Ilocos Norte’s Himala sa Buhangin! Festival to promote unity, equality through LGBT theme


May. 11, 2016 ...

Set to enliven the Paoay Sand Dunes this coming May 14, 2016, Ilocos Norte’s Himala sa Buhangin! Arts and Music Festival will highlight unity and equality through its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT)-inspired celebration of Ilocano culture and heritage.

Known to kick off Philippine Film Tourism in the country after installing the statues of the main characters of classic Filipino movies filmed at Paoay Sand Dunes, Himala sa Buhangin! Arts and Music Festival will unveil the characters of another classic film ‘Temptation Island.’

The events held in 2014 and 2015 marked the unveiling of Elsa (main character of Himala played by Nora Aunor) and Flavio (main character of Ang Panday played by Fernando Poe Jr.), respectively.

“This year, we are installing the ‘Temptation Island’ commemorative sculpture. This is inspired by the original version (directed by Joey Gosiengfiao) and the (2011) version of the film by Chris Martinez,” Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree Raquel said.

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte has tapped renowned theater designers Mitoy Sta. Ana (who is a fan of the film itself) for the art installation and Ohm David for the set design.

Raquel added that the theme of this year’s Himala sa Buhangin! Festival is “inspired by the vibe of Temptation Island as a film,” which harmonizes with the “fun and outgoing attitude” of the LGBT community.

“It's a celebration of the unity that we have in the province that knows no gender and no race,” he explained.

Dance performances from the LGBT community will satiate the celebration on May 14. Spectators will also be treated with a free concert featuring local bands as well as Parokya ni Edgar and Gloc-9.

Now on its fourth year, Himala sa Buhangin! Arts and Music Festival is part of Ilocos Norte’s Provincial Fiesta celebration honoring the its patron saint, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc.

Annually gathering hundreds of thousands of tourists since 2012, Himala sa Buhangin! Festival also features the sports tourism potential of the Paoay Sand Dunes through the conduct of various sports activities such as sand boarding, dune bashing and sand-castle building, among others.