Silaw Festival: Making Ilocos Norte brighter than usual

CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte, January 24 (PIA) – Since 2015, this town’s night sky has been turning into a magical turf of shining and flying lanterns.

This scene happens yearly in the coastal village of Currimao in Ilocos Norte where tourists including locals gather for the annual “Silaw (Light) Festival.”

According to Jan Carlo Caldito, organizer of the Silaw Festival, the event started only as part of the itinerary of his local travel and tours business in Ilocos Norte.

Eventually, the festival became a hit and tourists visiting the province is making it as the highlight of their visit in Ilocos.

Ilocos Heritage Travel and Tours, the homegrown travel and tours business of Caldito, has been a great help in bringing tourists in the province.

In fact, during the second edition of Silaw Festival in 2016 dubbed Silaw 2.0, just after a strong typhoon hit Ilocos Norte, there were about 2,000 crowd who participated in the event.

To many, sky lanterns symbolize hope as they are also making a wish before they release their lantern up the sky.

Lantern festivals mean different things to different nationalities and countries, but one common reason why people release lanterns into the sky is to make a wish and hope that it will come true.

Aside from the flying of colorful lanterns, music and dances are also showcased during the event to give life and beat to the crowd.

Fire dance performed by professionals and some local talents here also entertains the guests.

Part of the itinerary of the show is an Ilocos Tour from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, where tourists get to experience the best tourist destinations in the two Ilocos provinces which include the CalleCrisologo in Vigan City, Laoag City Tour, visit to the Kapurpurawan in Burgos, the famous Windmills in Bangui, the Light House in Burgos down to Pagudpud Beaches.

The tourists are also offered with Ilocano gastronomic goodness such as pinakbet, igado, empanada and longganisa.

Caldito said, lights during the Silaw Festival in Ilocos Norte are also offered to the miraculous Virgen La Milagrosa, a patron saint in Badoc town. (Cherry Joy Discaya-Garma/PIA1-Ilocos Norte)