The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and the Municipality of Paoay celebrates today the centuries- old annual ‘Guling- guling’ Festival with a line up of events.
Traditionally held on a Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, this 400 year-old festival is replete with drinking, dancing, and merry-making as it is the last day for the Paoay folks to enjoy themselves before the advent of the Lenten season.
This year, the festival kicked- off with the opening of a strip of trade fair last February 17 featuring the different home grown manufactured goods of Paoay such as the renowned inabel and kornik, followed by a cultural show and a popularity contest at the town’s civic center on February 19 and 20 respectively.
Today, activities were lined up which started at 6:30 am with a Holy Mass at the famous St. Augustine (Paoay) Church followed by a civic parade which was participated in by the residents and local government unit officials of Paoay.
At 8 am, a gastro fair showcasing the mouth- watering dudol making will ensue outside the Paoay Church while the search for the best decorated house will follow at 9:30 am.
The ‘Guling- guling’ dance parade is scheduled at 4 pm where the townsfolk and guests participate in singing and dancing in the street, clad in their native costumes– the antique and attractive ‘abel kimona Paoay’ with matching tapis or pandiling, adorned with century old jewelleries.
At 7 pm, the Guling- guling Dance Showdown will follow where ten contingents from the different barangays of Paoay will compete for the best Guling- guling dance with cash prizes at stake for the winners of the competition.
According to Organizing Committee Chairman for Promotion Mr. Rod Sadian, preparations for the Guling- guling 2012 have been carefully planned since early this year to ensure that all the activities will be successfully carried- out.
Tracing the history of the festival, residents’ of Paoay recount that the friars during the Spanish regime have introduced this event in the 16th century and from then on, Guling- guling has become an annual major festivity in Ilocos Norte that has drawn more tourists in the province for the past years due to its cultural and religious significance.
The Ilocano word “guling” means to mark or smear the forehead of a person using wet and white rice flour. Its white color signifies purity and it is believed that through this procedure, a person is cleansed from all of his past sins. (Florante A. Nicolas, PGIN- CMO)