It’s fiesta time in Laoag City

LAOAG CITY, Feb. 1  – Residents were awakened early this morning by sound of drumbeats and fireworks which ushered in the beginning of the month-long famous Pamulinawen Festival here.

The festival is one of the anticipated events throughout the year in this bustling city as residents and visitors are treated to days of merrymaking and thanksgiving activities.

Pamulinawen has consistently attracted a growing big number of festival-goers since its inception in 1996. The Department of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines cited Pamulinawen as the 1st runner up in the Best Cultural Festival category in the country in 2009.

The dialect word Pamulinawen was derived from an Ilocano folksong that depicts courtship and love towards young Ilocana lass. It was adopted as a festival name to capture the Ilocano culture.

Laoag Mayor Michael Fariñas will lead residents in opening the city’s doors to visitors, local and foreign tourists and national dignitaries in various festival events that the city government has prepared until February 26.

In his festival message, Fariñas recognized the city government’s partners in pushing Laoag to become one of the major growth centers in the Ilocos Region.

“My profound thanks to our partners who were with us in every path that we tread, for the spirit of volunteerism that gave the extra push and for their generosity in whatever form and capacity,” he said.

Fariñas said even his critics contributed to the city’s growth noting that every dissenting and scathing remarks gave him and city officials the impetus to rise above inadequacies and infirmities.

“Together, we took the challenge, made things happen and gained a breakthrough to move forward and grow,” he said.

Fariñas is marking his third and final term as mayor until 2013. He first assumed the mayoral post in 2004. His growth agenda is a mix of improvement of basic services and driving economic engines to make Laoag a major business hub.(ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)