Friday, February 19, 2016

IN marks 198th anniversary; eyes grand bicentennial celebration

Ilocos Norte celebrates its 198th Foundation Anniversary as it prepares for its bicentennial fete in 2018. (Reu Dawner A. Flores)

By John Michael Mugas

As it gears up for a grand bicentennial anniversary in 2018, Ilocos Norte continues to showcase what makes it “the best little province” during its 198th foundation celebration on February 5.

Nandito pa rin tayo, buo ang loob, sama-sama at naka-akbay ang mga Ilocano,” noted Ilocos Norte Governor Maria Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos as she pointed out the province’s rich history that spans from the pre-colonial era, Spanish colonization up to the Japanese and American regimes.

Through the creation of the bicentennial council in 2012, the province has been preparing “fitting activities worthy of significance” for the 200thanniversary celebration of the province.

Bicentennial project
In her short speech, Ms. Marcos highlighted the continuous development efforts of the provincial government in the past years.

“It’s become clearer that the backbone of our tourism and development has been heritage and culture, and of that, we have much to boast for,” she said.

In line with this, the province’s municipalities and cities are eyed to reveal their bicentennial projects on 2018.

Dalawang taon na lamang, at talagang naghahabol ang bawat munisipyo, para kada isa sa atin, may bicentennial project. Magbibigay tayo ng pondo at tulong sa lahat ng mga mayor, galing sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan, para ang bawat bayan ay may bicentennial project,” she disclosed.

The bicentennial celebration of the province in 2018 will be kicked-off by the marking of the centennial birthday of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 2017.

Heroic tradition continues
Meanwhile, Ms. Marcos also paid homage to the heroic tradition of Ilocanos led by Pedro Mateo and Saralogo Ambaristo of the Basi Revolt in the 19th century, noting that this deed continues to live on today “with the everyday heroism of our teachers, public servants, scholars and students.”

Making certain that the heroism and excellence of Ilocanos remain, young Ilocanos were given the chance to act as the Little Ilocos Norte Officials, which became as one of the most remarkable events of the anniversary.

Led by the Little Governor Heart Esmundo of Kidz Kollege, she beamed that “Ilocos Norte is filled with endless potentials, more young spirits who can become our modern-day heroes.”

Highlighting the 198th foundation anniversary is the ‘Open Capitol’ which promotes openness and transparency by allowing hundreds of Ilocanos especially the youth to visit the different offices of the Provincial Capitol.

The Little Governor Heart Esmundo of Kidz Kollege Inc., this year's counterpart of Governor Imee R. Marcos, addresses the crowd of Ilocanos during the opening of 'Open Capitol' in celebration of the 198th Foundation Anniversary of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte. (Alaric A. Yanos)

For this year, the offices and hallways were set into the future with a theme that merged innovation and optimism for the next 200 years of the province.

Other activities included a mini job-fair, the Tienda ni Gob. Imee [trade fair for Ilocano entrepreneurs] as well as youth-centered events, SiriBiz (trade fair) and the Sirib Exhibition Debate organized by the Ilocos Norte Youth Office.

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