LAOAG CITY—A Philippine flag that is made of the Ilocano heritage fabric, ‘abel Iloko’ (or inabel) became the main attraction during the celebration of the 115th Philippine Independence day held at the provincial capitol here June 12.
Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba and Laoag City mayor-elect Chevylle V. Fariñas led the ceremony which was participated in by contingents from all municipalities, military personnel, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, members of the Philippine National Police of the Provincial and City Commands, and employees of the provincial government, national agencies and the local government units of Laoag City and Batac City.
“June 2012 is not just a celebration but also a time to remember how we became free people. Independence is equivalent to development; we will surely be able to progress as a province in the same way as how we attained independence through unity,” said Vice Governor Barba.
Other highlights of the event were the wreath-laying by selected government officials, a 21 gun salute to the heroes of Philippine Independence and the symbolic raising of the Philippine flag made of ‘abel Iloko’, a hand-woven fabric famous for its durability and colorful history which can be traced back to the time of Spanish galleon trade.
The ‘abel Iloko’ fabric used for the said flag was made by the loom weavers of the town of Paoay.
‘Abel’ is an Iluko term referring to the process of manual weaving, particularly through a wooden loom. Its products can be found in almost any public market and labeled must-haves in most souvenir stores in the province.
An age-old industry, ‘abel Iloko’ is one of the many distinct Ilocano products supported by Governor Imee R. Marcos, as reflected by her programs to back up ‘inabel’ ventures and livelihoods and underscore the use of the valuable craft to uphold the Ilocano culture and identity. (Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO)