Last month I traveled all the way to Tacloban City, I screened and joined Ms. Pintados 2011, a yearly pageant held for the Pintados Foundation which was supported by the Province of Leyte. Little did I know of how complicated things are in that city. I found out that there was this long standing political turmoil it was Tacloban City officials versus the Leyte Province officials. Pintados Kasadyaan is a 25 year old tradition where Leyteños would compete through dance and pageantry in honor of Sr. Sto. Niño but about three years ago the government of Tacloban city started their own festival which was called Sangyaw festival.
This year there was this move to completely put an end to the Pintados Kasadyaan festival. Even I was able to experience the effects of their political rift. We were supposed to have a motorcade around the downtown of Tacloban when all of the sudden the local traffic enforcers blocked our way saying that there was no permit given from the mayor of Tacloban enabling us to have our motorcade. We were then forced to go back to the Pintados office. However, we didn’t let it put us down, all of the candidates decided to take it to the streets and walk. Then the pageant came and it was done and over with so I thought the rivalry was also over, little did I know things would still continue.
June 27,2011, the day for the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival as well for the Sangyaw festival. Once again the local traffic enforcers did not allow the parade of the Pintados. Instead they were forced to just hold the dance competition.
I do not take sides on this matter. I just wished that both parties would seriously think of the general public. Festivals are meant to foster merrymaking and camaraderie. I know the Tacloban government has the right after all it is their city but I wish that they would be more welcoming to the Pintados after all the Pintados has been there for 25 years. I know the local government want to bring their our identity through the Sangyaw while the Pintados Kasadyaan would like to continue their long tradition. I just pray that both parties will find a way to solve things equally, afterall it is the general public that is affected with the political fights. The government should always be for the people and not for individuals with high position. Let’s learn to respect each other.