A secondary school for budding artists in Ilocos

“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.”

APIT by Jenica Melchor

The Ilocos Norte National High School (INNHS), the premier high school of the north,  offers specialized curricula with high academic standards; one of them is the Special Program In The Arts (SPA), now on its 10th year. Little is known about the excellent program — the building blocks of artistically-inclined youngsters in the fields of music, drama and theater, visual arts, media arts, creative writing and dance. An overall academic performance of an average not lower than 85% is a requirement — tough, I guess, it should be. There has to be that flaming passion for arts… and culture… to be able to keep up. I can imagine how torturous it could be for a child to be thrown into a school for the arts, and in the arts, if the arts were not his thing. It feels the same, I’m sure, when a creative child is not allowed to let his talents blossom 😦

As School Year 2010 ends in a week’s time, the IV–SPA Luna-Obusan Batch 2010 staged it’s final presentation and exhibit, which I got to attend,  at the INNHS Centennial Park last Thursday, March 18. Infused with much Ilocano-ness, the recital — dubbed Apit (harvest in English), and described as  ‘a celebration of man’s gratefulness in reaping the fruits of rich imagination and creatively projected spheres of artistry in the performing arts and non-performing arts’  — was still and all contemporary, fresh and entertaining… the young artists, very promising. I am totally impressed that preservation of the Ilocano  heritage and culture is one of the goals of the INNHS-SPA. Kudos to the faculty and students!! BTW, INNHS won top honors and the hundred thousand grand prize  in the Pamulinawen Festival 2010 Street Pageantry.


From the young artists…


Nurtured craft bestowed from Abraham’s bosom limbered up with sweat and elbow grease plugged grips for cogent blob of passion inspired with the stellar love for d’ arts ergo the spirits of immortal virtuosos upsurge! and we loom from sheer fountainhead as confessed incipient artists on leading edge in the mighty name of figurative, abstract and conceptual art ours is a magnum opus kindled by scads of people in the springtime of our fledging lives from the pith of our souls, we give thanks to thee — NCAA, mentors, parents, extraordinaire batch 2010 and a manifold of nameless mob thank to you; this credit be heard in the heavens…

skillfully trained and honed through the years

Tagnawa (Bayanihan) Dance Troupe


Aweng Iloco - Piano

The next Mozart?

Aweng Iloco - Violin

And Vanessa Mae?

Aweng Iloco - Solo Voice

shadow play by the Pitak ken Palete (Mud and Palette): Visual Arts

Guest of Honor and Speaker:
Mrs. Araceli Drake
Director, Museo Iloco
photography, photo editing and videography


All photos by Blauearth
Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Noynoy and Kris Aquino experience the warm Ilocano hospitality

“They came out. There, I cannot ask for more.’ — the  reaction of Senator Noynoy Aquino (son of late Philippine senator Benigno S. Aquino and former Philippine president Corazon C. Aquino), who is running for president in the coming Philippine elections in May this year, to the warm reception his party received in a campaign visit to Ilocos Norte, hometown of the late Apo, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was the first time he and his sister, moviestar/television host, Kris Aquino, set foot in the Marcos bailiwick. People Power Revolution, also known as EDSA Revolution, toppled the 20-year Marcos regime. It is the same people’s power that catapulted their late mother to presidency in 1986.

“I was surprised because I was expecting that this airport would be empty, but I’m very grateful  that the people were here, but, of course, when we went out, it’s a whole different story altogether. On the way here, I said two rosaries and I said, ‘mom, please give us strength that I won’t say anything that might cause the Ilocanos to be angry towards Noy and me, and I pray that our trip here will be fine,”  Kris was quoted to have said.

Kris looked happy while she announced,  “… nanggaling kami sa Laoag, eh, grabe naman po ang pagmamahal na pinaabot sa amin (… we were in Laoag… the love that they extended to us was super).”

In a reconciliatory tone, former Ilocos Norte representative Imee Marcos,  eldest daughter of late former president Marcos, said in a television interview, “We should forget the past…  I’m quite relieved by the Marcos-Aquino situation. I’m hoping that it is the same with them.”

The Ilocanos, known for their warm and enthusiastic hospitality, proved that magnanimity is also part of their culture.