As part of its continuous strengthening of the “Paoay Kumakaway!” tourism campaign, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) introduced three museums last week to highlight the diverse culture of the province, ranging from the Ilocanos’ Cordilleran roots to the vital role of agriculture in everyday life.
Launching the three museums, namely the Balay Dingras, which opened on November 19, and the Burgos Lighthouse Museum and the Taoid Museum on November 21, kick-started the activities of the 2015 Tan-ok Festival of Festivals and added more attractions to the Ilocos Norte tourism trail.
Located in front of the Dingras Municipal Hall, the museum bears the concept of a rice miller’s house and resulted from a project partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer Aianree Racquel shared that its architecture was inspired by Spanish-period houses in Dingras, also known as the rice granary of the province.
Meanwhile, the Burgos Lighthouse Museum came forth as a result of renovating the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, and the new tourist center is now known as the Paru de Kabo Bojeador.
It also features a much safer resting area on what had previously been a construction road.
Racquel said that vendors would now have a more orderly place to occupy, and the road has been cleared up to provide wider parking for tourist vehicles.
The municipality was hailed by Governer Imee R. Marcos as the “jackpot” of Ilocos Norte, for it boasts a number of popular tourist destinations, such as the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse itself.
She expressed her desire for residents to benefit from the rapidly-growing tourism industry.
In Laoag City, situated within the La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center, the Taoid Museum showcases the pre-colonial side of Ilocandia and the province’s Cordilleran roots.
It was inspired and put together by nationally renowned screenwriter, Mr. Floy Quintos, and designed by Mr. Ohm David, resident technical director of Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.
At the launching, Governor Marcos shared a “serious matter of heartbreak” for her which is the country’s neglect given in the past to such ethnic artifacts.
“Umabot na sa France, umabot na sa Germany, ninakaw ng America, ng Deutschland. Tayo, wala pa ring museum. Eh, atin ‘yan,” she said, referring to how long before such items had been gathered and exhibited in the Philippines, some had already been on display at the Branly Museum in Paris, France.
She also mentioned a coming project in Pinili, Ilocos Norte, to give recognition to garlic farmers as well as a “migrant monument” along Airport Road in Laoag as tribute to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), balikbayans, and other immigrants.
Earlier, the provincial government also launched the Basi Revolt Mural last November 11 in the Municipality of Piddig and restored the Paoay Convent Ruins into a new tourist destination in the province.
All these are outcomes of PGIN’s objective for new tourism infrastructures to accommodate a growing industry, as she noted “heritage and culture are livelihoods here in Ilocos Norte.” ━Mizpah Grace Castro, PGIN-CMO