KANNAWIDAN YLOCOS FESTIVAL: A Showcase of Ilocano Culture


By Mancielito S. Tacadena

Ilocos Sur has a rich heritage and unique culture that are to be preserved for the next generations because it is observed that many of these traditions, songs, dances and other Ilocano culture are not familiar to the younger generations already. Children of today are paying more attention to the modern and novelty dances they seen on the television than the traditional ones. There is also a need to evaluate the different products of the different municipalities and the agricultural products and livestock of the farmers and fisher folks. Because of this, the provincial government of Ilocos Sur conceived a festival that will highlight these culture and traditions and attract local and foreign tourists as well. They call it the KANNAWIDAN Ylocos Festival, it is also a time to commemorate the anniversary of Ilocos Sur as a province since it was separated on February 3, 1818.

The celebration was opened by a celebrated mass held at the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral followed by a procession of the patron saints of the 40 parishes and images of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary around the province’s capital city. This shows the deep rooted religiosity of the Ilocanos. Rev. Fr. Roque Reyes who officiate the mass articulated in his homily that this festivity is the time to thank the Almighty not only for the abundance He showered for the province but also the rich heritage of the place including the strong ties among the Ilocano families.

A dinner for all was held at the Plaza Salcedo where all the bystanders and even the local and foreign tourists present were invited to join. A fireworks display goes after the meal which enjoyed by the crowd.

The Bayanihan Dance Company treated the Ilocanos with their world class performance of the Beauty of the Philippines through dances, music and sounds. They amazed the audience by their graceful movements and excellent rendition of songs and playing the indigenous musical instruments.

A traditional opening ritual was performed by the students of the Ilocos Sur Special Highschool for Culture and the Arts, Vice Gov. DV Savellano and the officials of the DepEd Ilocos Sur to formally start the different contests for elementary and highschool students. These include traditional tribal rituals, choir and glee club competition, marching band contest, traditional music ensemble, dance drama, traditional and folk dances, contemporary dance competition and street dancing showdown. This highlight according to the officials is their way to encourage the young Ilocanos to learn the indigenous songs and dances so that these will continue and become familiar to the young generations.

Partuat ken Patanor Trade and Agri Fair was also opened on the same day. Officials from the Department of Trade and Industry headed by Thelma Dumpit Murillo graced the occasion. The trade and agri fair display all the products from the different municipalities of the province and of the exhibitors from other provinces.

The annual Pinaka contest where farmers demonstrate their extraordinary farm and fishery products and livestock also draw attention to the visitors.

Ilocos Sur came back to the past during the period party held at Vigan Plaza Hotel. Participants came with their old fashioned dresses as they party to the tune of old songs as they try to recollect all the memories of the old Ilocos.

Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Ilocos Sur were recognized through the Fr. Jose Burgos Achievement Awards, the highest award legislated and is awarded to Ilocos Surians who do extremely well in their chosen profession. Among this year’s awardees are Dr. Lauro Tacbas in the field of Education, Dr. Alfredo Rabena for Sience and Technology, Former Congressmen Mariano Tajon and Salacnib Baterina for Government Service, Dr. Agustin Molina Jr., for Science and Academe, Former San Emilio Mayor Leon Lais for Community Leadership and  Crisostomo Ilustre for Literature. Rural Improvement Club of Balidbid, Salcedo received the Fr. Jose Burgos Special Award for being one of the winners of the National Gawad Saka Award last year.

The City of Candon immerged as the KaSIGLATan during the awarding ceremony of the Salisal Iladawanna Gaget ti Lumugar, Agsaknap ti Timpuyog (SIGLAT) Awards.

Candon City bagged 5 major and 8 minor awards while cabugao which came second has 4 major, 7 minor and 1 individual award. Sto. Domingo placed third with 1 major, 1 minor and 1 individual awards.

Best Coastal Resource Management (Brgy. Tamurong 2nd), Safest and Most Peaceful Barangay (Brgy. San Andres), Best in Agricultural Productivity (Brgy. Palacapac), Best in Livestock Production (Brgy. Oaig Daya), Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay (Brgy. Calaoa-an), Best in Gender and Development Program Implementation (Brgy. Palacapac), Most Functional Brgy. Diaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (Calaoa-an, Candon), Best in Sports and Physical Development Program Implementation  ken Best Sangguniang Kabataan (Tamurong 2nd), Best Day Care Center (Brgy. San Agustin), Best Performing Non-Government Organization (Gunglo Dagiti Annak ti Langlangka Ist), Outstanding Barangay-Based Cooperative (Metro Paypayad Cooperative), Outstanding Barangay Tanod (San Jose Candon City).

Most Healthy Barangay, Best Performing Barangay (Brgy. Pug-os), Best in Nutrition Program Implementation (Brgy. Bonifacio), Best Innovative Practice (Brgy. Dardarat), Best in Barangay Intensive Gardening (Pug-os), Best Barangay Herbary, Best in Elderly Welfare Program Implementatio, Best in Persons with Disability Program Implementation (Brgy. Bonifacio), Most Functional Barangay Anti-drug Abuse Council ken Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa (Brgy. Aragan), Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar (Macrina Saturno of Brgy. Bonifacio).

Best in Fish Production and Aquaculture Development, Outstanding Barangay-based Micro SME Entrepeneur (Brgy. Suksukit), Outstanding Barangay Day Care Worker (Anita Castillo of Brgy. Paras).

Cleanest and Greenest Barangay (Brgy. Palali Norte, Sta. Lucia), Best Barangay Trre Park (Brgy. Dapdapig, Gregorio del Pilar),  Best in Solid Waste Management ( Brgy. Cabugao, Suyo), Most Functional Botika ng Barangay (Brgy. Ronda, Sta. Lucia), Outstanding Barangay Health Worker (Hercula Diaz, Brgy. Pidpid, Sta. Cruz), Most Child Friendly-Barangay (Brgy. Fatima, Vigan City), Best in Culture and Arts (Brgy. Concepcion, Gregorio del Pilar), Best in Tourism Promotion (Brgy. Daligan, Sta. Cruz), Best in Youth Development Program Implementation (Brgy. Urzadan, Suyo), Best Managed Elementary School in the Barangay (Pudoc Elementary School, San Vicente), Outstanding Fishermen’s Association (Brgy. Pilar Fish Searchers Fishermen Association iti Sta. Cruz), Best Farmers Association (Suysuyan Farmers Association, Lidlidda), ken Outstanding Punong Barangay (Brgy. Captain Romel Dayoan, Dadalaquiten, Sinait).

 Major awards received 50,000 cash prize, minor awards were given 30,000 and individual awards with 10,000. Meanwhile, the KaSIGLATan received 150,000 while the first and second runners-up obtained 100,000 and 75,000 respectively.

Living treasures of Ilocos Sur were also recognized during the weeklong festivity. Thirty two individuals and groups were included in the list of this year’s awardees. Plaque and cash were given to all the awardees as the provincial government’s approach to persuade them to continue what they are doing and to encourage the younger generation to do the same.

Customary Law & Other Indigenous Lifeways

1)        Esteban Dumepnas, 79 years old

Elder; community and ritual leader

Patiacan, Quirino

 2)     Antonio Duligan, 60 years old

            Mannapit (discussant for dispute settlement); Uggayam chanter

            Sitio Bab-asig, Patiacan, Quirino

3)         Catalino Wandas, 94 years old

            Elder; Labba weaver

            Sitio Lugacan, Suagayan, Quirino

Traditional Farming and Related Crafts & Industries

4)      Catalino dela Cruz, 79 years old

     &  Emilio Birog, 76 years old

            Makers of wooden implements for the farm and the home

            Sitio Kainsikan, Barbar East, San Juan

5)      Florentino Lopez, 72 years old

            Basket weaver

            Dalawa, Alilem

6)      Ciriaco Tabutol, 78 years old

            Bamboo basket weaver

            Padu Chico, Sto. Domingo

7)      Severina “Sebing” Unida Valledor, 68 years old

            Buri Hat weaver

            Bannuar, San Juan

8)         Alberto Pel-ey, 45 years old

            Basket weaver

            Patiacan, Quirino

9)         Saturnino Manganip, 82 years old

            Labba and saguitaw weaver

            Alfonso, GDP

10)      Ernesto Liberato “Batong” Sapinoso, 55 years old

            Weaver of bamboo baskets; wood craftsman

            Catucdaan, Cabugao

11)      Rosita Orallo Dumot, 72 years old

      & Esther Orallo Dumot, 45 years old

            Mat weavers

            Suso, Sta. Maria

Fishing

12)   Juan Tomaneng, 82 years old

            Tabukol weaver

            Pagsanaan Sur, Magsingal

13)   Filomeno Palino

            Lasá fish trap weaver

            Apatot, San Esteban

14)   Antonio Catura, 74 years old

            River fisher, tirem farmer; farmer; fishing ritual practitioner

            Sitio Mangusbong, San Sebastian, San Vicente

15)      Reynaldo B. Cerna, 61 years old

            Fisher; Iket weaver

            Puro, Caoayan

            &

            Jeffrey S. Cerna, 44 years old

            Bilog carpenter

            Puro, Caoayan

16)      Jesus Cerna, 81 years old

            & Estefania Fernandez Cerna, 78 years old

            Fishers; Viray owners

            Puro, Caoayan

17)      Gabriel Dayap, Sr., 55 years old

Fisher

Nalvo, Sta. Maria

Abel-weaving

18)      Candida Gregorio Picog, 55 years old

            Inpaud [backstrap] weaver

            Masiosioay, San Emilio

19)      Luisa Ilo Galang, 73 years old

            Abel-weaver

            Sibsibbu, San Emilio

Salt-making

20)      GROUP:

         Jose Agdeppa, 63 years old

         Benita Agdeppa-Corpuz, 61 years old

            and the Salt Makers of Paratong

            Sinait

21)      Alejandro Ulibas, 77 years old

            Anacleto Tomaneng, 66 years old

            Agsan-sana (Salt makers)

            Pagsanaan Sur, Magsingal

22)      Felipa Canonizado Riconose, 73 years old

            Agat-ati (Salt Maker)

            Sitio Mangusbong, San Sebastian, San Vicente

Food

23)      Veronica Bangisan Sinduen, 75 years old

            Bubod-maker

            Sitio Lugacan, Suagayan, Quirino

24)      Nena Ilmeng Vicente, 54 years old

            Patupat Maker

            Paratong, Sinait

25)      GROUP

            Toribia Pacudan Bullang, 83 years old

            Suzima Telo Cadalig, 75 years old

            Rosalina Palangkis Gumangi, 74 years old

            Bubod and tapuey makers

            Daligan, Sta. Cruz

26)      GROUP

            Nelson Galolo, 42 years old

            Jonie Soliva, 45 years old

            Lilio Say-oet, 54 years old

            Virgilio Belen, 43 years old

            Eddie Dapig, 21 years old

            Honey-gatherers

            Lancuas, San Emilio

Damili pottery

27)      Anselmo “Abat” Aquino, 72 years old

            Maker of damili tiles, dalikán and lusob

            Bulala, Vigan

Oral Tradition

28)      Silvestre Camading, 57 years old

            Chanter

            Tiagan, San Emilio

29)      Salvador Lang-ayan, 83 years old

            Chanter; mannapit (discussant for dispute settlement)

            Masiosioay, San Emilio

30)      Jose Matias, around 80 years old

            Chanter

            Lancuas, San Emilio

Performing Arts & Visual Arts

31)      GROUP

            Hermenegildo “Wan-a” Severo, 80 years old

            Leoncio “Bungsoy” Badol, 72 years old

            Basilio “Pakay” Lawad, 68 years old

            Bernabe Gumabay, 68 years old

            Makers and players of traditional musical instruments

            Cabaroan, San Emilio

32)      Ireneo Maspil, 73 years old

            Kalaléng [noseflute] player; chanter

            Lancuas, San Emilio

The versatility of the Abel Iloco fabric was distinguished through the abel fashion show held in Plaza Salcedo. Ilocanos watch the models as they ramped through the run way showcasing the gowns and dresses designed by renowned fashion designers Dita Sandico-Ong and Junty Martinez and the members of the Ilocos Sur Designers Guild.

Another highlight of the Kannawidan Festival is the crowning of the Saniata ti Ylocos. Out of 30 lovely candidates, twenty three years old Hannah Ruth Sison of Carmen, Pangasinan was crowned Saniata ti Ylocos 2012 and goes home with a cash prize of 100,000. She was also selected as Best in Gown while his designer Raymund Arce was adjudged Best Designer.

Jannie Loudette Alipo-on of San Fernando City, La Union was chosen as Saniata ti Ylocos World and Star of the Night during the talent portion. Mary Candice Ramos of Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur was the Saniata ti Ylocos Environment, and Reina Mae Maerina of Villasis, Pangasinan as Saniata ti Ylocos Model of the World-Philippines.

Jennica Ollero of Tubao, La Union was the first runner-up and chosen as Miss Photogenic and Ilocano’s Choice. Kate Ann Goza of Bautista, Pangasinan was the second runner-up and Best in Swimsuit.

May Ann Naguit of Bugallon, Pangasinan was adjudged Best in Talent and Rochelle Cadiente of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur as Miss Congeniality.

Sports have also a big part during the festival as different sporting events were played everyday during the weeklong occasion. Billiards, chess, dama, football, 24 kilometer fun run, fun run for the senior citizens, horse race and different traditional games were done to add color to the Kannawidan. Old military jeeps and vintage cars were also paraded around to the delight of the crowd.

 

As Ilocano people love foods, eating and drinking contests was also staged to select the king and queen of the different categories.

Catalino Briones-Puro, Caoayan

kornik eating contest

Gerald Anicas-Nagsangalan, Vigan City

empanada eating contest

Marciano Laurente-San Julian Notre, Vigan City

Shellfish cracker eating contest

Carol Aspa-Brgy. III, Vigan City

Balikutsa eating contest

Danilo Gaoiran-Puro, Magsingal

Kalamay eating contest

Jovelyn Bocarile-Anonang Mayor, Caoayan

Opia eating contest

Gloria Mata-Brgy. IV, Vigan City

Bibingka eating contest

Constantino Riguera-San Julian Norte, Vigan City

Tinubong eating contest

Arthur Peralta-Brgy. IV, Vigan City

Longganisa eating contest

Jean Alones-San Julian Norte, Vigan City

Bagnet eating contest

Ernesto Riguera

Basi drinking contest

Another much awaited part of Kannawidan festival is the Zarzuela Ilocana were selected provincial officials and employees acted as theater artists as they revived the glory days of the dying Ilocano Performing Arts.

As the festivity culminates, the youth of Ilocos Sur did their share by staging the night of Little Miss Saniata. The Sangguniang Kabataan headed by its president Marie Gabrielle Kyla Mendoza   also introduced the 1st Gawad Titong Singson were SK members of San Ildefonso and Alilem were given recognition for their dedication in the service of Ilocano youth.

 

All of these are evidence that the Kannawidan Ylocos Festival is already becoming a fast rising festival in the country as shown by the number of participantsand tourists who flocked and become a part of the festival. Kannawidan indeed is an attraction because it showcases the culture of Ilocanos that made them distinct from other ethnic groups of the Philippines.

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