LAOAG CITY — A Philippine flag made of the durable handwoven fabric “abel Iloko” highlighted this year’s 118th celebration of Independence Day as government officials, employees and other private groups and individuals commemorated Freedom Day in front of the historic Provincial Capitol building on Sunday.
The said flag was made by the all-women Paoay Loomweavers Association. The fabric is a cultural heritage of the province and has been used through the years to create a variety of pieces, from curtains and tablecloths to pageant gowns.
In a simple ceremony, fresh flowers were offered at the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal in front of the Capitol grounds followed by a 21-gun salute. These have become traditional as the Ilocos Norte government joined in the whole country in the Independence Day commemorations.
The remaining World War II veterans led by District Commander of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines−Ilocos Norte Chapter, Alfredo Domingo never missed to attend this historic event every year.
On behalf of Governor Imee Marcos who failed to attend the commemoration rites, Vice Governor Angelo M. Barba echoed the governor’s call for unity.
In his message, he reminded the people, “Freedom in Ilocos Norte is working together. Freedom in Ilocos Norte is timpuyog, or unity. One hundred and eighteen years have passed since our country’s declaration of independence, but this still rings true… ‘Timpuyog ti Baro nga Ilocos Norte!'”
He added, “Let us produce a new Ilocano nation… of innovative yet disciplined, self-reliant yet compassionate men and women. Intay ngarod agtultuloy a pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni Ilocano!” PNA/northboundasia.com