PIDDIG, Ilocos Norte–As part of her weeklong birthday celebration, Governor Imee R. Marcos formally unveiled on November 11 the Basi Revolt Mural in this town to relive the legacy of the 1807 uprising that inspired the ‘one great Ilocano nation.’
“Truly, this (Basi Revolt) is something that we must be proud of…No matter how many forces try to pull apart the lowland, upland and even midland Ilocanos, the truth is we are one great Ilocano nation and the Basi Revolt proves that and we uphold the legacy until today,” said Governor Marcos in her brief speech .
Governor Marcos said that the mural represents the “history and unity of the great Ilocanos of yore”. She extolled the heroism of Ilocano basi revolt leader Pedro Mateo and his comrade the great Tingguian warrior Saralogo Ambaristo who “strategized, trained and brought forth the first Ilocano army.”
The unveiling rites, organized by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), was attended by People’s Republic of China Consul Zhao Qiaoliang, local government officials, students, farmers and tourism stakeholders, among others.
The Basi Revolt erupted in Piddig, Ilocos Norte due to the wine monopoly by the Spanish Colonizers in 1786. The Spanish authorities then prohibited the Filipino farmers from producing basi (local fermented wine), one of the major occupations of Ilocano farmers.
Governor Marcos noted that the revolt in the “historic, great town of Piddig has started it all” as it “brought us to GOMBURZA that taught the lessons to Ateneo (de Manila University) to the great Dr. Jose Rizal and finally brought forth the first Asian Republic, the first Philippine Republic.”
The 10-foot mural entitled as ‘Mga Mandirigma ng Basi’ was created by Marc Cosico, a resident teacher of the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mt. Makiling, Laguna.
In his remarks, Cosico said that he is deeply honored to have been chosen to work on the mural.
“Isang malaking karangalan po sa akin na maging bahagi ng inyong pinakamamahal na Basi Revolt. Nag-iisa lang po ito sa ating kasaysayan na sobrang laki ng epekto at hindi matatawaran ang pagkakaisa ng mga Ilocano,” said Cosico.
Cosico noted that the mural is inspired by the 9th panel painting of Esteban Villanueva which shows the “frightening, shocking and absolutely demoralizing Spanish version of what happened during the Basi Revolt.”
“Today we open finally our own version, the Ilocano version of the Basi Revolt. No matter the defeat in the end, it is the valor of even attempting to fight for our independence and our freedom that makes us the brave race that the Ilocano is today,” said Marcos.
The Basi Revolt Mural rites ushered in the formal opening of the refurbished Paoay Convent Ruins the Taoid (Heritage) Museum in Laoag, Balay Dingras and the Burgos Lighthouse Museum.—(John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)