LAOAG CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared February 2 as a special non-working day in Ilocos Norte in celebration of its 200th founding anniversary.
Duterte issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 402 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on January 19 to give Ilocanos “full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.”
In an interview on Monday, Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree Raquel said the province was on a “full-swing preparation for the grand event” where all sectors were preparing for the bicentennial celebration.
“February 2 is a special non-working holiday and this will allow us to celebrate as a province,” Raquel said.
She said the province’s 21 towns and 2 cities would have an opening parade on Friday to usher the preview of the “Tan-ok ni Ilokano Festival” as a highlight of the celebration.
“We are bringing to the streets of Laoag, all the way down to the commercial center in San Nicolas, the Tan-ok ni Ilokano Festival of Festivals,” said Raquel.
He said about 7,000 people from both the private and public sectors were expected to join the revelry, which the town official described as “historic.”
At 4 p.m. on Friday, Tan-ok dancers will convene at the Sirib Mile, or in front of the Laoag Centennial Arena, and dance their way to Rizal Street, corner Ablan Avenue, at the Capitol grounds, and then cross the Gilbert bridge all the way to Nangalisan and the Valdez Center IT park.
On Saturday, there will also be literary events, such as quiz show and singing contest of traditional and pop Ilocano songs as part of the celebration. PNA-northboundasia.com