Tag Archives: Dance

Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals

GRAND CHAMPION – Laoag City’s Pamulinawen Festival

I am really not a fan of fiestas and festivals here in the Philippines.  For some reason, I seem to think of it as a nothing more than a gathering of people who don’t really know the value of what they are gathering for. Sometimes, I think they are just there because that’s what happens every year. I’ve been to the Panagbenga festival in Baguio several times as well as the Pahiyas festival in Lucban, Quezon. Several disappointments.

It would be nice if they had booths about the festival or fiesta so that we can learn something about the culture. However, all I see are endless rows of vendors selling fish balls, hot dogs, barbecues, and trinkets. I suppose I am expecting educational booths as well as tents for people to gather and do something together, like dancing, singing, and the like. I see most people just walking around and passing by.

Then one day, I saw this video of the Tan-Ok Ni Ilocano (Greatness of Ilocano) on Youtube. And of all places, it’s from my province, Ilocos Norte. I watched video after video, and I was truly amazed. I thought this was different. Then last week, I was in Ilocos Norte. On Friday, I found out that the festival would happen on Saturday. I took the opportunity to go and see this great event live. And it did not disappoint. It truly was amazing. Sorry Panagbenga. Sorry Pahiyas. I much prefer this one: Tan-Ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.

This festival was spearheaded by the artistic Governor of Ilocos Norte, Imee Marcos. It showcases the unique culture of 21 municipalities and and two cities of Ilocos Norte through dance interpretation. This year’s winner was Laoag City’s showcase of Pamulinawen Festival. To be honest, I thought there were two others who did better based on the judging criteria. New Era’s Tadek Festival showcase or my town’s showcase, Vintar Siwawer Festival, was much better based on cultural interpretation. Laoag City’s and Batac’s showcases were too modern for my taste, since they used jazz and ballet in their performances.

But hey, judge for yourself. To all who would like to see a different kind of festival here in the Philippines, this is a must.

First Runner-up – Nueva Era’s Tadek Festival

Second Runner-up – Batac’s Empanada Festival

Third Runner-up – Vintar’s Siwawer Festival – Coming Soon

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Tan-Ok Festival in Ilocos Norte – Vintar Town Contestants

Every year, Ilocos Norte celebrates Christmas with a bang! I am not into fiestas, but when I saw these videos on Youtube, I really wanted to see it live. This is Ilocos Norte’s annual Tan-Ok Festival, which will be held on December 6 in Laoag City. The video here is my hometown’s entry. They were 4th place last year, though they were the viewer’s choice.

The champion was Laoag City.  See video below.

What do you think?  Looks good, right?  This is worth the trip from Manila!  I am watching it tonight!  Whee…

The American Institute – Dance Edition – Every Sunday

Most Filipinos love to sing and dance. It seems that it is part of our nature to perform and entertain, if not for others, for our own self-enjoyment. It doesn’t matter on the age, young or old, we will shake it. Heck, even my mom and my grandmother will dance at every family gathering.

At The American Institute, we have innovated learning English by including dance as part of our activities. What does this have to do with English? Well, learning English should not just be in the four walls of the classroom. Speaking English should be taken beyond so that it becomes more natural. Our students become more confident when speaking English in a natural setting.

Hey, it’s also a good way to get in shape!!! If you want to join us every Sunday, text me at 0917-850-3456. It’s Php 300 for three hours of movin’ and groovin’.