen as participants only roam around the oval track of the grand stand.  Before the much-awaited ritual presentation of the festival guest contingents, rehearsed festival street dance was showcased, leaving the audience at awe.

Merrymakers were further part of the so-called street dance where cash prizes were given to the best contingents.

First Place- Red Cross Leyte Chapter
  Pintados festival contingents came in first for the street dance around the oval tracks.

Following the Pintados contingents are the guests festival contingents showcasing their routines on what appears to be a prelude to the much-awaited ritual presentation.

Without further introduction, the famed Maskara Festival of Bacolod City entered the oval tracks with much anticipation from the audience being satisfied after the guest contingents from the province of Samar. 

The last festival contingent to showcase their dance routines was the award-winning Lumad Basakanon of Sinulog Festival, Cebu City.

Ritual Presentation

With the schizophrenic type of weather that Tacloban City is experiencing, the clear blue skies suddenly turned into a cloudy dark one - a threat to the much-awaited Ritual Presentation.

The presentation started with the Pintados Festival contingents, all residents of the city of Tacloban and of course, super typhoon Yolanda survivors.  And most participants came from elementary schools in the city.

I can't help but be amazed of the resiliency that they have shown and for a threat of a heavy rain to pour and for memories of the tragedy be somewhat recalled, I felt the hair on my arms standing on end, goosebumps it is!

Thunder and lightnings then gate-crashed the event.  Thus, the ritual presentation for the Kasadyaan Festival immediately ensued with only two contingents from the Pintados Festival exhibiting their performance on stage.


The Kawayan-Banigan Festival Parade is a yearly dance parade of pageantry and colorful mats, winding through the town's key streets, reliving the two main source of livelihood of Basaynons - bamboo and mat-weaving through their music, dance and drama.

It was starting to drizzle when the first guest contingent from Basey, Samar performed in the stage.  Then the drizzle became a heavy downpour with lightnings on the scene.

The ritual presentation then stopped for about an hour.


The ritual presentation resumed after an hour when the skies began to clear up after a heavy downpour of rain.  The next guest contingent is a festival I have never heard of but the execution of their routine was truly remarkable. Talalora, Samar is quite an interesting municipality I am yearning to visit sometime in the future and witness how uway (rattan) made it as one of their cottage industries that a festival is in fact named after it.


Pinabacdao is considered the center of rice production in the province of Samar and known for the Mayaw-Mayaw festival, which is celebrated annually.

After the festival contingents from the province of Samar, the remaining festivals to perform were the much anticipated ones coming from Tacloban City's neighboring cities in the Visayas region.

Sharing the same sentiment on the celebration of the 2014 Kasadyaan Festival, that is, to boost the morale of the survivors of the super typhoon, the guest contingent from Bacolod City is there to remind us that no matter how tough and bad times were, we are going to survive, pull through and end triumphantly.  Bacolod City would not be known as the City of Smiles for nothing.


Tacloban City and Bacolod City have crossed their paths relative to history as early as the 1980s, from which year the Masskara Festival began.  On 22 April 1980, the inter-island vessel MV Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank with an estimated 700 lives lost in the tragedy.

In the midst of these tragic events, a smile has to be painted - to let go and live on.  I have never been to Bacolod City and every year, I get the opportunity of being booked for a flight on the week of festivities yet my schedule does not permit me to be on board the plane.  Fortunately, I had the chance to witness the dance routines of the Masskara Festival here in my hometown, Tacloban City.

The masks in the history of the festival has been constantly changing from the masks influenced by native Filipinos to Carnival of Venice and Rio Carnival motifs.  The Masskara festival ritual presentation was truly unique and incomparable to the usual beat-of-the-drums festival presentations.

And the last guest contingent to perform was the award-winning Tribu Lumad Basakanon from Sinulog Festival of Cebu City. 


The aftermath of the super typhoon Yolanda has lead to quite a number of residents from Tacloban City to settle and evacuate to the nearest city, Cebu City.  Majority of my friends and even my family are now relocated in Cebu after the typhoon.  Thus, it was never a surprise that Cebu City would participate in the 2014 Kasadyaan Festival of Tacloban City in an aim to uplift the survivors of the strongest typhoon to date.

Cebu City's Sinulog Festival sent one of the best interpreters of a festival presentation - Tribu Lumad Basakanon.  Though I was able to witness their award-winning performance in the 2014 Aliwan Fiesta in Manila, it was a delight to share the experience with fellow Taclobanons.

One Visayas

2013 was not a good year for the Visayas region.  Following the earthquake which caused historical and cultural heritage sites to collapse as well as other properties and commercial establishments to falter, and for the strongest typhoon and storm surge to destroy lives and properties (countless) in Tacloban City, the Eastern Visayas region and neighboring cities, we still stood as one in celebrating life and honoring Senor Santo Nino, our patron saint.

With representations from the Western, Central and Eastern Visayas in the 2014 Kasadyaan Festival at Tacloban City, Leyte, a message has been imparted that there is indeed unity in the Visayas region.

You May Also Like