Colorful traditions are expressed in the grandest way during Laoag festivals and there is no better way to learn about them than to join or at least watch one. Laoag festivals are enchanting and the Ilocanos do such a good job of making sure that each year, their events are livelier and celebrated with a bigger bang.
Named after a legendary bird the Pamulinawen Festival is a religious Laoag festival to commemorate St. William, the province’s patron saint. The inhabitants of Laoag believe that St. William has spared Laoag from several natural disasters and helped make it the thriving city it is today. Celebrated for a whole week, the Pamulinawen Festival is something that the locals prepare for with plays, dances, parades and other merry making activities. There is even a food festival during the Pamulinawen Festival which draws people from all over the region to participate. All government and non-government organizations prepare for this Laoag festival and even corporations actively participate in it. Some believe that this Laoag festival because it’s celebrated in February is the Ilocano’s way of extending the merry making of the Christmas season. The history of the Pamulinawen Festival dates back to the times of the Spanish occupation of the country when the feast day of saints was celebrated marking the conversion of the Ilocanos to Christianity. The Pamulinawen Festival starts off with a military parade and among the highlights are the Ms. Laoag beauty pageant, floral parade and the magnificent fireworks show on the last day.
Dulang Food Festival
The Filipinos love to eat and having said that, the Ilocanos are no different and admittedly, they prepare delicious and unique dishes that more than just satisfy hunger. The Dulang Food Festival is a Laoag festival where one can taste test the local favorites of Ilocos and those who join this event come from all areas of the region. The dishes that one can taste during the Dulang Food Festival are prepared with one-of-a-kind utensils that one will not find in any store and they also have unique names. During the first few times that the Dulang Food Festival was celebrated, every single household in Laoag would prepare their favorite dish and invite guests over for merry making. Every household is jam packed with family members and friends who dine and reminisce together during this Laoag festival. Among the dishes prepared during the Dulang Food Festival are Dinuguan (pork stew cooked in its own blood), Dinakdakan (a delicacy the primary ingredient of which is pig’s brain) and Pinakbet (mixed vegetables stir fried in shrimp paste). The Dulang Food Festival promotes camaraderie among neighbors because anyone can drop by and eat as much as they want.