Opinion > Guiangster
Laoag’s Pamulinawen Festival got its name from an Iluko love song?

Written by Jun R. Guiang posted in Ilocos Sentinel on Thursday, February 13th, 2014

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The month of February is Pamulinawen Festival in Laoag, capital city of Ilocos Norte. Originally, this Laoag festivity was a three-day town fiesta and later a city fiesta in honor of the Feast of St. William The Hermit, patron saint of Laoag which falls every Feb. 10 of the year. It is supposed to be purely religious activity but the feast eventually becomes a month-long merrymaking.
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When the Festival mania came into vogue in every town and city in the country, the Laoagenos joined the frantic search for the best name of their festival. Hence, the yester-years’ think tank of the city officialdom coined the name of their own festival, which is Pamulinawen, now on its 18th year.
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Of all the high-falutin Iluko words, why the 11-letter vernacular Pamulinawen was the chosen word for the name of Laoag Festival? Batac has Empanada, San Nicolas has Damili, Paoay has Guling-Guling, etcetera.
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Folklore says that during the ancient times, a beautiful Ilocana maiden had many suitors. Some literally promised her the “moon and stars.” Another suitor, a troubadour, had a distinct style of courtship. He composed a romantic Iluko song which he dedicated to the maiden. The song’s lyrics and melody captivated her heart as he repeatedly serenaded her at night. To immortalize his undying love for her, the troubadour titled the song Pamulinawen, believed to be the maiden’s name. However, some old timers in Ilocandia claim that the word Pamulinawen in the song is interpreted to describe a stone-hearted maiden which probably relates to the Tagalog 2013 hit song’s Pusong Bato
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If Pamulinawen Festival got its name out of love, then let peace not war, unity not divisiveness and reconciliation not vendetta reign evermore. Of course, not only during the Heart Month of February, which is Valentine’s.
Happy Fiesta! Happy Valentine’s Day! (email: junrguiang@yahoo.com)

 

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