The Pamulinawen Festival is the annual fiesta of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Held on the 10th of February, the fiesta honors St. William the Hermit, the patron saint of Laoag, whom residents believe intercedes to save Laoag from calamities.
Some Activities and Events
The Civic-Military Parade usually kicks off the fiesta, featuring a parade of soldiers in gala uniform as well as a marching band complete with majorettes to entertain the crowd.
Dulang Food Festival and Agro-Industrial Fair
Originally known as the Pinakbet and Bawang Festival, the Dulang Festival was established in the year 2000. Showcasing Laoagueño food from the scrumptious to the exotic, the festival features basi, or sugarcane wine; tinudok, or barbecued food; and the Silyasi, a big clay pot full of food. It also once featured one of the country's longest longganisas (sausage), measuring more than two kilometers.
The agro-industrial fair also features other products made in Laoag.
Sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the KANNAWIDA Foundation, the Street Pageant is the highlight of the fiesta, showcasing cultural dances, dramas, and even floats.
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.
Mountain Bike Race
Amidst the festivities, this is also an event for sporty types--a mountain bike race organized by the City Hall Bikers. Open to both residents and visitors, the bike race starts at the Laoag City Hall.
The fiesta was not spared from controversy after the provincial council of Ilocos Norte protested against its annual celebration, saying that the original agreement was for the fiesta to be held only every four years.
This view was echoed by Herdy La. Yumul, a columnist for the Ilocos Times, who bewailed the fact the “extravagance” and “meaninglessness” behind the Pamulinawen Festival. For Yumul, the festival's extravagance was not reflective of the frugal nature of the Ilocano and was a far cry from the simplicity of the original Laoag City fiesta (precedent of the Pamulinawen).
- Pamulinawen Festival. Philippine Travel Guide. Accessed 1 February 2010.
- Legal Officer ng lungsud ng Laoag, naniniwala na walang nalabag na batas sa pagsasagawa ng Pamulinawen Festival. Bombo Radyo News - Laoag Archive. Accessed 1 February 2010.
- Pretentious & meaningless, Pamulinawen Festival kicks off. Riknakem. Accessed 1 February 2010.