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June 18
Lingganay Festival
Alang-alang, Leyte

Street pageant depicting the legendary and mythical story of the bells.

June 19

Bagulan Festival
Paranas, Samar

Merry-making after a good coconut harvest.

June 28

Subiran Regatta
Tacloban City

An exciting race of one-man native sailboats with outriggers locally called "subiran" along scenic and historic Leyte Gulf.  The race is done without using a paddle but only skills and techniques to maneuver the sail.

June 29

Pintados Festival
Tacloban City

A dance festival of painted dancers celebrating important events like exploits of war, nature worship in narrative dance movements depicting their own folk practices and beliefs.

The custom of tattooing earned for the Leyteños the name of Pintados.  From ancient history, Roman conquests mentioned tattooed people in Britons, Saitas, Oriental Tatar and other parts of the world.

The origin of the practice is difficult to determine but the strongest contention is that an ancient priestess instigated it and through the members of her cult, began the custom.

The tattooes, however, became distinctive marks of courage, and generally made the origin and livelihood of the bearer identifiable.

Tattooes began from ankle to groin and those in the chest were made like breastplates.

When the missionaries from Spain arrived in Leyte, they found the Pintados gruesome but later learned to appreciate the happy contentment and beauty of the people.  With the coming of the Spanish, the people learned new ways of life and blended this neo-pagan ways of the Pintados.

June 29

Balyuan Tower, Tacloban City

The Feast of Sto. Niño, the revered patron saint of Tacloban is celebrated with a pageant reenacting the historical exchange of images between Barrio Buscada of Basey, Samar and Sitio Kankabatok now Tacloban City.  The Basey Flotilla bearing the church and government leaders goes on a fluvial procession along San Pedro Bay.  "Budyong" (shell) call announces the sight of the flotilla off Kankabatok Bay.

June 30

Sto. Niño de Leyte Fiesta
Tacloban City

In mid-1888, some 25 Tacloban residents formed the "Hermanidad Han Sto. Niño", a brotherhood in honor of the Holy Infant to prepare the celebration of the Feast of Santo Niño.

The present image of the Santo Niño was brought to Manila for routine face-lifting and change of its vestments.  On His was to Tacloban, the steamer "Luzaon" which carried the image caught fire off the coast of Romblon and Mindoro.  In the confusion, the crate containing the Image was thrown overboard.

No celebration was held, as the Hermano Mayor, Mayor Arcadio Zialcita was in quandary and grief over the loss of the revered Patron of Tacloban.

Devotees almost gave up hope of ever seeing the Image again.  Six months later, in May 1889, a letter from the Military Governor of Leyte informed that the barrio lieutenant of Bo. Semirara in Mindoro sighted a box labeled "Santo Niño, Patron han Tacloban."

The January fiesta was given over to the children as "hermanito mayores" for the fiesta.  And the small image of Santo Niño, the "Sargento" was made to stay in the home of whoever was the "Hermanito Mayor" for the next January fiesta.

From then on, the grand fiesta of Tacloban was to be celebrated on June 30 of every year.  The original image, the "Captain" remained in the main altar.  The second image, the "Teniente" is the one turned over to the Hermano Mayor for the succeeding year, and then brought back to the Santo Niño church after the week-long novena.  Then, the traditional turn-over ceremonies of the "Teniente" is made by the immediate past Hermano Mayor to the incoming Hermano Mayor.  This is accompanied by the ritual of giving the Medallion containing the names of all Hermanos Pasados and the Standartes.


[ native sailboats ]  ↑

[ pintados dancers ]  ↑

[ balyuan procession ]  ↑




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Get ready for a dose of flag-waving and grand parading as we celebrate the month of Philippine indepen-dence.  It'll be a patriotic party on the streets, and everyone is invited to join (make it a national priority...) And since you're already here, do check out the other exciting fiestas happening in our country...