Ilocos Sur

Kannawidan Ylocos

Kannawidan Ylocos is an annual festival that celebrates the founding anniversary of the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines every 2nd of February. A week-long celebration, its activities span from the last few days of January to the first week of February. Major activities occur in Vigan, the capital of the province.

The date is also the founding anniversary of Ilocos Norte.

History of Kannawidan Ylocos

Kannawidan Ylocos comes from the word tawid. Its English translation means tradition, legacy, and/or heritage. It marks the historic establishment of the province during Spanish times.

Kannawidan Ylocos was first launched within the term of Deogracias Victor Savellano in 2008. It was started to promote awareness and preservation of the local culture, tradition, heritage, and customs. It was also an opportunity to showcase local products, artistry, and craftsmanship. Moreover, it was also created to boost the local tourism industry.

History of Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur is located in the northern tip of the island of Luzon. It faces the West Philippine Sea and to the east is the mountainous area called Cordilleras. It was part of Provincia Ilocos, a region that was composed of Abra, Ilocos Norte, and La Union, during the Spanish period. However, its history is much older as people inhabited the region in pre-Hispanic times. It belongs to the Ilocos Region that is composed of other provinces of Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan.

Their settlements were mostly found in the plain territories particularly along the coastlines and so the place was called Ilocos, which means people of the lowlands. Their communities were engaged in farming, the lands were fecund and there were abundant sources of water. They also raised cattle and livestock.

The upper mountainous areas were densely forested. Likewise, they were rich in gold deposits and mines had been operated for the extraction of the precious metal for years in the past. The native population had contacts with foreign traders, including the Chinese, Japanese, and Malays. In exchange of gold and other products, they received beads, ceramics, and other items worthy for barter.

According to history, colonizer Juan de Salcedo explored the region in 1572. Two years later, he established the Ciudad Fernandina in what is now known as Vigan by the orders of Governor-General Guido de Lavezares. The region however erupted in various uprisings all throughout the Spanish era. Thus, proposals were submitted to the Real Audiencia to divide the region. Such division would introduce better management of the native population and impose authority to subdue any further revolts.

Thus on February 2, 1818, Provincia Ilocos was split into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur by virtue of a Royal Decree. This is the date that Kannawidan Ylocos commemorates every year. Later, Abra and La Union were established from the above-mentioned territories.

Kannawidan Ylocos Activities

Activities for Kannawidan Ylocos include traditional games, cultural shows, drone light and dancing fountain shows, fireworks display, comedy nights, entertainment, food fest, pet shows, and competitions. It also has traditional games, talent contests, exhibits, sporting events, trainings, street dance, festival dance showdown, and other fun activities.

Here are some of the highlights.

Fr. Jose Burgos Awards

Fr. Jose Burgos Awards is the annual recognition of the excellence and accomplishments of the residents of the province. These are individuals who have been recognized in their achievements of their chosen field and had become pride to the province. The award is named after Jose Burgos, a hero of the Philippine revolution against Spain. Another award, Gawad Titong Singson Award, was started in 2011 and is given to outstanding youth leaders in Sangguniang Kabataan.

Partuat ken Patanor

Partuat ken Patanor is the annual agricultural and trade fair. It boasts of displays of arts and crafts, food, souvenir items, handicrafts, and other products. It is also the platform for the promotion of one-town one-product program. Famous items include longanisa (sausge), bagnet (deep friend pork), bibingka (rice cake), and tinubong (dessert made of rice flour mixed with other ingredients and stuffed into the node of a bamboo shoot to be grilled).

Period dinners

Period dinner is an activity that has a movable date. It still coincides within the calendar of the festival. Started in 2007, prominent families and personalities wear traditional Filipino attires. The venue is in any one of the historical structures such Burgos House, Calle Crisologo, Ilocos Sur Museum, and Simbaan a Bassit (Small Church).

Saniata Ti Ylocos

Saniata Ti Ylocos is the prestigious beauty pageant for females. The candidates are representatives of the local government units that comprise the province. They compete in various pageant events and winners are selected based on intelligence, beauty, and style.

Tadek Ken Balliwes

Tadek Ken Balliwes is a traditional dance. It is performed as expression of the merry-making after triumphs or thanksgiving. It is also a celebration for important community events.

How to reach Ilocos Sur

There are regular flights to Laoag International Airport, the airport nearest to the province. Bus trips are also available from Manila and other points of the island of Luzon.


Kannawidan Ylocos Summary

NameKannawidan Ylocos
CelebrationFounding anniversary
DateFebruary 2
Duration1 week
FounderDeogracias Victor Savellano
LocationIlocos Sur
OrganizerProvincial Government of Ilocos Sur