Every 10th day of February, Laoag celebrates the feast of its patron saint, St. William, The Hermit. I was supposed to cover the highlights of this year’s Pamulinawen Festival for my blog, but because I was hit by the flu virus, I had to satisfy my usual uzi (usyusera) self by watching the television coverage of the Pamulinawen Street Pageantry and the Miss Laoag City Pamulinawen International 2010 Pageant Night. I forced myself to get out of bed and take photos of the float entries in the grand parade, or the floral parade as what we, the Laoagueños, are used to calling it. I took shots from the rooftop of my humble abode — a better vantage point, I guess. But then some of the creatively made floats were humongous that camera framing was still difficult.
Dulang Food Festival (an Ilocano food exhibit), Calesa Festival, Miss Laoag beauty contest, the grand parade, the dance parade and the fiesta mass are the high points of the monthlong celebration. When I was a child, Mrs. Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the Red Cross Ball, would conclude the Laoag City Fiesta. The highlights of the old fiesta were the floral parade and the coronation night of the Miss Laoag popularity contest. I don’t exactly remember how it evolved to be the Pamulinawen Festival of the present times. Through it all, the Laoagueño culture has always been the star of the yearly tradition.
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