Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte Foundation Anniversary

Ilocos Norte Foundation Anniversary, as the name suggests, is a commemoration of the establishment of the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Held every 2nd of February, it has a month-long calendar. However in 2021, organizers cut it down to three days because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its activities are in Laoag City, the capital of the province.

History of Ilocos Norte Foundation Anniversary

From Tan-ok Festival to Founding celebrations

The history of Ilocos Norte festival that observes the establishment of the province had its beginnings with the Tan-ok ni Ilocano, which in English translates to “The Greatness of Ilocano”. Tan-ok festival was first held in November of 2011. It was conceptualized to celebrate the pride, history, culture, customs, tradition, and the way of life of the people residing in the province. Years later, the schedule of Tan-ok festival was transferred. In 2018, it was held in February. The purpose of the said move was to add more meaning to the celebrations: as a way to give a toast for the harvest season and a meaningful observance of the province’ 200th-year anniversary.

History of Ilocos Norte

The name of the province, Ylocos, means ‘hailing from the lowlands’.

Native population made settlements in the general area of Ilocos Norte and the neighboring provinces before the onset of the Spanish rule. The whole region, which included Abra, Ilocus Sur, and La Union faced the West Philippine Sea and is bounded by the Cordillera mountain ranges. Historically, the people were known as miners of the rich deposits of gold that were found in the area. They established trading routes with merchants from foreign lands including the Chinese, Japanese, and Malays, performing barters of the precious metal in exchange of trinkets and silk.

During the Spanish conquest, Juan de Salcedo explored the Ilocos region. His adventures to the north of Luzon were grounded on the goal of expanding the colonial territories and seats of power of the Spaniards. He reached Laoag in June of 1572. The region fermented with revolts all throughout the Spanish conquest, most famous of which was the one led by Diego Silang and later, after he was assassinated, by his wife Gabriela Silang.

On February 2, 1818, the colonial government split the region into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur by virtue of a Royal Decree. It is this date that the province remembers as its founding. Out from this region came the province of La Union in 1850 and Abra in 1917.

Ilocos Norte Foundation Anniversary Activities

Activities of the Founding Anniversary of Ilocos Norte puts into center stage its rich culture, tradition, and people. There are film festivals, creative exhibits, food parks, food fest, job fair, trade exhibits, cultural forums and shows, art shows and exhibits, dance parade, and fluvial parade.

Here are some of the highlights

Craftsmanship and skills demonstration

One of the major highlights is the demonstration of traditional and heritage skills and craftsmanship. Among the skills being shown are inabel (traditional hand-woven cloth-making), ikamen (mat weaving), uguis basket waving, damili (pottery), panday (woodworking), and latero.

Open Capitol

Open Capitol is the annual opening of the doors of the Capitol, the seat of the provincial government, to the people. It is an activity that stands for the transparency. Another purpose is to let the public be familiar of the functions, works, and thrust of the local government and its constituent departments and offices. The activity is participated by students who may join mock elections, parliamentary sessions, and other political exercises.

Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals

Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals is the grand showdown of contingents coming from the different localities of the province. They come up with festival dances that feature aspects of their local cultures, and they compete one another. These dances are narrative, and the ones with the best concepts and execution win the plum prizes.

How to reach Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte is located in the northern tip of the Philippines. One can book a flight to Laoag International Airport. Buses are also available from any locations in the island of Luzon.


Ilocos Norte Foundation Anniversary Summary

NameIlocos Norte Foundation Anniversary
CelebrationCulture, Founding
Contact(077) 772 1211
DateFebruary 2
OrganizerProvincial Government of Ilocos Norte
Previous NameTan-ok ni Ilocano