Agbiag ti Ilocano! Foreigners and visiting local tourists all headed north each year as they looked forward to the grandest celebration of festivals in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte called “Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.”
The word “Tan-ok” means “greatness” or in the vernacular it’s simply put as “angat.” Tan-ok ni Ilocano literally means the “Greatness of Ilocanos.” Now on its seventh year, the said annual festival of the 21 towns and two cities has conceptualized and prepared different dance performances as they all vied for the grand prize.
Held at the Ferdinand Marcos Sports Stadium, the competing groups from the different municipalities have really thought what to present and that is important because we are giving them the liberty to showcase the best in their town or city. Each production numbers have brought not just joy and excitement to the Ilocanos, but also a sense of pride about their own cultures and traditions. The performances highlighted their unique and distinct culture through products, history, religion, livelihood, creativity and natural heritage.
Bayanihan is also seen in Ilocanos as they loudly and proudly cheer for their town’s performers. Anyone can spot the viewers’ faces lightened up as they watch. Indeed, the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival gives a proud moment for every city and municipality to showcase their own identity and abundance of gifts and talents.
The Tan-ok festival are celebrations of the Ilocano’s love for their province, dance, and religion. Portrayals also include the stories of origin and emergence of the towns such as Paoay, Dingras, and Laoag City. Ilocanos are remarkable for their sense of pride and love for their place they call home.
Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival only showcases that Ilocanos are made to shine not only in their own comfort zone but in the global landscape. This annual big event in Ilocos Norte opens the bicentennial foundation celebration–remembering the separation between Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Some 50,000 locals and visitors joined the said festivity.
“We have gone so long in 200 years and basically the celebration is intended for us to reflect on the last 200 years of our history,” said Gov. Imee Marcos. This event is perfect for the young ones to explore, to retell and help us in retelling Ilocano history as they build a stronger identity as a province.
Former senator Jinggoy Estrada, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, former senator Bongbong Marcos also graced the said momentous event along with Gov. Imee Marcos.
Ginginubat Festival of Adams emerged the Champion for this year, 2018. While Ani Festival of Dingras won the 2nd place. The winning performing groups received cash prizes.