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Colors of heritage: 6th Tartanilya repair, painting, beautification contest

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)--In celebration of artistry and a commitment to preserving their cultural heritage, the 6th Tartanilya Repair, Painting, and Beautification Contest brought together 20 teams of artists from Iligan City, alongside a special team hailing from Cagayan de Oro City and Bukidnon.

Organized by the city government, the Cooperative Development and Livelihood Office (CDLO), Councilor Michelle Sweet-Booc, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Iligan, and JCI Iligan Ma Cristina, this annual event has become a cherished tradition in the city.

Each team, comprising 3 to 4 members, embarked on a mission to transform iconic horse-drawn carriages, known locally as tartanilyas. They will design the iconic carriages with captivating themes that highlight some of the city's most cherished tourist spots, including Timoga Spring Pool, Anahaw Amphitheater, Sikyop Agri-Tourism Adventure, the historic Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House, and more.

"Isa ni sa pagpromote sa turismo, pagpreserba sa kultura ug ang pagtabang sa mga kutsero sa ilang panginabuhian [This aims to promote tourism, preserve culture, and help the kutseros or drivers of these tartanilyas in their livelihood]," said Sweet-Booc.

Kutseros or drivers of horse-drawn carriages receive one tray of egg and 1 sack of rice each. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Supporting artistry

The CDLOprovided the necessary paint, ensuring that these artistic transformations could take place. The tartanilyas were also repaired for two weeks.

The kutseros, also received one tray of eggs and one sack of rice each to support their families during the three-day competition period when they could not operate their tartanilyas.

The winning team of artists would receive P25,000, with P20,000 for the second place, P15,000 for the third, P10,000 for the fourth, P5,000 for the fifth, and consolation prizes of P3,000.

The kutseros with the winning tartanilya will receive P7,000, P6,000 for second place, P5,000 for third, P4,000 for fourth, and P3,000 for fifth, and consolation prizes of P2,000.

Local artists paint the interiors of tartanilya or horse-drawn carriages. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Artistic passion and teamwork 

Sande Nafarette, an artist from Barangay Tambacan, has participated five times in the annual tartanilya contest. For three years, their team has been a consistent champion. He said that the competition is a great way for artists to come together.

He believes that this yearly tradition of maintaining and painting the tartanilyas significantly contributes to Iligan's tourism and helps preserve these iconic carriages.

Nice kaayo kay yearly ni sya. Maatiman jud ang mga tartanilya. Makatabang jud sa turismo diri sa Iligan [It is really nice because this happens every year. The tartanilyas are well-maintained. It really helps with tourism here in Iligan]," he said.

Meanwhile, Jade Catipay, also an artist and a member of the Iligan Visual Artist group, participated for the second time in the contest. He emphasized that it is an open opportunity for all artists in Iligan to showcase their talents and requires teamwork and dedication.

He said teamwork and dedication would make them win the competition.

Jeffrey Rabadon, a kutsero from Barangay Bagong Silang, Iligan City is thankful for the support they have received, which will help improve their tartanilya. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Preserving tradition and livelihood

Jeffrey Rabadon, a kutsero from Barangay Bagong Silang, shared that he started driving tartanilya when he was 15 years old. His family has a tradition of kutsero work, starting with his grandfather and father and now continuing with him.

He expressed his deep gratitude for the support they have received, which will help improve their tartanilya and strengthen their livelihood.

With five children, two of whom are already married and three still in high school, his livelihood as a kutsero is crucial, as he only earns around P500 a day.

"Daghan kaayong salamat sa suporta kay matarong among tartanilya, malig-on na sab, maayo na ang dagan sa panginabuhi [Thank you very much for the support because our tartanilya will now be in good condition, and our livelihood will be strengthened, which is beneficial for our family's well-being]," he said.

The tartanilya competition fosters a vibrant legacy of art, culture, and unity within Iligan. It goes beyond the transformation of iconic carriages, as it vividly shows the strong sense of community in the city. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

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Lou Ellen Antonio


Region 10

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