Ilocano Cultural Day: A day of songs, poetry, dances

LAOAG CITY – Ilocano songs, poems and dances were performed at the Social Hall of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University this city on Feb. 22 to mark the Ilocano Cultural Day as a way of celebrating National Arts Month this February.
Through Presidential Proclamation No. 683 signed in 1991, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts through its sub-commission on the Arts (SCA) spearheads the celebration this year with the theme, “Ani ng Sining, Alab ng Sining.”
In Laoag City, the Center for Ilokano-Amianan Studies in cooperation with the Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano (GUMIL) Mariano Marcos State University College of Teachers Education (MMSU CTE) Chapter organized a day of literary arts workshop and an afternoon of songs, poetry and dances to showcase the rich cultural tradition of the Ilocanos through the years.
In her speech, Elisa Samson, dean of the MMSU CTE, urged students who participated in the event to open their minds, ears and hearts for a better appreciation of the Ilocano language and tradition for youth development and inclusive growth.
In time for the implementation of the Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education program of the Department of Education, Joel Manuel, school principal at the Bangui National High School and the current president of the GUMIL Ilocos Norte Chapter, said teachers need to be more creative in writing books and other learning materials in the Ilocano language.
Adding excitement to the event was the special participation of GUMIL Oahu, an all-Ilocano performing arts group in Hawaii, United States which presented a portion of a theatrical play of three Hawayanos (also known as Sakadas) who sacrificed to be away from family in Ilocos region for a greener pasture in Hawaii. The real-life struggles of the three and their families back home were heartfelt, drawing cheers and yells from the audience.
Meanwhile, during the workshop on writing stories and poetry for children, the young participants were also tasked to sharpen their knowledge and skills on Ilocano writing for their future students.
Poetry and creative writing competitions were also facilitated by the lecturers. LEILANIE ADRIANO, PNA / ABN

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