Ilocos Norte’s coastal community wins in fifth Tan-ok Fest, impresses live crowd of more than 60K

Nov 29, 2015 ...

In a remarkable performance that took the championship title for three consecutive years from Laoag City, the Municipality of Currimao was proclaimed as the grand winner of this year’s Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.

On its fifth staging, the Tan-ok ni Ilocano was held on November 28, 2015 at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Memorial Stadium.

Currimao's 'Dinaklisan Festival' impressed the live crowd of more than 60,000 with a performance that celebrated the harmony of rural communality and the lengths a parent would go through to see their child's dreams come to life.

The presentation began with a scene of townsfolk enjoying and helping one another to catch and prepare a bounty from the sea, creatively using their props to simulate ocean waves. People are portrayed basking in the refreshing water.

Later, it shows a fisherman's son who longs to see a real kurita (octopus). With the elusiveness of the creature, the father is not able to catch one on that day.

Eventually, the child forgets his disappointment while at play, and he falls into a deep sleep. In his fantasies, he enters an underwater paradise full of colorful fish and a giant octopus. He dances with it until he gets tired.

Meanwhile, his father had rummaged through the sea to catch his son's special wish. He wakes him and surprises him with the octopus, and with that the child's dreams are realized.

The champion received P350,000, while the second-placer ('Tadek Festival' of Nueva Era) took P250,000 and the third-placer ('Ani Festival' of Dingras) brought home P150,000.00.

Other winners of this year’s Tan-ok ni Ilocano were the: 'Magdadaran Talip Festival' of Carasi, first runner-up; 'Pamulinawen Festival' of Laoag City, second runner-up; 'Ginginubatan Festival' of Adams, third runner-up; 'Siwawer Festival' of Vintar, fourth runner-up; and 'Amian Festival' of Bangui, fifth runner-up.

Minor awards given were Best Ensemble (Laoag City), Best Production Design (Dingras), Best Musical Score ('Damili Festival' of San Nicolas), and Best Video (Nueva Era). Christian Balite of Bacarra, who performed in the rendition of the 'Bac-Bacarra Festival,' won Best Performer.

For the first time, the performances were complemented by video presentations featuring each town’s unique heritage or a narrative relevant to the story line.

While many have questioned the new component, Governor Imee R. Marcos said “folk dance and indigenous people’s tradition must now be brought forward to the platforms of our youth, of Instagram, of Twitter, of Facebook and the rest.”

Noting the value of culture and heritage as primary driver of growth and opportunity in Ilocos Norte, Governor Marcos added that “culture must be kept alive by the young people. We will see them adopt these ancient civilizations, these vanishing worlds and bring them to the multi-platform that is today’s world.”

by John Michael Mugas

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