An Abel Iluko fashion show capped the successful Ilocos Norte Day at the ‘Ilocos Region… more than you can imagine!’ tourism exhibit at the Clamshell in Intramuros, Manila, on April 26, 2009. The exhibit was a collaboration between the Department of Tourism (DoT) Region I and the different provinces of Region I, namely: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
Before the much-awaited Abel Iluko fashion show, organized by the Kannawidan Foundation, chaired by Mrs. Lita Marcos Roque, the movers and shakers of tourism in Ilocos Norte lined-up to promote the bests of the province, and entertain guests at the DoT Clamshell pavilion. The Provincial Tourism Office presented tourist destinations, festivals, resorts and hotels. Assistant Provincial Tourism Officer Joegie Jiminez hosted an exciting raffle draw; free hotel and resort accommodations and a television set were given away to lucky winners. The Department of Trade and Industry Ilocos Norte Office presented a food and product showcase. The LEAD Movement, a non-government eco-adventure group, was tapped for sports and ecotourism; it presented “Adams, A Myriad of Colors”, a 4+ years in the making PowerPoint presentation about sustainable community-based ecotourism development in Ilocos Norte. The Guling-Guling Festival, a centuries-old parade mounted on the eve of Ash Wednesday, was presented by the Local Government Unit of Paoay. The MMSU-College of Teacher Education Cultural Group reenacted Ilocano customs and traditions through TALDIAP “A Glimpse of Ilocano Culture”, a lively dance medley.
The Abel Iluko opened with a dynamic dance depicting the transformation of mere cotton to Inabel fabric in a variety of weaves like binakol, binandera, leno, inalson, etc. Next was a fashion showcase of wearable colorful cocktail dresses, elegant evening gowns, men’s vests and suits in urban chic style, stylized barongs, and an immaculate bridal gown, all done in abel, and designed by Edgar Madamba, Edelmira Segundo-Garcia, Shirley Duque Alejandrino, Danny de le Cuesta, Barge Ramos and Gerry Katigbak. The catwalk’s first face was Mrs. Lita Marcos Roque in a fabulous chartreuse evening gown. Surprising the audience was the participation of some of Ilocos Norte’s dashing public officials. No less than Governor Michael Marcos Keon, in a Barge Ramos barong, wowed the audience with his flair on the catwalk. SP Member Mariano Marcos II and his pretty better-half, Cecile Araneta Marcos, and their adorable children, Enzo, EO and Mandy, all strutted like pros. Dapper in a dark-toned barong was SP Member Renato Ma. Peralta. SP Member Kris Ablan gave justice to his crimson barong. Very regal in her lilac formal wear was the statuesque Ms. Mildred Ranada-Lamoste, the hard-working SP Secretary. Looking cool in an Edgar Madamba binakol (a.k.a. “op-art” abel) jacket, was SP Member Angelo Marcos Barba. SP Member Portia Salenda was every inch a debutante in her shimmery purple abel with button embellishments. Notable was the chic binakol sheath dress by Edgar Madamba. When asked about his inspiration for that particular knee-length dress with a pouf-like hemline, he said, “the garnatis or star apple.” Other familiar faces that joined the line-up were from the private sector in the province.
The talented Gerry Katigbak directed the unique Abel Iluko. He says, “The Ilocanos are great and fantastic people to work with. About the fabric, he says, “fantastic and flexible.” Once more, the Ilocanos gathered together in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, in one extraordinary day dedicated to their native land, Ilocos Norte.
Behind the scenes…
[images by Ericke Tan and Blauearth]