LAOAG CITY (April 27) – More cultural attractions. More food fests. More street pageantry shows. More hospitality gimmicks. More funs and frolics.
These reasons may be enough to lure more local and foreign tourists to visit Ilocos Norte this summer as many towns are celebrating annual fiestas amid eco-tourism wonders, historical pilgrimage sites and sports-adventure playgrounds.
Badoc, the province’s first southern town to welcome the wide-eyed travelers, is already celebrating its Bado-Badoc Festival until the end of the month. The town is home to the pilgrimage site of the Diocesan Sanctuary of Our Lady Cause of Our Joy church. (It’s also the hometown of great Filipino painter Juan Luna).
For this year’s festival, the town is introducing handicrafts such as baskets, table-runners made of Bado-Bado grass, which is indigenous in its riverbanks.
There are also parades, pageantry, a carabao race, booths showcasing the town’s beauty, talent and products.
Not far from Badoc is the town of Currimao, famous for its kakanin and beautiful beaches. A coastal town, it pays tribute to its fishermen and primary industry and gives homage to the Almighty for the rich marine life as it celebrates Dinaklisan Festival from April 29 to May 1.
People come together for the float parade, street dancing, a kite-flying competition and the coronation of the town’s loveliest maiden, among others.
And on May 1, there will be a grand fluvial parade where fishermen throw their nets into the sea to catch fish (daklis in Ilokano) after which the catch will be grilled and shared by the townspeople along the shore.
(The historic town of Paoay, Ilocos Norte, which was formally established as municipality by founder Don Martin Guiang (1701-1704) thru Spain’s Royal Decree, also celebrates its main fiesta on May 5, 2011. Many barangays of nearby towns of Currimao and Pinili were originally part of Paoay town, historians say.-Editor).
In nearby Batac City, home of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, farmers and the bountiful harvest are the focus of the Farmers Festival of Rural Barangays.
Beginning April 30 until May 7, there will be talent contests, an agro-industrial fair showcasing the various products from 30 rural barangays, a Farmers Ball where farmers and their families get together for a night of dancing, a carabao-painting contest, a parade of carosas bearing lovely muses from the barangays, a street dancing contest interpreting the various agricultural products and the crowning of Farmers Festival Queen of Rural Barangays.
Ilocos Norte is proud of its indigenous people: the Isnegs, Yapayaos, Kankanaeys and Tingguians. And the upland towns of Adams, Nueva Era, Dumalneg and Carasi pay tribute to them in the Magdadaran Talit Festival from May 2-7.
Carasi plays host to this year’s festival with the theme “Strengthening the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Integrity and Identity” showcasing the customs and traditions, products and talents of the people.
Highlights of the festival are the street pageantry to be graced by Governor Imee Marcos on May 6; and the tribal meeting wherein their rights over ancestral domain will be discussed. (PIA)