ILOCANO, the word and political entity denoting “the Solid North,” with a ring like the one-man Iglesia ni Cristo vote, at once conjures a man or a woman from the northern section of the islands, who is supposed to be suntanned, industrious, loyal-to-a-fault, intelligent, follower of the late Ferdinand Marcos, brave, warrior, etc..
ILOCANO, the word and political entity denoting “the Solid North,” with a ring like the one-man Iglesia ni Cristo vote, at once conjures a man or a woman from the northern section of the islands, who is supposed to be suntanned, industrious, loyal-to-a-fault, intelligent, follower of the late Ferdinand Marcos, brave, warrior, etc.
.These are knee-jerk, not really straight-from-the-shoulder impressions, but the description fits a stock of blood line that is associated with certain human qualities such as loyalty,fealty, and kindred-ship, if you will, which many believe is still intact even with the advent or advance of knowledge in these times.
We randomly picked the Ilocano character as a column subject in light of two things:
- The impression that Bongbong Marcos (the Internet is saying so now) will beat Vice President Leni Robredo in the recount. Better read Mon Tulfo’s PDI column, and
the recent international “conference of the Confederation of Ilocano Associations, International – Samahang Ilokano (CIASI) In picturesque Bolinao during the Holy WeeK.
This much talked about Ilocano fealty would easily apply to the Marcoses as shown in the last presidential and earlier elections.
In Pangasinan alone, Bonbong Marcos romped off with about 700,000 votes, what would you expect in the provinces upper north?
Look at this voting behavior as provided us by Tony Casimiro, Gov. Imee Marcos’ spokesman. Pangasinan – BBM 913,709, Leny Robredo 260, 772; La Union – BBM 338,455, Leny 19,596; Ilocos Sur BBM 316, 121, Leny 14, 110; Ilocos Norte – BBM 298,706, Leni 3,704.
At their conference at Rep. Boying Celeste’s place attended by some 300 members, the Association’s supremo Atty. Julius Magno, a native of Mangaldan, Pangasinan, outlined the club’s action centers which are (according to his text message} – to “oppose Divorce and underscore fealty to the church and the CBCP; support Democratic Socialism and press for the continuity of dialogue Jewish-Muslim Conflict on issues related to U.S. policy on Jerusalem.”
Atty. Julius, his junior son, who is now CIAS’ national president for youth affairs, former mayor of Badoc, Ilocos Norte Tom Torralba and other lumibaries (was our friend Myrna Torralba of San Fabian present?) were of the “solid” view that Bongbong will eventually win the recount!).
But that is not the thrust of this article, which is rather the Ilocanos’ time-tested “ethnicity,” fealty-ness to a loved one as akin to loyalty, religiocity to God thru their faith’s interventionist, Rev. Gregorio Aglipay, after who the present church was named.
In a meeting of spiritual leaders in Lingayen town, Gov. Imee Marcos proudly claimed the Marcos’ family’s Aglipayan moorings.
From the tip of his fingers, Julius Magno comes up with CIACI’s membership head count to around two million, but we quickly disputed it if we include Ilocanos all over the islands and worldwide.
One day, while we were being toured in Cotabato, we asked our guide where we could get water to drink or a soft drink.
He randomly stopped his vehicle in front of a store and said, “Kuya, talk to any of those store owners in Ilocano or Pangasinan, as they were originally from the Ilocos.” We did. And found out that they were beneficiaries of President Magsaysay’s Land for the Masses program, assigning to the homeless properties in uninhabited parts of Mindanao they were to own later.
We heard these Ilocanos would vote according to the sentiment of their Ilocano peers in Luzon.
The Ilocos region, by the way, has already sired four presidents – Elpidio Quirino of Ilocos Sur, Ferdinand Marcos of Ilocos Norte, Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Pangasinan; senate presidents or presidential senators Raul Manglapuz, Teofilo Sison, Ambrosio Padilla, Cipriano Primicias, Eva Estrada Kalaw, and among the congressmen, Speakers Eugenio Perez and Jose de Venecia Jr.
In the last elections, our President Digong landed second to Grace Poe, daughter of Pangasinense Fernando Poe Jr. in Ilocandia, but it was a close shave. Which means he is just as acceptable to the Solid North voters.
Beware of the Solid North vote, as it can make and unmake President!