Happy Fiesta Laoag!

Every February 10 of each year, Laoag City celebrates its fiesta in honor of St. William the Hermit, its Patron Saint.

On February 10, 2015, the day began with the traditional “Diana” around the city at four o’clock in the morning. “Tambureros”, composed of elderly local drummers, went around the city streets to awaken and remind the Laoagueños of their “holy” day. It was the start of a long day of activities prepared by the city government.

At eight o’clock, the Cathedral belltower was calling parishioners for the high mass that Bishop Renato Mayugba and all the Diocesan priests concebrated. The St. William Cathedral was filled up with City officials, employees, and generally Roman Catholic devotees.

Simultaneous with the mass was the Lecture and Orientation for Hobbyists and Professional Photographers, conducted by The Ilocos Photographic Society (TIPS) at the City Auditorium. It was in preparation for the 1:00 PM On-The-Spot Pamulinawen Photo Experience that would coincide with the Street Pageantry later in the day.

The “Komedya” Ilocana, a traditional one-act stage play featuring Ilocano epic characters, was staged at 10:00 o’clock at the City Auditorium. It was  preluded by the parade of “Komedya” participants around Laoag City’s Central Business District. It was attended by teachers and students, and a lot of elderly audience who related well with the act.

One of the best highlights of the Pamulinawen Festival has always been the Street Pageantry or Dance Parade. At exactly 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon, twelve contingents composed of at least 40 dancers, aside from the propsmen and drummers, had assembled along Rizal Street leading to the Provincial Capitol outdoor stage. These contingents came from the different schools and colleges of Laoag City and nearby municipalities, including one from the Province of Ilocos Sur. The Dance Parade and Showdown began at exactly 2:00 PM.

The Ilocos Norte Regional School of Fisheries in barangay La Paz of Laoag City, redeemed itself after a long slumber since 2009, by bagging the Grand Prize of One Hundred Thousand Pesos and a Trophy. Second place went to San Nicolas National High School main campus, with a Fifty Thousand Peso cash prize and a Trophy. Third place was the Municipality of Solsona with a Twenty Thousand Peso cash prize and a Trophy. All the other non-winning contingents received a  Five Thousand Peso cash prize each.

The big throng of people who came to watch the event was later treated to a fabulous fireworks display at the foot of the Gilbert Bridge, fronting the Tobacco Monopoly of the Aurora Park, accross the Provincial Capitol stage.

It was a well deserved respite from the nerve-draining but spectacular Street Pageantry.

The most anticipated Miss Laoag City Pamulinawen 2015 Search, Golden Edition, was held at the Centennial Arena at 8:00 in the evening. It was a very fitting event that capped a very memorable Laoag City fiesta for 2015. It was Miss Precious Camille Bucad of Barangay Calayab who was crowned Miss Laoag City Pamulinawen 2015.

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