Festivals: Pamulinawen Festival
Fiesta celebration has become an integral part of the religious and cultural heritage of every town in the Philippines. From February 04-10, join Laoag City as they celebrate the Pamulinawen Festival.
Just like any other town in the country, Laoag City celebrates its annual fiesta on the 10th of February, the feast day of Saint William the Hermit, its patron saint. It is an affair which is primarily done to give honor, pay our homage and extend our thanks for the benevolence and generosity of Saint William. Through his intercession to the Lord, Laoag City has been blessed and spared from calamities and disasters. The Laoagueños await for and look forward to every celebration of the city fiesta, making it an extension of the fun and the frolics of the Christmas season.
This annual endeavor is a conglomeration of different cultural activities showcasing traditions and customs in songs, dramas and dances unique of the Ilocano ethnic group. Some of it are as follows:
Dulang Food Festival
The Ilocanos, particularly the Laoagueños, are good cooks. Their indigenous cuisine is not only palatable. There are prepared using indigenous kitchen paraphernalia, i.e. “banag, dalikan and silyasi”. The festival aims to preserve another facet of the Ilocano culture through foods and delicacies. The exciting part of this festioval is the food sampling. This is when one gets to have a taste of all foods that was prepared.
The first food festival in 2000 was known as the Pinakbet and Bawang Festival. It was changed to DULANG Food Festival to accommodate a wider range of culinary arts. Every year, it also has a different showcase. In 2001, the longest Longanisa (2,213 meters long) was featured; 2002 had Silyasi (big vat) cooked food and the biggest banga (clay pot); and on 2003, basi (wine from sugar cane) and tinudok (barbecued foods) were in focus.
This activity is the highlight of the Pamulinawen Festival. It showcases the Ilocano culture in dance and drama. This is the biggest crowd during the festival. For the past three(3) years. it is sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The KANNAWIDAN Foundation, which is an organization of Ilocanos in Manila, is another major sponsor of this endeavor. It is held every 10th of February, the feast day of Saint William, the Hermit, the Patron Saint of Laoag City.
Drum and Lyre Competition
Also a festival mainstay, the drum and lyre competition features the talents of high school bands from all across Laoag. Competition winners not only win a cash prize, but also recognition from the local government and their peers.
In this event, traditional kalesas are lavishly decorated by the contestants and paraded around the city to entertain the crowd. After the parade, the kalesas are displayed at the Provincial Capitol’s outdoor stage.