Bicentennial parade to prelude Ilocos Norte's 200th year celebration

Jan 25, 2018 ...

The Bicentennial Edition of Ilocos Norte's "Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals" will be preceded by a dance parade in Laoag City and San Nicolas this January 26, with an estimated 7,000 participants from both the public and private sectors.

According to Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer Mr. Ianree "Aian" B. Raquel, the Provincial Government is "in full swing" with preparations for the 200th founding year celebration.

The Bicentennial will be launched with the "Tan-ok" on February 2, a provincewide dance showdown featuring the native festivals of the different municipalities and cities of the province. Though largely a lowland and agricultural province, Ilocos Norte is also home to Cordillerans and coastal communities, with a history rich with communal faith and revolution against oppressors. Such stories are told the on "Tan-ok" stage.

"Napasnek ti trabaho ken efforts dagiti naduma-duma a sektor (puspusan ang trabaho at efforts mula sa ating mga iba't-ibang sektor) now that we are starting the celebration of the bicentennial year of our province," Raquel said.

Street dancing will highlight the parade, providing a glimpse of the upcoming "Tan-ok" performances from the 21 towns and two cities of Ilocos Norte.

The parade will start at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena along Ablan Avenue and move towards the Provincial Capitol, where "Tan-ok" dancers will give a brief performance. From there, the parade will move south through Gilbert Bridge towards the Valdez Center in San Nicolas.

Raquel predicts around two hours of heavy traffic along the national highway from Laoag City to San Nicolas as the east side or northbound section of the said bridge will be closed to motorists due to the parade.

The Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) has already consulted with the Ilocos Norte Provincial Police Office (INPPO) and the Laoag City Police to ensure a smooth and safe flow for the parade. Nevertheless, Raquel urges the locals and tourists alike to be more vigilant and patient in case of road inconveniences.

"That is why we are telling the public in advance so that we can plan ahead. Humihingi po tayo ng paumanhin kung babagal ang daloy ng trapiko sa ating mga kalsada," he said.

He also expressed hopefulness that more Ilocanos will participate in celebrating the bicentennial as the Malacañang Palace has already proclaimed February 2 as a special non-working day in Ilocos Norte, saying, "this will allow us to celebrate as a province this very important milestone in our history."

Inviting the public, he said, "Manood o makisayaw. Makilahok sa selebrasyon. Once in a lifetime lang ito and it is the first time that we are doing this parade.''

The parade will be the first in a series of activities prepared for Ilocos Norte's Bicentennial year, two centuries after its separation from the Province of Ilocos Sur.


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