As it gears for a grand bicentennial founding anniversary celebration in 2018, Ilocos Norte continues to showcase what makes it “the best little province” during its 198th foundation celebration held last February 5.
“Nandito pa rin tayo, buo ang loob, sama-sama at naka-akbay ang mga Ilocano,” said Governor Imee Marcos as she pointed out the province’s rich history that spans from the pre-colonial era, Spanish colonization up to the Japanese and American regimes.
Through the creation of the bicentennial council in 2012, the province has been preparing “fitting activities worthy of significance” for the 200th founding anniversary celebration of the province.
In her short speech, Governor Marcos highlighted the continuous development efforts of the provincial government in the recent years.
“It becomes clearer that the backbone of our tourism and development programs has been heritage and culture, and of that, we have much to boast for,” she noted.
In line with this, the province’s municipalities and cities are asked to list down their bicentennial projects in 2018.
“Dalawang taon na lamang, at talagang naghahabol ang bawat munisipyo, para kada isa sa atin, may bicentennial project. Magbibigay tayo ng pondo at tulong sa lahat ng mga mayors, galing sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan, para ang bawat bayan ay may bicentennial project,” she said.
The bicentennial celebration of the province in 2018 will be kicked-off to coincide with the centennial birth anniversary of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 2017.
Meanwhile, Governor Marcos also paid homage to the heroic exploits of the Ilocanos led by Pedro Mateo and Saralogo Ambaristo of the Piddig Basi Revolt in the 19th century, noting that this deed continues to live on today “with the everyday heroism of our teachers, public servants, scholars and students.”
Making certain that the heroism and excellence of Ilocanos remain, young Ilocanos were given the chance to serve as the Little Ilocos Norte Officials, which became as one of the most remarkable events of the anniversary.
Led by the Little Governor Heart Esmundo of Kidz Kollege, the Governor said that “Ilocos Norte is filled with endless potentials, more young spirits who can become our modern-day heroes.”
Highlighting the 198th foundation anniversary of Ilocos Norte was the ‘Open Capitol’ which promotes openness and transparency by allowing hundreds of Ilocanos especially the youth to visit the different offices of the Provincial Capitol.
For this year, the offices and hallways were set into the future with a theme that merged innovation and optimism for the next 200 years of the province.
Other activities included a mini job-fair, the Tienda ni Gob. Imee (trade fair for Ilocano entrepreneurs) as well as youth-centered events, SiriBiz (trade fair) and the Sirib Exhibition Debate organized by the Ilocos Norte Youth Office.—(John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)