Dancing in the Rain at the Pasalamat Festival 2016. The festival is held every Sunday nearest the first of May or Labor Day. It is a harvest thanksgiving celebration by the people of La Carlota City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
DANCING IN THE RAIN AT THE PASALAMAT FESTIVAL
Pasalamat Festival, a colorful celebration of thanksgiving in the City of La Carlota, Negros occidental is held every first week of May each year.
For this year, a heavy rain showered the city in the midst of the Pasalamat Festival Grand Dance Parade Competition. “Oh, what a boon!”, I shouted.
Why did I consider it a blessing? According to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Negros Occidental the dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon has so far caused damages of at least P403.5 million in crops and livestock in Negros Occidental (As of April 22, 2016, Sunstar). So even if the rain has caused discomfort to the festival goers, it was still a big blessing.
Let me bring you to the Pasalamat Festival 2016 through these photographs:
The parade started at around 2:30 in the afternoon and it was very sunny, or I should say scorching. The temperature gave the street dancers so much difficulty that they can hardly smile at the beginning of the dance parade.
one of the competing tribes in the barangay category in sunflower inspired costume at the Pasalamat Festival 2016
Massive Costume and Paraphernalia. The Pasalamat Festival dancers dressed inspired by flora and fauna tried to look their best to really entertain the crowd. Some costumes were really huge and some dancers appeared to be struggling in carrying their costume.
one of the competing tribes (elementary category) of 25 Tribes competed in the Pasalamat Festival 2016
Visually Striking Costumes. Even the elementary students also came so prepared with their beautiful costumes. I was so truly impressed on how they created these butterfly wings which was really visually appealing.
Tribu San Miguel, one of the strong contender for Pasalamat Festival 2016 street dance competition
Flirtatious Dance Moves. The weeklong Pasalamat Festival culminates with a Mardi Gras parade of floats and caricatures. The festival was an adaptation of the Rio de Janeiro festival, hence you will see Pasalamat Festival Dancers flirtatiously move to the rhythm created by the drumbeaters using carabao leather drums and percussion instruments.
Drumbeaters of Tribu Balabag.The Pasalamat festival Conceptualized by the late Mayor Luis “Nonoy” Jalandoni Jr., who himself composed the “Sambita” – the original Pasalamat Beat. the festival started in just a simple merrymaking and street dancing to mark the end of the milling and harvest season in the city.
The “Sambita” Beat. The original “Sambita” beat was still the rhythm played by the drumbeaters for each participating tribe. However, I have also noticed that through the years, these drumbeaters started to introduce some variations into the original rhythm. The drumbeaters of La Carlota City also gave the city the title, “drumbeating city”.
The rain showers didn’t remove the smile from this beauty atop the beautiful float
The Rain Showers. In the middle of the Mardi Gras, rain started to drizzle down the hot streets of La Carlota City. Being one of the judges, I was so happy that 2 staff assistants were assigned to help me out while I was performing my tasks. One was holding the umbrella while the other was holding a bag for my needs.
Dancers dancing in the rain…
Dancing in the Rain. The rain never horrified the performers as well as the festival goers . They continue to dance and enjoyed the rain.
while raining, this beauty remained atop the float…
While everyone was enjoying the rain, we the judges started to panic because our scoring sheets were getting wet. The umbrella that was used to cover me was a bit small and my back started to get wet….wait , dripping with water.
Most festival goers never leave the streets. So are we…otherwise if we go and hide we will be missing some contingents as they pass by our area. I just secure my camera and some gadgets not to get wet, not minding anymore some parts of my body…
a few of the judges after the rain, others were still in the street while we had this photo
Finally, the last contingent pass by our area, so we decided to go back to the City Hall for consolidation of our results and to change our wet clothing. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any extra clothes with me except for the festival shirt given by the organizers. Yet, even my extra shirt was wet. Fortunately,the tourism office has some shirts on stocks ,so we were able to change our top.
How to get to La Carlota City:
La Carlota City can be reached by and hour or more by private and public transport . From Libertad, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental you can get the jeepneys plying Bacolod-La Carlota route.
More photographs from Pasalamat Festival 2016: