Unlike the typical conduct of Manang Imee’s Capitol Express wherein people just queue up for the services they want to avail, its comeback this year featured an innovative way in bringing the frontline services of the Provincial Government.
To beat the dull and warm atmosphere, the program fosters a festive mood through dancing and singing.
Governor Imee Marcos joins some capitol staff and residents in the merriment while others line up for the services such as medical and dental as well as consultations regarding livelihood, employment, scholarships and legal matters.
The return of Manang Imee’s Capitol Express on February 21 in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte also featured a new service called ‘pulong-pulong’ or community meetings and consultation.
Through this, the staff are able to talk to different sectors such as farmers associations, women organizations and youth groups regarding their concerns and requests. These then will be forwarded to the governor which will be given proper action.
One of the highlights of the merriment is the conduct of the distinct Ilocano birthday celebration as tribute to the senior citizens.
Led by Governor Imee Marcos, the February celebrants are serenaded with ‘Padapadakam’ (traditional Ilocano birthday song wishing good luck) and given ‘balangat’ (flower crowns). They are also treated various street foods and simple cakes.
Tony Acio, a 68 year-old resident of Brgy. Ngabangab, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, said he appreciates Gov. Marcos for giving value and concern to senior citizens like him.
“No words can describe how happy I am that Governor Imee Marcos herself crowned me during the simple celebration. I will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said in Ilocano.
Leonila Udaundo, a 61 year-old resident of Barangay Estancia in the same town, revealed that it was her first time to be crowned and serenaded.
“This is my very first time to be crowned and serenaded during my birthday. I really felt that Gov. Marcos recognizes our worth, whatever social status we belong to,” she shared.
Manang Imee’s Capitol Express was launched in July 2013 in Banna, Ilocos Norte which aims to bring the services of the provincial government to the far-flung areas in the province wherein access to the capitol is a major problem.
The program is in line with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte’s commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth by prioritizing the welfare of the people at the grassroots.—Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO