LAOAG CITY—The Tingguians of Nueva Era in Ilocos Norte took the center stage on Saturday night, beating 21 other contingents from different parts of the province in a grand showdown of talents, culture, tradition and pride during the Tan-ok Festival held at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium.
The winning tribe featured their own Tadek Festival, a decades-old annual celebration showcasing the town's rich culture and traditions, and emerged the grand champion in the eighth staging of Tan-ok Festival that is considered the mother of all festivals in the province.
The group comprising young participants delivered a six-minute well-coordinated dance, video and audio presentation wherein they stomped their feet and swayed their hips to the beat of gongs and festival music unique to the Tingguians.
The spectacular world-class performance left the audience in awe.
The group's storyline portrayed the courage and bravery of the Tingguian men and the value of healing rituals in their community.
In his post on social media, Dominic Porto II, main choreographer of the Nueva Era team, said he felt from the very start of the competition that they would claim the crown this year.
“To all Nueva Era residents living here and abroad, this is for all of us. The long wait is over. At last, we emerged as the grand champion,” he said as thanked all the performers, props men, human props and all other participants and sponsors who contributed to their success.
The people of Nueva Era are known in Ilocos Norte to be deeply-rooted in their unique traditions that mark every area and chapter of their lives.
The town located about 43 kilometers from Laoag City is an emerging tourist destination endowed with verdant mountains and crystal clear rivers. In the interior uplands, residents and visitors get to enjoy low temperature that makes the areas probably colder than Baguio.
In her speech, Senator Cynthia Villar, who was special guest in the event, lauded the people of Ilocos Norte for coming up with a unique festival like the Tan-ok which highlights people’s pride and rich diverse cultures.
Aside from being the Grand Champion, the Tingguians of Nueva Era also garnered the Best in Festival Music, Best in Production Design, and Best in Choreography and Direction awards.
Meanwhile, Badoc town won second place for their performance featuring the La Virgen Milagrosa Festival inspired by the people’s deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Batac City’s Empanada Festival.
The group showcased their story of being resilient and innovative in making the famous empanada which has improved the living conditions of many local residents today.
Runners-up were Pagudpud’s Kangayedan Festival, Adams' Ginginubat Festival, Sarrat's Binakol Festival, Banna’s Abuos Festival and Vintar’s Siwawer Festival.
Other special awards given were Best Video Design won by Badoc, Best Female Performer -- Judalea Pucan of Batac and Best Male Performer -- Christian Dave Cainglit of Badoc.
Contingents were judged according to theme or concept, choreography, performance, costume and props, and originality.
The panel of judges was composed of experts or authorities in dance, festivals, indigenous culture, theater production and visual arts, tourism, and cinematography. (PNA)