*Various events sked on Sept. 6-11, 2017
The provincial government of Ilocos Norte will commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the late former president Ferdinand E. Marcos starting on September 6, 2017.
Marcos, was born on September 11, 1917. His centenary birth anniversary precedes the bicentennial foundation anniversary of Ilocos Norte in February 2018.
This year’s festivities will begin with the “Marcos Pa Rin!” Literary and Art Festival, a two-day event celebrating the former president’s achievements and national contributions to inspire the Ilocano youth to develop their skills through a set of contests.
“We are opening the celebration with different competitions engaging different school levels, from elementary up to college,” said Aian Raquel, Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer.
“The annual FEM Debates will be conducted by the Ilocos Norte Debate Society,” he said.
“There will be contests in singing, contemporary dance with OPM (Original Pilipino Music), and oration,” he added, saying it would be the first time for the celebration of FEM’s birthday to feature traditional oration.
Also included are pop-up exhibition of digital posters and art pieces in honor of Marcos, a quiz show, a ‘KalesArt’ competition for horse-driven carriages, and a tour-guiding contest.
Organizers also hope to put together an Ilocano version of ‘The Pickers’, a television show on the History Channel, featuring crowdsourced Marcos memorabillia.
Meanwhile, Raquel disclosed that the “Marcos 100 Forum: The North Remembers,” which will be coordinated with the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City will be held from September 8 to 9.
The lineup of lecturers includes Prof. Clarita R. Carlos of the University of the Philippines, Prof. Antonio P. Contreras of De La Salle University, Dr. Jaime C. Laya, former minister of budget and education, culture, and sports during the Marcos presidency and Atty. Estelito Mendoza, a former solicitor general and minister of justice, member of the Batasang Pambansa (1984-1986), and former governor of Pampanga.
Marcos’ eldest daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos said, “Sa palagay ko, sentimental journey ng ilang mga dating cabinet members. It should be interesting, and then of course, ‘dap-ayan’ style—the older generation teaching the younger. We have some participation from the school kids as usual, who are interested in finding out about the past.”
Topics to be discussed include nationalism, foreign policy, and economy, as well as the centennial lecture which will tackle the rule of law or judiciary during the Marcos era.
Raquel said, “This is our first attempt to encourage the scholarly and academic appreciation of the Marcos era, and there will be more activities like this here in Ilocos Norte and other parts of the country during the centennial year.”
He added that Ilocanos should be pioneering such historical efforts as “we are a very historical province. We should all be students of history; be appreciative, knowledgeable, and inquisitive about our history,” saying that this should be a national duty.
Simultaneous flag-raising ceremonies are also set on September 11.
There is also a move requesting President Duterte to declare the day as a provincial holiday this year.
Raquel said that the declaration “would give us time to look to the life and work of the illustrious son of Ilocos Norte and to reflect on his accomplishments as a president and use these to determine ways to move forward.” (PGIN-CMO)