Ilocos Norte’s Tan-ok Festival returns after pandemic pause
LAOAG CITY — Ilocos Norte province’s biggest cultural festival is set to return on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Memorial Stadium after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival, dubbed “Tan-ok ni Ilocano (Greatness of the Ilocano) Festival of Festivals,” is returning in full swing this year, which raises hopes that it will draw more tourists and allow the province to completely bounce back from pandemic-induced losses.
Before the pandemic, at least 60,000 spectators gathered to witness the festival, the provincial government said.
The festival spurred and sustained the “livelihoods of homegrown artists and small-scale laborers,” the provincial government said.
The festival was launched in 2011 during the administration of then governor and now senator Imee Marcos with the aim of reviving “cultural pride and Ilokano identity by focusing on narrative-driven presentations produced by local creatives.”
President Marcos Jr. is expected to grace the event, together with Senator Imee, the provincial government said.
Contingents from the 23 towns and cities were expected to showcase the province’s history, heritage, and culture interwoven in performances on “faith and religious festivals; colonization and revolt; courtship and love stories; folklore and legends; livelihoods and industries; and even current events.”
The festival will also be the first time the Ferdinand E. Marcos Memorial Stadium will be opened to the public after a three-year rehabilitation effort.
The provincial government said it had allocated more than P1 billion for the stadium’s retrofitting. INQ
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