Ilocos Norte’s provincial government, through its tourism office, has vowed to promote an eco-friendly gathering of more than 30,000 people for the celebration of the Tan-ok Festival on February 2.
Provincial Tourism Operations Officer Ianree Raquel said Friday the 3,400 cast members from the 23 municipalities and cities of the province, have already been advised to be responsible in proper waste management at all times and to minimize the consumption of single-use plastics.
“We advised our participants and audience to help us promote a cleaner and greener Ilocos Norte as we have set new eco-guidelines to lessen our environmental impacts and help educate our youth on environmental sustainability,” Raquel said.
For the past eight years, Ilocos Norte has kept on trying to reinvigorate pride and unity among Ilocanos by staging the mother of all cultural festivals in the province.
Held at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium, the Tan-ok Festival features the best artists and talents in the province, representing their local festivals through dance interpretations inspired by the unique history, culture and tradition of its people. They also give a glimpse of their economy, history, and enduring faith.
The organizing committee has announced some tips to have a plastic-free goal in attending the festival, such as bringing refillable water bottles, having a meal box and cutleries, avoiding use of plastic straws, and putting trash in waste disposal bins that would be made available on the ground.
“When you see trash, pick it up and bin it. Do not leave the festival grounds seeing trash scattered around. These tips are no-cost and will save you some money during the festival,” said the organizers in a public advisory.
“Tan-ok” is a grand showdown of town and city festivals set onstage instead of the streets as in traditional fiestas.
Last year, Ilocos Norte’s smallest town of Adams surprised spectators as they made history for being the first member of the Indigenous Cultural Community in the province to conquer the “Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals”.
According to Adams town councilor Pamela Domingsil, they used to be at the bottom of the competition due to the difficulty of bringing their props to the city on a bad weather.
“For all the sacrifices and difficulties we faced, we are thankful we emerged as champion,” Domingsil said in an interview Friday as she noted they are working double time to defend their crown on February 2.
She said that because of their win, people have become more appreciative of the natural beauty of Adams and local products, such as its walis (soft broom) and bugnay wine. (PNA)
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