Have you ever wondered how it would feel like royalty, roaming the streets of your hometown, admiring the beautiful night scene while riding a majestic, lighted, fully decorated kalesa?
Iligan’s Tartanilya (kalesa) has been part of the identity and heritage of Iligan City and was considered the Rolls Royce of the 18th century. Apart from Iligan, tartanilyas are used today by tourists in Vigan, Laoag, Intramuros, Binondo, Tuao, and Tuguegarao.
Sharing the Road
Nowadays, in Iligan, the Tartanilya has been competing with cars and “trisikad” along the Tambacan route and the decorated Tartanilya only plies a specific street from Tambacan to Palao market. They have become an annoyance to some motorists due to the slow pace of the carriage and sharing the road has become a major inconvenience to both modes of transportation. Plus, carriage maintenance and horse feeding costs are expenses that the driver cannot continue to pay for when they lose passengers to “trisikads.”
The challenge of preservation and protection of this industry was a welcome challenge to the Junior Chamber International Iligan. As such, the Kasadya sa Tartanilya was born, where tartanilyas are allowed toply along the major route of Quezon Avenue at night. This project complimented the current Tartanilya Painting Contest held during the Diyandi Festival.
Last September 27, tourists and locals alike enjoyed the memorable and fun Kasadya sa Tartanilya. Sulit PH was there to join in the fun event. Twelve Tartanilyas competed for the following prizes:
Champion: Php 20,000.00 cash and trophy plus 5,000 for the kutchero
1st Runner-up: Php 15,000.00 cash plus trophy plus 3,000 for the kutchero
2nd Runner-up: Php10,000.00 cash plus trophy plus 2,000 for the kutchero
Consolation Prize: Php 500.00 for all non-winners
Best Dressed Kuchero: Php 1,000.00 cash
Most Popular Tartanilla: Php 1,000.00 cash
LIST OF WINNERS
These are the winners of the kasadya sa tartanilya.
- Champion: Barangay Tomas Cabili (partner) & Jeffrey Casas (kutsero);
- 1st runner up: Fix @ wizard (partner) & Romulo Sordilla (kutsero);
- 2nd runner up: Verzosa wWeddings and Events (partner) & Angelito Casas (kutsero);
- Most Popular Tartanilya: Marlon Alicato (kutsero) & JCI Kulintang (partner);
- Best Dressed Kutsero: Angelito Casas
A brighter future for the Tartanilyas
A long queue of Iliganons and tourists trooped to Quezon Avenue to experience the ride while appreciating the vibrant Iligan night life. JCI Iligan is committed to make the project even bigger in the next fiesta. JCI Iligan is lobbying to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to allow the Tartanilya to operate at night during the Iligan Night Market operations every week-end to make the project more sustainable.
Apart from the Kasadya sa Tartanilya, JCI Iligan has also come up with past events that help in trailblazing and pioneering for the good of Iligan, such as: (1) Kasadya street-dancing festival in 1986, (2) Iligan night market conceptualization in 2000, (3) Kasadya Street Party, (4) Tartanilya painting contest, and (5) the Outstanding Iliganon Awards.
History: Iligan’s Tartanilya- The first lighted horse carriage in the Philippines
Tartanilya is considered as part of the identity and heritage of Iligan City. While other cities have removed their kalesas such as Cagayan de Oro, there are only few cities in the Philippines where tartanilya (kalesa) functions as a regular mode of public transportation for the riding public. This centuries old tartanilya (kalesa) is considered as the Rolls Royce in the 18th Century. The cities that preserved the tartanilya are Vigan and Laoag. This can also be found in Intramuros and Binondo catering mainly to tourists. This is also visible in Tuao and in Tuguegarao.
The visibility of Tartanilya in Iligan makes Iligan unique. Tartanilla has been considered the City’s heritage. However, in the current state, the tartanilla has been competing with cars and “trisikad” or along Tambacan route. The decorated Tartanilya in Iligan is only plying on a specific street from Tambacan to Palao market.
Exciting tourists would still avail of the tartanilla ride but the route of the Tartanilya is not a major thoroughfare of the city. The impression may not be that good. Tartanilya as a mode of transportation is dying nowadays because other mode of transportation like the trisikad are competing with the Tartanilya. The Tartanilyas are sharing the road with smoke-belching motored vehicles along its route. It is also annoying for some motorist because the Tartanilyas are very slow. Another concern is the cost of maintaining the carriage and the expense of feeding the horses. The challenge lies on its preservation and protection as an industry.
Because of the the plight of the Tartanilya, the Junior Chamber International Iligan thought of a project that allows the tartanilya to ply along the major route of Quezon Avenue at night. This project compliments the current contest of the Diyandi Festival which is the Tartanilya Painting Contest. This is usually held every September 27 as part of the streetdancing competition.
The lighted Tartanilya is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The project Kasadya sa Tartanilya is envisioned to sustain the interest of the public to ride the Tartanilya in the modern times. Hence, the lighted Tartanilya was conceptualized. Kasadya means merrymaking. This also means that when you ride the lighted Tartanilya, the experience would be memorable and full of fun. It was the idea of Darwin Manubag who observed lighted horse carriages in the cities of Melbourne and Europe. The idea benefitted the Kutchero (horse driver) for additional income and at the same time allows tourists and parents with children to experience the ride at night with less traffic and heat. On its first year, the 12 Tartanilyas competed for the best lighted tartanilla. Because it operated every night from September 20 up to September 29, a number of interested riders trouped to Quezon avenue just to experience the Tartanilya ride. The long queue proved that the Iliganons and tourist alike are excited to experience the ride while appreciating the night life of Iligan. JCI Iligan is committed to make the project even bigger in the next fiesta. JCI Iligan is lobbying to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to allow the Tartanilya to operate at night during the Iligan Night Market operations every week-end to make the project more sustainable.