Pintados Festival Guide: A Celebrations Of Cultural Religious

Seema Hazell

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Pintados Festival

The Pintados Festival is a historical celebration held annually in Tacloban, Leyte. It showcases the rich culture of the Waray people through dance, music, and body-painting.

Celebrated every June 29th, this festival draws inspiration from the pre-colonial tattooed warriors known as ‘Pintados’. That’s why it also called “Pintados Kasadyaan Festival”, which is a mark of culture and religions festival. Participants decorate their bodies with intricate, traditional designs that honor their ancestors and the region’s history. The festival includes a grand parade, where dancers in colorful costumes perform to the rhythm of native drums, symbolizing the stories and battles of the early inhabitants.

It’s a spectacular blend of art and heritage, reflecting the resilience and community spirit of the Waray. It is not only provides a feast for the eyes but also boosts tourism, inviting travelers to experience the unique local traditions of Eastern Visayas.

The History And Origin of Pintados De Pasi Festival

Pintados De Pasi Festival

An explosion of color, history, and culture paints the picture at the Pintados Festival, an event that grips the heart of the Visayas region in the Philippines with a historical celebration like no other. Reflecting the deep-rooted customs and the spirited heritage of the Filipino people, the festival stands out as a breathtaking mosaic of tradition, art, and festivity.

It derives its name from the pre-colonial inhabitants of the islands, known as the “Pintados” or the ‘painted ones’, thanks to their elaborate body tattoos that signified bravery and status. This vibrant festival is an homage to the courage and artistry of the ancient warriors and the enduring legacy they have left behind in the region’s culture and folklore.

The Evolution Of The Festival

Throughout the years, the Pintados Festival has evolved, incorporating contemporary elements without compromising its tribute to the past. Each year witnesses a dazzling display of artistry that includes ritualistic dances, indigenous music, and awe-inspiring floats that traverse the city. Performers adorn themselves in tattoos that mirror those of the Pintados, although temporary, these designs represent the dynamic blend of history and progress that the festival celebrates.

Experiencing The Pintados Festival

Pintados Festival

It ignites the island of Leyte in the Philippines with a spectacle that is both visually stunning and culturally rich. This vibrant event, held annually in June, pays homage to the pre-colonial tattooed warriors of the region. Join us as we unravel the layers of this unique festival and immerse ourselves in its wonder.

Diving Into The Colorful Parade

As the festival blooms, the streets of Tacloban come alive with the vibrant parade featuring locals adorned in striking costumes, emulating the island’s ancient warriors. The explosion of color captivates onlookers, while the energy and exuberance of the performers create an unforgettable atmosphere.

  • Vibrant floats that depict various aspects of Leyte’s history and mythology.
  • Intricately designed costumes that shimmer under the tropical sun, each telling a story of their own.
  • Dynamic performances that weave through the crowds, bringing together the old and young in celebration.

Understanding The Symbolism Behind The Body Paint

Beyond the immediate visual appeal, the body paint worn by participants holds deep cultural significance. The tattoos represent courage, status, and accomplishments. Each pattern and color tells tales of ancient warriors and their way of life, serving as a bridge between the past and the present.

BlackStrength and valor
RedBravery in battle
WhiteSpirituality and purity

Music And Dance: A Feast For The Senses

Echoing beats and rhythmic movements define the core of Pintados Festival’s music and dance. Large drum ensembles provide the backdrop for dancers who tell stories through movement, their feet pounding in harmony with the heartbeats of festival-goers. Traditional and contemporary Filipino music blend together to create a soundscape that is both historical and modern.

Local Delicacies: A Taste Of The Festival

A celebration for the senses wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the local cuisine. The Pintados Festival presents a chance to indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Leyte. Savor the variety of dishes on offer, from the succulent lechon roasted to perfection to the sweetly satisfying binagol, a local dessert favorite with taro and coconut milk. Experience the love and tradition infused in every bite.

  1. Lechon: Roasted pig, a Filipino festive staple known for its crispy skin and tender meat.
  2. Binagol: Sweet dessert made from taro, coconut milk, and nuts.
  3. Palo’s local wine: Sample the indigenous alcoholic drink crafted from coconut or nipa palm sap.

Travel Tips For Festival-goers

Travel Tips For Festival Goers

An annual event that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines, complete with street dancing, vividly painted bodies, and indigenous music. If you’re planning to immerse yourself in this extraordinary event, being prepared can significantly enhance your experience. These travel tips for festival-goers will ensure that your visit is as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

Best Time To Visit

The festival is traditionally celebrated in June, around the 29th, in Tacloban City. It’s a time when the weather is typically warm and humid, which is perfect for the outdoor festivities. To catch the best of the celebrations, plan your visit to coincide with this period and experience the festival in its full glory.

Accommodation Options During The Festival

As with any popular event, accommodations can book up quickly. There’s a range of options from hotels, inns, to local guesthouses. Consider these preferences:

  • Hotels: For a more comfortable stay, reserve a room in advance at one of the city’s hotels.
  • Guesthouses: For a more authentic local experience, look for family-run guesthouses.
  • Airbnb: There are also many Airbnb options which can offer a home-away-from-home feel.

Remember to book your stay well in advance to secure your spot.

Navigating The Festival: Do’s And Don’ts


  1. Plan your itinerary beforehand to ensure you don’t miss out on key events.
  2. Carry cash as not all vendors will have card facilities.
  3. Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun with hats and sunscreen.
  4. Respect local customs and dress codes.


  • Litter or vandalize public property.
  • Disrespect the performers or the cultural significance of the festival.
  • Forget to check local traffic advisories, as roads may be closed for parades.

Preserving The Culture: How Tourists Can Contribute

Tourists play a crucial role in preserving the culture and success of the Pintados Festival. You can contribute by:

  • Participating responsibly and learning about the history and significance of the festival.
  • Supporting local artisans by purchasing handmade souvenirs and crafts.
  • Using social media to spread awareness and appreciation, while also giving credit to the festival’s roots.
  • Adhering to sustainable tourism practices, such as disposing of waste properly and minimizing your carbon footprint.


Embracing the vibrant spirit of the Pintados Festival brings us closer to the rich tapestry of Philippine culture. This celebration honors ancestral traditions with stunning art and infectious rhythms. As you plan your cultural adventures, remember to mark your calendar for this unforgettable event.

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