A Peak to the Soul of Ilocos Norte

Located at the Northwest corner of the Luzon island is the first region in the Philippines, the Ilocos region. Negritos was the first one to inhabited this place and then pushed by Malay/Austronesian immigrants. Later, the population of the area went on, and the Ilocanos were born.


Unlike any other regions in the Philippines, Ilocos particularly the Ilocos Norte has its own and distinct culture and traditions. As per traits, “Bain” is for “Hiya” or amor propio where the Ilocanos fear of gossip or being ashamed. “Panagdayaw” is also their trait which is a way of showing respect for the sensitivities of others where they speak in the humblest terms if they speak for themselves.


Ilocos has its wedding and death traditions as well. Before a wedding, the groom makes a formal announcement to the Bride’s parents. His parents will then visit the bride’s parents to set the date, but with a consultation to a “planetario,” an almanac that determines lucky days. During the feast, guests contribute cash to the newlyweds by pinning bills to the couple’s clothes whole the couple is dancing.


In the death of a family member, the announcement is made by lighting a piece of long wood in front of the house of the deceased, keeping it flamed until after the burial. Use white wine to extinguish the fire. Before any funeral of a deceased, the relatives pay respect by kissing its hand or by doing the “Mano Po.” On the day of the burial, those who attended must take a different route on their way home from the one they took to get there, for they believe that it could take away the death of the spirit from reaching their homes.


Other than that, celebrations are also evident in the Ilocos Norte, and there are a lot of festivals they are celebrating. The Pamulinawan Festival, a floral parade and street dancing festival is celebrated every 10th of February in the City of Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Guling-Guling Festival celebrated on the eve of Ash Wednesday is celebrated through dancing and singing around the town, and with pounded rice instead of ash, they are being blessed. Ilocanos celebrate December Festival with a lantern parade and decor competition. People enjoy Farmer’s Festival in Bacarra through a street dance parade participated by farmers together with their products. There are also contests for their agro products.


Not only that, but Ilocos Norte products are also abundant in agriculture, fishery, food processing and pottery. All these have made the region a progressive place and a hometown you surely don’t want to miss.