Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pamulinawen’s Calesa Parade

The celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival would not be complete without the Calesa Parade. It’s a showcase of one of the treasures of the city that is the calesa. This is a horse-drawn calash or carriage that still plies the downtown of Laoag to take tourists and commuters to their destinations. This celebration is a very good way to promote and preserve calesas. We seldom see nowadays calesas in the country. As far as I know, you only get to see them in Laoag, Vigan, Intramuros, Binondo, Iligan City and some parts of Cagayan Valley.

Kalesa or karitela is the mode of transportation in the Philippines in the 18th century as introduced by the Spaniards that only nobles and high officials could afford to ride. Only rich Filipinos called illustrados used this mode of transportation to bring their goods to nearby areas. It is being handled by a kutsero or cochero that orders mano to turn right and silla to turn left to the horse.

There are around 280 calesas in the city and few of them participated in this parade. With sponsorship from the various business establishments they decorated each calesa with baloons, flowers, and of course the indigenous products available.

The winners for the most decorative calesa were entries from Data Center and Genevieve as fist place and second place respectively.

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