Monday, September 10, 2007

San Carlos City and Body Painting

About two years ago, I spent my break at my father's hometown in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. That was to be the last time I will be there until now. What made that vacation fun was that it concided with the annual City Fiesta and to my delight, I practically spent my whole vacation partying.

But this entry is not about partying, this is actually a follow to the last entry that I have about my tito's Body Painting Competition which he holds annually since 200o and of course my daddy's hometown.

At first glance, one would think that San Carlos City is a sleepy place living away from the fast paced life of modern society. To this day, the city prides itself with pedicabs as a mode of transportation to go around it. The pedicab is really a pedicab in the real sense of the word, it is bicycle powered. Believe it or not, in this part of the country this is still what is used. But again, I must say that to form an impression on the city in general based on these seemingly backward practices will deny you of the many things one can experience in this place. To put it simply, San Carlos City is home to a vibrant culture that has cultivated itself on its own, truly a unique sight in all of Negros Island (to an extent in all of the Philippine Islands).

The City prides itself with the Pintaflores Festival. The festival simply means "We paint flowers." In this spectacle, the main motiff are flowers in all its vibrant colors painted on the bodies of those who perform the street dance. It is basically an explosion of flowers that sets the very festive mood associated with the fiesta celebration. It is a sight that amazes everyone with the vastness of colors that appears all in one place. As people would put it, it is an "explosion of colors."

Well, other events highlight the celebration but what comes close to heart is my tito's BodyPainting Competition. I personally think that this is the perfect evidence of culture in this part of the country. The provocativeness of topless models being painted on their bodies which has been accepted as part of the festivities is truly something that is worth the look of any tourist. I can say that not many has actually seen how these work of art is done, truly there is beauty in the human body. One will discover the perfect combination of shapes, wonderful colors and, of course, the human anatomy. More amazing is that these creations are mostly locally bred with their raw talents unhindered by expectations set by popular culture. Truly, it is a reflection of a society that has defined itself over time through the heritage that it has developed detached from modern society.

I dare people to witness these events and see for themselves a differnt kind of experience that is promised to be a wonderful memory. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures.

The Making of a Body Painting

This model and artist tandem won in the 2005 edition of the Body Painting Competition

Did I not say it was fun???

Other pictures

Note: The Pintaflores Festival is slated every first week of November. The NUI Pintaflores Bodypainting Competition is a major activity during the week-long celebration. All pictures that depict the bodypainting competition was taken by this writer. I just realized that the pictures I took was never "released" to the public. Sorry but the lay-out can be terrible because of the limited options blogger provides.

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