My first live Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals

Laoag City Pamulinawen Festival  at Tan-ok

The Ferdinand Marcos Stadium shone brighter than moonbeams for all the town festivals in Ilocos Norte in one night, one show, one competition. Supporters and contingents from the participating towns filled the bleachers with ease. Those who aspired to be within spitting distance from the stage queued up for one thousand-peso tickets. A cheap price to pay for proceeds go to the construction of the new space of the displaced local Red Cross chapter.

I went to root for my hometown city of Laoag. Out of 10 audience members I surveyed, 9 predicted Laoag for the top spot.


And indeed Laoag won for a stellar performance. So rousing that at some point, a tear rolled down and my hair stood out.  My next other favorite presentation from Batac reminded me of my lola Iniang and the good old days. The snappy dance depiction of the evolution of its famous empanada, complete with seamless music, was totally clever. Siwawer Vintar was very creative as usual.  Pinili highlighted its stable economy from white gold bawang and dollar remittances. Banna’s red ant colony was bubbly. Nueva Era was a revelation in its rendition of its indigenous culture. The costumes were beautiful. All together, last night’s Tan-ok ni Ilocano was a clear-cut definition of who we are as a people, as a province. So rich in culture, so rich in history, so rich in natural resources.

A personal wish — a true One Ilocos Norte to take these strengths to a new higher level.

Tan-okTan-okTan-okTan-okTan-ok 2013CrocTan-okTan-ok 2013Tan-okTan-okTan-okTan-oklittle dancerAbuos Festival at Tan-okAbuos (Red Ants)Tan-okIlocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos

Governor Imee Marcos of the province of Ilocos Norte.

Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Barba

Vice-Governor Angelo Marcos Barba is a true cowboy.

Red Cross Ilocos Norte Chapter

The key people of Red Cross Ilocos Norte chapter headed by Tita Mary Ang.

Picture 013

Pagudpud mayor, Marlon Sales, arrived with the Bergblick’s Chef Detlev Cotte and his wife Maritess.

Tan-ok CrowdPicture 010Red Cross

Official Results of the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals 2013:

Grand Champion: Laoag City
1st: Nueva Era
2nd: Batac City
3RD: Vintar
4th: Banna
5th: Pinili
6th: Paoay
7th: Currimao
Best festival music: Batac
Best performer (male and female performers:   Batac and Laoag
Peoples Choice: Pinili

My special thanks to friends Me-Ann Macaraeg, Ace and Kit, Alaric Yanos and Gemma, Edna, Ronan and Stella for the Tan-ok results.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Batibols Bikers joins the MayDay MTB DH Race – Part 2

ParesPinikpikan aka "killing me softly"Cook/Waiterpinikpikan aka "killing me softly" up close

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, the old saying goes. For lunch, the Batibols Bikers had a taste of the indigenous Cordilleran culture — pinikpikan done soft and slow. There’s such a thing as indigenous peoples rights as well as animal welfare laws, so I hope no one has committed a crime. If you haven’t heard about it, you might as well google how pinikpikan is prepared to find out why it generates debates.

sari-sari storeThree MenNested

These days, extreme downhill mountain biking attracts adrenalin junkies of  all ages. It’s a rigorous sport that entails a reliable bike, skills, precision, focus, a great deal of training and above all,  guts.

Jeric FarrFocusall eyes downdownhillTwoGo, Ryan!All eyes...fearlessCrashing Moment

An impromptu awarding ceremony capped the day.

An air of triumph… the organizers, participants and winners of the different categories all wore confident smiles. No major crashes, thank God!

Jeric Farr topped the Pro Category. Joey Rogers came in second and Aky Nolasco, third.

In the Expert Category (expert means a notch higher than pro, or a more senior pro). Eboy Farr outdid Batibols Bikers very own Jackie de la Cruz.

The Mini Batibols made a good showing. In their class, 9 year-old Lucius Cunanan was second to Sagada’s 10 year-old Pekwa Busas while Dylan Cunanan made it to the top three. Lucius got the Youngest Rider award and a nice, new bike seat.

Brandon Tan and Dylan Cunanan got the 7th and 8th spots, respectively, in the 18 and below level.

Winners-19 and below categorytriumphantWinning

Photographed by Blauearth and Edsel. Bottom 2 photos via Aky Nolasco.
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012