As part of its continuous strengthening of the “Paoay Kumakaway!” tourism campaign, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) opened three museums November 21 to highlight the diverse culture of the province, ranging from the Ilocanos’ Cordilleran roots to the vital role of agriculture in everyday life.
Launching the Balay Dingras, which opened on November 19, and the Burgos Lighthouse Museum and the Taoid Museum on November 21 kicked off the activities of the 2015 Tan-ok Festival of Festivals and added more attractions to the Ilocos Norte tourism trail.
Resulting from a project partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the Dingras’ museum, located in front of the Municipal Hall bears the concept of a rice miller’s house.
Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer Aianree Racquel said that its architecture was inspired by Spanish-period houses in Dingras, also known as the rice granary of the province.
Meanwhile, the Burgos Lighthouse Museum came forth as a result of renovating the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse as a new tourist center now known as the Paru de Kabo Bojeador.
Raquel said it now feaures a much safer resting area as the former construction road has been cleared up to provide wider parking for tourist and vendors now have a safer area for vendors to ply their trade.
The municipality was hailed by Governer Imee R. Marcos as the “jackpot” of Ilocos Norte, for it boasts a number of popular tourist destinations, such as the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse itself.
She said the residents would benefit from the rapidly-growing tourism industry.
In Laoag City, situated within the La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center, the Taoid Museum showcases the pre-colonial side of Ilocandia and the province’s Cordilleran roots.
It was inspired and put together by nationally renowned screenwriter Floy Quintos, and designed by Ohm David, resident technical director of Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.
“This is our tribute to our indigenous people in the municipalities of Nueva Era, Dumalneg, Carasi and Adams,” Racquel explained.
At the launching, Governor Marcos shared her “serious matter of heartbreak” for the country’s neglect to such ethnic artifacts in the past.
“Umabot na sa France, umabot na sa Germany, ninakaw ng America, ng Deutschland. Tayo, wala pa ring museum. Eh, atin ‘yan,” she said, referring to how long before such items had been gathered and exhibited in the Philippines, while some had already been on display at the Branly Museum in Paris, France. (From a report of Mizpah Grace Castro, PGIN-CMO)