It’s been awhile since my last visit in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. San Carlos is the last city in northern part of Negros Occidental. I used to frequent the city a long time ago due to my job. I was a Community Development Officer (CDO) of the Provincial Aquamarine Coordinating Committee of the province of Negros Occidental. Though I was assigned in the city of Talisay.My fellow CDOs would invite me along with other fellow CDOs to conduct a training in their assigned area. We were organizing coastal communities to construct artificial reefs during those times.
Looking back, traveling was difficult. The roads were horrible and before you reached the city you can’t almost recognize yourself if you’re taking a non-air-con bus. For the ladies they don’t need to retouch with face powder— the roads offered it for free.
The most convenient way to travel within the city is by pedicab and padyak.
The city had improved a lot since then. I could still recall, there were only a few pension houses in the city where you can stay should you miss the bus schedule. Not only that, there was no place to go after 6:00 PM. That was a long time ago—please don’t compute my age, that was my first job.
In my recent visit to San Carlos City, I told myself, the city finally arrived. I was impressed by the cleanliness of the streets, the park which looked very safe should you bring your family for some fun.
Sipaway Island. Photo from the Tourism FB Page
San Carlos City is located at the crossroads of four major cities in the Visayas: Cebu City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City and Dumaguete City. It has a 40 km coastline of which some parts are covered with mangroves.Neighboring municipalities can be accessed by land transport from their respective terminals, and the Ceres Bus Line Terminal services the entirety of the Province.
From Bacolod, San Carlos City can be reached in about three hours via the coastal highway by private car and approximately three hours and a half by public utility vehicles. It is about two hours from Bacolod via the Negros TransLink highway. In our case, it took us almost five hours to reach back Bacolod because we would stop over each city and municipalities for some rest and documentation.
Of course we, the happy trippers would normally drop by the city hall to take some souvenir pictures. Notably, you can spot immediately the floral lantern displayed in the landscape of the city hall. These floral lanterns are inspired by the city’s popular festival- the PINTAFLOREZ .
The Pintaflores Festival came out of the city’s search for a cultural identity and tradition. In 1992. After successfully staging two activities, the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dances of Flowers as highlights of the city fiesta, the idea of combining the two concepts to come up with a festival that could be considered the city’s very own ,the Pintaflores Festival.
The word Pintaflores came from the words pintados (“painted ones”), the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and flores, the Spanish word for “flowers” that is dominantly the theme of the Dances of Flowers. The Pintaflores street dancing and arena competition highlight the annual Pintaflores Festival every November 3-5.
It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good over evil that depict the people’s thanksgiving and merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the Pintados tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express gratitude to man and his environment.
Different dance steps and musical accompaniment add to the thrill of the competition. The human flower formation is another impressive part of the dance ritual which are products of the ingenuity and skill of the choreographers and dancers.
La Vista Highland Resort, one of the nicestplace to visit in San Carlos City
HOW TO GET THERE
San Carlos City can be reached by bus at approximately two hours through the Negros Trans link Eco-tourism Highway and four hours through the coastal highway. San Carlos is also a gateway to Cebu through fast crafts reaching Toledo in an hour. Ro-ro vessels are also serving the place to accommodate vehicles to and from Toledo City.