The 8th Maharlika Artists and Writers Federation (MAWF) Sunrise Festival will be celebrated in the Province of IloIlo. I’m sure the national coordinating council and local organizers are preparing for the best Sunrise Festival to date. I expect more ethnic vibes, positive thoughts, spirituality and creativity flourishing in the horizon. With our Ilonggo brothers taking the lead, the BUTLAK celebration will, like the previous Sunrises, again capture our soaring imaginations and like wildfires ignite the supramental and subliminal layers of our mind. I offer my positive vibes and good intentions to all the organizers of the 8th MAWF Sunrise Fest IloIlo!
But before I write more on the 8th Sunrise fest, allow me to write a couple of notes on the 7th Sunrise Fest.
The 7th Sunrise Festival dubbed as Ylocosining: Hidden Treasures of the North was celebrated in the province of Ilocos Norte last year. From Nov. 24-28, the fest was staged in five different venues namely the municipalities of Badoc, San Nicolas, Pagudpud and the cities of Laoag and Batac.
The fest partnered with more or less 50 organizations (local, national and international).
Positively endorsed by the Regional Development Council and the National Economic Development Authority of Region 1, the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur supported the holding of the festival in the Ilocos region. Similarly, the Regional Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources endorsed the same to the Local Government Units.
The 7th Sunrise festival partnered with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, the Provincial Tourism Office then headed by Mr. Jogie Jimenez and the Ilocos Norte Investment Center. The Laoag City Tourism Development Council headed by Hon. Chevylee Farinas and Mayor Michael Farinas of the City Government of Laoag provided substantial assistance to the success of the five-day arts and music festival.
Mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta of the City of Batac, Mayor Arlene Torralba and Vice-Mayor Tom Torralba of the municipality of Badoc, Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr. of the Municipality of San Nicolas and Mayor Matilda Sales of the municipality of Pagudpud lend a hand by sponsoring events in their respective ‘municipios’ and hosted the 400 creatives- festival participants.
Higher Education Institutions like Northwestern University, Divine Word of College of Laoag, Northern Christian College and Mariano Marcos State University, the University of Northern Phillipines also extended significant support and sponsored university based, school arts, music and dance workshops.
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur headed by Governor Luis Chavit Singson, a former National Security Adviser, Governor Amado Espino Jr. of the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and Governor Teodoro Baguilat Jr. of the Provincial Government of Ifugao supported the 7th Sunrise Fest by sending a combined delegation of 150 artists, cultural workers, professors, students and tourism officers. The Provincial Government of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan initially confirmed their participation by sending a minimum of 60 delegates per province but later cancelled due to the Typhoon Pepeng aftermath.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts sponsored Palawan based artists. The Office of Congresswoman and former First Lady Imelda Marcos also supported the event. The support of the municipal government of Paoay through Mayor Bonifacio Clemente Jr. was also considerable.
The Mariano Marcos State University, a premier agricultural and development center institution of the North hosted the Poetry Night and sponsored the sleeping quarters of delegates coming from the Province of Ifugao and Baguio City
Non-government organizations such as the SILNAG Arts Guild and The Ilocandia Photographic Society helped us in the visual arts and photography exhibit at the Laoag City Auditorium.
The local media’s participation like DZJC Aksyon Radyo, DWFB Radyo ng Bayan, Bombo Radyo, DZEA a catholic mass media production, Ilocos Times and TV Patrol Ilocos, a local ABS-CBN news and NBN News team was magnificent. Northern Spin Productions sponsored the Sunrise festival media mileage.
The Provincial, City and Municipal Philippine National Police provided police assistance and security participants and delegates for five days in different events and venues.
Fire trucks and fireman were also stationed for the evening events. First aid assistance and security escorts were also provided by the Department of Public Safety of the City Government of Laoag and Provincial Philippine National Police.
The Ananda Marga Yoga Society and International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the MUSIKA group rendered substantial contribution, volunteers to the 7th Sunrise Festival.
Building up by the day, a total of 2, 700 artists and writers consisting of musicians, visual artists, tourism officers, professors, students, spiritualists, free lance writers, poets, book writers, photographers, bloggers, children artists, event organizers, teachers, local government officials, civil servants and government employees,etc. participated in the event. Not to mention, the participation of the public and the Ilocanos.
Sunrise after Sunrise
The festival was launched at the Juan Luna Museum, the birthplace of the Greatest Maharlikan visual artist and painter Juan Luna at the Juan Luna Museum.
Followed by a music workshop in the afternoon at the World Peace Center of the City of Batac. A brief tour in the municipality of Paoay, cities of Batac, Badoc and Laoag in the afternoon was arranged.
In the evening of November 24, the Center for Iluko Studies of the Mariano Marcos State University hosted the Ylocosining Poetry and Literature Night. The poetry night had a lot of notable Ilocano poets, politicians, guests and visitors.
At dawn, an ephemeral art exhibit at the Padsan River was held. Burning hundreds of coconut lights, the artists demonstrated the festival of Light or “Laoag” (meaning “bright light”) . A local ABS-CBN news crew and local photographers came to document the event on November 25.
On the same day, the Saringit Visual Arts and Photography Exhibit was launched at the Laoag City Auditorium. There were more or less 70 visual artists, sculptures and photographers all over the country exhibiting in the event. Laoag City Vice-Mayor Eddie Domingo and City Administrator Perry Martinez of the City Government of Laoag represented Mayor Michael V. Farinas as the MAWF and TIPS group and other guests opened the exhibit.
In the afternoon, a workshop on djembe and world music and inner and creative dance were held simultaneously in two different venues, namely the Ilocos Norte National High School School for the Arts and the Divine Word College of Laoag.
The workshop was facilitated by the Pangalay Arts Circle, Pasta Groove for the Inner and Creative Dance and Kawangis ng Tribu for the Djembe World Music Workshop. 500 students, teachers, local musicians, mchoreographers attended the workshops.
In the evening, the Ylocosining Rock Night was staged at the the Batac Imelda Cultural Center. A total of 17 bands, solo performers and duos performed in the rock night. The event was graced by the mayor of the city Hon. Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta.
On November 26, a health and wellness lecture was facilitated by Dada Dharmavedananda at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium. The Provincial Government of Pangasinan and MAWF participants attended the lecture.
In the evening, the Ylocosining Folk and Acoustic Music Night was held at the San Nicolas Old Plaza. Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr., municipal mayor of San Nicolas graced the occasion by delivering a message. He brought with him the San Nicolas all Male Choir and rendered three Ilocano songs. Dada Dharmavedandanda Avadhuta gave the invocation. Ilocano hitmakers and folksingers also sang along with MUSIKA group folk singers and world musicians.
The Philippine Education and Theaters Arts Society of Laguna presented a short play that evening. The Ylocosining Folk and Acoustic Music Night was sponsored by the Municipal Government of San Nicolas.
On November 27 in cooperation with the Department of Education of the Province of Ilocos Norte and the City Government of Laoag 2,500 children ages 6-12 years old and teachers participated in the 1st BUNUBUN Children Street Art at the Rizal Street, Provincial Capitol Ilocos Norte.
Countless suns were drawn in the national highway. The Provincial Superintendent Dr. Cecilia Aribuabo delivered a message and the Department of Education attended, together with MAWF facilitated the event.
Didi Ananda Shubrha gave a brief message on Neo-Humanist Education. Hundreds of Suns, massive children arts were displayed. The participating children and teachers also visited the Saringit Visual Arts Exhibit.
In the evening, the Ylocosining Singising Cultural Night was held at the Provincial Capitol Stage. Various artists, bands, solo performers, cultural group from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Pangasinan, Ifugao, Baguio, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, Ilocos Norte among others performed. The Governor of Ilocos Norte Imee Marcos, the daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos was the Guest of Honor.
The awardees of the 7th Sunrise Festival were announced and received that evening. Ms. Judy Cruz, Nona Ganal, Jan Michael Laglit Tauro, Department of Education, Unitiima and the Sunrise Child of the Year were the awardees.
On November 28, the Sun Salutation meditation, a workshop on djembe and the 7th Sunrise Fest closing ceremonies was held in the municipality of Pagudpud.
Mayor Maja Sales of Pagudpud sponsored the event. In her absence, the Chairman of the Committee on Tourism of the Sangguniang Bayan of Pagudpud and Harold Sadornas, municipal tourism officer represented the good mayor. Afterwhich, the participants ate, swam and enjoyed the serene beaches of Pagudpud.
The 7th Sunrise Festival Executive Director Shermon Cruz, Momo Dalisay and Deo Palama, President and National Coordinator of MAWF respectively thanked the participants for their sacrifices and support to the 7th Sunrise Festival, its sponsors, supporters and partners. The closing ceremony was covered by the local media.