PAOAY, Ilocos Norte, April 20–The famous Paoay Sand Dunes of this historic town will become a beehive of tourism activities anew when the Province of Ilocos Norte will stage ‘Himala’ Festival Part II on May 10 in time for the ongoing summer vacation.
Dubbed as ‘Himala sa Buhangin’, this biggest offbeat outdoor arts and music festival in the North is expected to gather the biggest party-ready crowd of about 5,000 revelers.
Expected crowd drawers are sand sports like 4×4 racing competitions, sand castle making, sand boarding, Zorb riding, sand castle and other entertainment like belly and fire dancing, various unique art installations and Arabian-inspired parties.
The whole-day event will feature anew the hottest rock bands and artists in the country led by “Prince of Rock” Bamboo, the former front man of the band Rivermaya and one of the resident judges of the reality hit singing competition, The Voice of the Philippines.
Elaine Lubguban, Media Incentives Desk officer and one of the event organizers, said international Filipino visual artist Leeroy New is returning for another art installation.
She said that Gerry Leonardo, famous Filipino visual artist, will also be crafting a fiber glass sculpture of Elsa, the iconic protagonist from the most celebrated classic Filipino film, “Himala”. It will be publicly unveiled during the event.
The 88-kilometer sand formation at the border of Paoay town is the chosen venue for the event as an opportunity to further develop its tourism potential.
In the past, Paoay folks used to curse these sand dunes because they could not use the land for farming. Their negative attitude changed when the desert-like place became the favorite sites for filming of foreign and local movies, tourists flocked here to enjoy 4×4 rides and sand boarding adventures.
Gov. Imee Marcos described the changes at sand dunes from a dormant place to a beehive of tourism activities as the true and real “himala” (mystery).
The Himala sa Buhangin Festival is one of the major events under La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta which was launched last 2012 to honor the patroness of the province, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc.—Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO