To posthumously honor several Ilocano heroes who made fame and glory for the province and the country in the past century, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte through the Education Department and Sirib Youth Office launched the second batch of Ilocano Heroes Walk in Laoag City on March 10, 2015.
Gov. Imee Marcos led the provincial and city officials, teachers, students, visitors and tourists in the unveiling rites for the new busts of five Ilocano heroes erected at the Sirib Mile.
The Ilocano heroes busts include that of Pedro Bukaneg, father of Ilocano literature and author of the famous Iluko epic “Biag ni Lam-ang”; Pedro Mateo and Saralogo Ambaristo, both leaders of the Piddig Basi Revolt; Valentin Diaz of Paoay, treasurer and co-founder of the Katipunan movement; and Jacinto Caoili of Batac, poet and author of famous literary works ‘Pasyon’ and ‘Urbana at Felisa.’
In her speech, Gov. Marcos cited the great contribution not only of the Ilocano heroes from the past like brothers Juan and Antonio Luna of Badoc town but also of today’s Ilocano modern-day heroes.
She made special mention of the fallen hero PO2 Omar Nacionales of Marcos town as well as the “living heroes” SPO1 Allan Lampitoc Franco of Banna and SPO2 Jovalyn Lozano of Adams. All three figured in the Mamasapano fierce firefight against Muslim rebels in Maguindanao last January 25.
Both Franco and Lozano were special guests at the Heroes Walk occasion where they received citations and financial incentives from the PGIN.
After the unveiling rites, elementary pupils competed in the ‘Bannuar nga Ilocano’ Dramatic Monologue contest. Jacob Philip Galzote of Badoc South Central Elementary School bested 10 other contestants. He portrayed Basi revolt leader Saralogo Ambaristo.
Mar Louie Asuncion [portrayed Valentin Diaz] of Mariano Marcos State University Laboratory Elementary School placed second while Frizelle Cabardo [portrayed Pedro Mateo] of San Isidro Elementary School in Bangui landed in the third spot.
The first batch of Ilocano Heroes Walk was inaugurated through the same initiative of Gov. Marcos on December 5, 2013 as part of the celebration of the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.
The Heroes Walk shrine’s first busts include that of former President Ferdinand Marcos; Bishop Gregorio Aglipay, founder of the Philippine Independent Church; Dona Josefa Llanes Escoda, founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines; General Artemio Ricarte, father of the Philippine Army; artist Juan Luna, first Filipino international-famed painter; General Antonio Luna, general of the Revolution and founder of the Philippine Military Academy; swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, first Philippine Olympian; Anastacia Giron Tupaz, founder of the Philippine Nursing Profession; and Severino Montano, a nationalist playwright.
Gov. Marcos urged the Ilocano youth to unleash their heroic potentials, lead transformation and make their own immense contribution in nation-building.—(Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO)