By Freddie Lazaro
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – The traditional “open capitol” of the Ilocos Norte provincial government marked the province’s 202nd founding anniversary on Monday here.
“Open capitol” was a tradition initiated by Senator Imee Marcos when she was still governor to open the provincial capitol to the public to enhance transparency and awareness for Ilocano culture, arts and tradition.
“We celebrated Ilocos Norte’s 202nd anniversary on February 2. On Monday, we celebrated the Ilokanos’ arts and cultures, and we celebrated our standout artists in the different forums of visual arts,” said Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc on Wednesday.
The celebration was highlighted by the “Ilokano Creatives Fest” that showcased Ilocano creativity from age-old crafts, digital arts, architecture, food, and events, through exhibitions, and demonstrations.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Jeff Ortega, who served as the opening speaker, also graced the whole-day celebration of the province.
“Each passing year gives us the opportunity to remember and honor the progression of the province. Drawing inspirations from Ilokano culture, tradition, and artists, it is refreshing to see present artists who introduce and represent of what truly Ilocos Norte is.
With these, we cannot deny that your province has been doing really great,” said Ortega.
The celebration was kicked off last February 2 with the official lighting of the “IN2020”art installation which was built with recycled plastic bottles, rocks and pebbles, coconut husks, and damaged slippers. These materials are usually found on the coast and vast dunes of Ilocos Norte.
Thousands of students and citizens roamed around the provincial capitol and its vicinity to visit exhibits, demonstrations, and presentations of guest artists and professionals, and to explore the booths prepared by local government units and other departments and offices of the provincial government.