San Carlos City is a 1st class component city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. The settlement was elevated to city status on July 1, 1960 per Republic Act 2643. According to the August 1, 2007 census, it has a population of 129,809 people.
San Carlos prospered through the years, however, the village lost its pueblo category, and in 1890, when Negros Island was divided into Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, San Carlos was recorded as an arrabal or barrio of Calatrava (Hilub-ang). On October 16, 1898, a parish priest of Calatrava, then the township under which jurisdiction Nabingkalan, was a barrio, visited the place. He found it more prosperous than the town proper. So he assembled the cabezas de barangay and after a short conference, decided to name the new town San Carlos, in honor of the Patron Saint of the barrio, Saint Carlos Borromeo, whose feast day was November 4, and on that same day, the seat of the town was transferred to San Carlos.
From 1899 to the last days of the administration of the municipality of San Carlos, the following persons have served as presidentes and mayors, and have contributed in one way or another to the progress of the town:
The First World War encouraged the people of San Carlos to produce more sugar-producing crops. After the armistice in 1917, the planters who produced more sugar had their wealth greatly increased because of the new price of sugar never before enjoyed by the planters. During World War I, many sons of San Carlos volunteered to fight for the United States, but a few months later, were sent back home because of the armistice.
The return of some local USAFFE officers to San Carlos, the guerrilla movement was formally organized into fighting units under USAFFE Capts. Catalino D. Rivera, Eugenio Antonio, Jr. and Loreto Y. Apuhin, together with Lts. Florencio C. Yap and Andres L. Arrogante, the bands of roving guerrillas in San Carlos were consolidated under one command. Young College Students in their early teens (just barely enought to carry rifles) joined the ranks and fought bravely face-to-face against the Japanese. Notable among them were: Mansueto D. Quijote, Sr., Odon Requieron, Sr., Vidal Bordaje and Rodick Diaz, all of them "College Boys".
Professionals on their own rights, later join the cause,namely; Eufemio A. Parana and Paul G. Gores, Lawyers: Dominador Cejalvo, Engineer; Carlos M. Madrazo, Chemist; Eugenio Antonio, Jr., Labor Leader and Chemist; Pedro T. Algarme, College Professor; and later, Oscar A. Quisumbing, Arturo A. Cruz, Physicians and Lt. Fernando D. Estampador.
In the war fronts of Bataan and Mindanao, several sons of San Carlos made their supreme sacrifices. One of the most ill-fated son of San Carlos who saw action in Bataan fighting side by side with the Americans; wounded by gun fire; suffered "rifle-but-strikes" on his chest by Japanese Soldiers, and was among the thousands of Filipinos and American Troops in the infamous "DEATH MARCH OF BATAAN", was a least known Philippine Scout Ranger "Dadoy Garcia". He was never recognized by the Philippine Government nor the US Government for his gallantry during the Second World War, although numerous attempts were made by the local Philippine-American Legion for his recognition. His War Service Records and Military Documents were lost in transition. In the early part of 1980, our Hero died of Tuberculosis - penniless, suffered humiliation, and with so much pain in his heart; but never regretfull of his bravery, particularly his service to the Philippine Scouts which was under the Command of the United States Army fighting against the atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army in the his own native soil.
In March of 1945, San Carlos saw action, when the Philippine Commonwealth forces and local guerrilla units under the over-all command of Col. Ernesto S. Mata, attacked the Japanese garrison in the compound of San Carlos Milling Company and succeeded in driving away the Japanese Army, at the cost of the life of Lt. Alfredo Valdivia.
Among those who survived to tell the story were: Capt. Epifanio D. Liberal, Capt. Dominador Justiniani, Capt. Porferio A. Villaflor, Lts. Teodulfo Limas, Crescencio C. Portuguez, Florencio C. Yap, Andres L. Arrogante, Nestorio L. Layumas, Federico Legaspina, Sgt. Simplicio Algarme, Capt. Eugenio Antonio, Jr., 2nd Lt. Mansueto D. Quijote, Sr. and some other enlisted men.
The first post war election found the town a Liberal. In 1953, the Nacionalista wrested the power from the Liberals. The consensus of opinions has it that for the present, it is yet difficult to dethrone the local party in power. By Virtue of R.A. No. 2643, the Municipality of San Carlos was converted into the City of San Carlos on July 1, 1960. The City inherited from the Municipality numerous improvements hitherto unprecedented in the history of the town. The improvements were introduced by the last municipal administration under Mayor Sofronio Carmona. The usual experience of a new city during the transition period was fraught with crisis. The new City of San Carlos excepted from this rule. The effort exerted by Mayor Carmona in meeting the obligations of the city in the form of salaries of newly created offices and the implementation of WAPCO increases of the intermediate school teachers were overcome.
San Carlos City has two pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season is from May to January with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season lasts from February to April. December and January are the coldest months while April is the hottest.
In 1992, after successfully holding two activities, the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dances of Flowers as highlights of the city fiesta, the idea of blending the two concepts to come up with a presentation that could be considered the city's very own started what today is one of the most popular street dancing festivals in the region, the Pintaflores Festival.
Pintaflores is coined from the words pintados ("painted ones"), the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and flores, the Spanish word for "flowers" that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers. The Pintaflores street dancing and ritual competition highlights the annual Pintaflores Festival every November 3-5.
It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against 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.
The street dancing is culminated by a dance ritual performed at the City auditorium. 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.
Colegio de Sto. Tomas - Recoletos high school students, bested seasoned contestants to land third place in the free interpretation category in the heavily-competed Sinulog festival in Cebu City in January 1993. In April of the same year, the group bagged the championship in Panaad Sa Negros '93, to province-wide cultural festival in Negros Occidental.
Represented by Barangays II and Quezon, the Pintaflores street dancing contingent emerged first prize in Panaad Sa Negros in 1996. The same group with the participation of Barangay Ermita bagged again the championship in Panaad Sa Negros 1997 and the fifth prize in Sinulog festival '98.
In Panaad Sa Negros '98, the Pintaflores group composed of dancers from Barangays Punao and Palampas and the City Hospital graced the fiesta presentation as guest performers. In Panaad '99. the Pintaflores represented this time by elementary school children, once again proved its unbeatable streak by emerging champions, consequently reaping the Hall of Fame award for topping the fiesta presentation event in four consecutive years.
Having established a name in street dancing, Pintaflores danced performers in such places as Iloilo City (1996) and the Roxas City (1997) as among the best of the best in the region, and in Canlaon City and Victorias in 1999 as the best in the province.
Pintaflores has evolved as a new breed of dancers emerged with the launching of Pintaflores Bata or Pinta Bata in 1996. A street dancing and ritual competition among elementary school children. Pinta Bata thrills one with the children's pleasing gracefulness and versatility that promises a crop of excellent dancers in the years to come.
After five years and many awards, including the Hall of Fame awards in street dancing in the Panaad Sa Negros, the word Pintaflores, like "Daan Sa Kaunlaran" and Homelot program, now has become another byword of the creativity of San Carloseños.