7th "Himala!" draws record-breaking crowd


May. 09, 2019 ...

OVER ten thousand people joined the "Himala sa Buhangin!" Arts and Music Festival staged by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte at the Paoay Sand Dunes last April 30, estimates made by the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office show.

An initiative of Governor Imee R. Marcos, "Himala sa Buhangin!" or "Himala!," is an annual event that features installations by Ilocano artists, and a variety of performances from local and national bands. It also showcases sand sport adventures such as 4X4 racing, sand castle making, sand boarding, and beach volleyball.

"This is the largest 'Himala!' crowd since the annual event started in 2012. This year, we reconfigured our 'Himala' activities and focused on the concert; expecting more participants because of the front act." said Tourism Operations Officer, Mr. Xavier Ruiz. 

OPM rock icon Kamikazee headlined this year's event. The famous band rose to fame in the 2000s with iconic songs "Narda," "Chiksilog" and "Huling Sayaw," among others. The band was fronted by local talents, including Better than Noise, New Dynamix, and Slippery When Wet.

As part of the new set of activities this year, the Suba Sand Dunes Cooperative launched the 4x4 Drag Race.

"Our partners in tourism are trying to diversify the activities and products that they offer. We are expecting a lot from our partners and hopefully by next year we can introduce more activities," Ruiz said. In all, over a hundred local talents were pooled together for the event's performances.

PGIN credits success to partners

In line with the aim of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) to strengthen ties with event partners, the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office collaborated with the Bakers and Restaurants Association of Ilocos Norte (BRAIN) and Alorica for "Himala!" 2019.

"We had a tremendous support from our food sector. Several of BRAIN's members joined us and provided products; more importantly, we have provided economic opportunities for them. Also, one of the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the country, Alorica, was one of our partners.

"The support from the private sector was overwhelming. With the involvement of the private sector,  we can have a more efficient and sustainable use of resources in conducting events," Ruiz further explained.