Kannawidan Ylocos Festival: A Showcase of Ilocano Culture (Last of 4 parts)

By Mancielito S. Tacadena



Nelson Galolo, 42 years old; Jonie Soliva, 45 years old;  Lilio Say-oet, 54 years old;  Virgilio Belen, 43 years old;  Eddie Dapig, 21 years old;  Honey-gatherers; Lancuas, San Emilio


Damili pottery


Anselmo “Abat” Aquino, 72 years old, Maker of damili tiles, dalikán and lusob, Bulala, Vigan



Oral Tradition


Silvestre Camading, 57 years old, Chanter, Tiagan, San Emilio;

Salvador Lang-ayan, 83 years old,  Chanter; mannapit (discussant for dispute settlement), Masiosioay, San Emilio

Jose Matias, around 80 years old, Chanter, Lancuas, San Emilio


Performing Arts & Visual Arts



Hermenegildo “Wan-a” Severo, 80 years old; Leoncio “Bungsoy” Badol, 72 years old; Basilio “Pakay” Lawad, 68 years old; Bernabe Gumabay, 68 years old – Makers and players of traditional musical instruments, Cabaroan, San Emilio

Ireneo Maspil, 73 years old, Kalaléng [noseflute] player; chanter, Lancuas, San Emilio


The versatility of the Abel Iloco fabric was distinguished through the abel fashion show held in Plaza Salcedo. Ilocanos watched appreciatively the models as they ramped through the runway showcasing the gowns and dresses designed by renowned fashion designers Dita Sandico-Ong and Junty Martinez and the members of the Ilocos Sur Designers’ Guild.

Another highlight of the Kannawidan Festival was the crowning of the Saniata ti Ylocos. Out of 30 lovely candidates, twenty three-year old Hannah Ruth Sison of Carmen, Pangasinan was crowned Saniata ti Ylocos 2012 and went home with a cash prize of P100,000. She was also selected as Best in Gown while his designer Raymund Arce was adjudged Best Designer.

Jannie Loudette Alipo-on of San Fernando City, La Union was chosen as Saniata ti Ylocos World and Star of the Night during the talent portion. Mary Candice Ramos of Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur was the Saniata ti Ylocos Environment, and Reina Mae Maerina of Villasis, Pangasinan was Saniata ti Ylocos Model of the World-Philippines.

Jennica Ollero of Tubao, La Union was the first runner-up, Miss Photogenic and the Ilocano’s Choice. Kate Ann Goza of Bautista, Pangasinan was the second runner-up and Best in Swimsuit.

May Ann Naguit of Bugallon, Pangasinan was adjudged Best in Talent while Rochelle Cadiente of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur was Miss Congeniality.

Sports have also a big part during the festival as different sporting events were played everyday during the week-long occasion. Billiards, chess, dama, football, 24 kilometer fun run, fun run for the senior citizens, horse race and different traditional games were played to add color to the Kannawidan fest. Old military jeeps and vintage cars were also paraded around to the delight of the crowd.

As Ilocano people love foods, eating and drinking contests were also staged to select the king and queen of the different categories.

The following were the runaway winners in the different food eating contest:

Catalino Briones – Puro, Caoayan, kornik eating contest;

Gerald Anicas – Nagsangalan, Vigan City,  empanada eating contest;

Marciano Laurente – San Julian Notre, Vigan City, Shellfish cracker eating contest;

Carol Aspa-Brgy. III, Vigan City, Balikutsa eating contest;

Danilo Gaoiran – Puro, Magsingal, Kalamay eating contest;

Jovelyn Bocarile – Anonang Mayor, Caoayan, Hopia eating contest;

Gloria Mata – Brgy. IV, Vigan City, Bibingka eating contest;

Constantino Riguera – San Julian Norte, Vigan City,  Tinubong eating contest;

Arthur Peralta – Brgy. IV, Vigan City, Longganisa eating contest;

Jean Alones – San Julian Norte, Vigan City, Bagnet eating contest;

Ernesto Riguera, Basi drinking contest


Another much awaited event during the Kannawidan festival was the Zarzuela Ilocana where selected provincial officials and employees were the actors as they revived the glorious days of the dying Ilocano Performing Arts.

As the festivity culminated, the youth of Ilocos Sur did their share by staging Little Miss Saniata. The Sangguniang Kabataan headed by its president Marie Gabrielle Kyla Mendoza also introduced the 1st Gawad Titong Singson where SK members of San Ildefonso and Alilem were given recognition for their dedication in the service of Ilocano youth.

All of these are evidence that the Kannawidan Ylocos Festival has become a fast rising event in the country as shown by the huge number of participants and tourists that flocked to this province. Kannawidan indeed has become a big tourist attraction because it showcases the unique culture of the Ilocanos which is distinct and different from that of other ethnic groups of the Philippines.#