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Batac wins 2nd “TAN-OK” Championship Title

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The “Fiesta Empanada” of the City of Batac won its 2nd championship title at the 11th “Tan-ok ni Ilocano:Festival of Festivals” at the Ferdinand E. Memorial (FEM) Stadium in Laoag City on February 16, with its portrayal of culinary prowess as a bridge for lasting friendship.

Thousands of attendees gathered at the FEM Stadium, including national and local officials, tourists, and visitors to witness the performances of the 23 competing local government units.

The City of Batac’s performance started with Nena, the daughter of a skilled empanada vendor. Yearning for more opportunities, she left her home and went to work for a Chinese household abroad where her culinary prowess made her a valuable employee. However, a challenge soon presented itself to her.

Struggling to think of a main dish for a feast that complements traditional Chinese cuisine for the Chinese New Year, she remembered the beloved empanada of her hometown. She contacted her mother asking her to send the authentic ingredients.

Later, the performance depicted Nena presenting the dish during the New Year’s feast, winning over Mrs. Chu Cheng’s heart. Fueled by her curiosity of the cultural significance of the empanada, the matriarch decided to join Nena on her visit to her hometown, in time for the Empanada Festival, where the aroma of freshly cooked empanadas filled the air and the sound of music and laughter echoed through the streets.

In last year’s competition, they took home the coveted rank 3, as well as the Best Male and Female Performer Special Awards. The City won its first championship in 2011, the inaugural staging of the festival.

Batac received Php 1,000,000.00. Meanwhile, the Municipality of Pinili with their “Abel Festival” placed second, and the Municipality of Vintar with their “Siwawer Festival” placed third, receiving Php 450, 000.00 and Php 300,000.00, respectively.

All 23 contingents were judged according to story, 20%; performance, 20%, choreography, 20%; production design, 20%; and originality 20%. The board of judges was composed of ten (10) experts in dance, festivals, indigenous culture, designs, theater production and visual arts, and tourism, chaired by Prof. Alexander Cortez, Technical Consultant for Artistic Matters of the President-Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Other members of the “Tan-ok” selection committee were Prof. Childe Libertad, President of the Philippine Folk Dance Society in Region 1; Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez, Award-winning TV Host and Producer; Ms. Nina Marie Corpuz-Rodriguez, founder of “Nina Inabel;” Mr. Raul Almodiel Nepomuceno, Jr.; Dance Trainer and Artistic Director of Indak Bambino Folkloric Group; Ms. Jamie Herrell, Sinulog Festival Queen 2013 and Miss Earth 2014; Engr. Patricio Primor, Jr., Artistic Director of Sinulog Festival of the City of Cebu; Ms. Marielle Benitez-Javellana, Vice Chairperson for Asia of the Federation of International Dance Festivals; Ms. Junel Ann Divinagracia, National President of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines; and Mr. Ohm David, acclaimed stage director.

Other winners of this year’s edition of Tan-ok were: the Municipality of Currimao’s “Dinaklisan Festival” (1st Runner Up), the Municipality of Piddig’s “Basi Festival” (2nd Runner Up), Laoag City’s “Pamulinawen Festival” (3rd Runner Up), the Municipality of Nueva Era’s “Tadek Festival” (4th Runner Up), and the Municipality of Badoc’s “La Virgen Milagrosa Baro a Badoc Festiva” (5th Runner Up).

The recipients of the Special Awards were the Municipality of Nueva Era for “Best Festival Music,” Municipality of Batac for “Best in Production Design,” Municipality of Dumalneg for “Best in Video Design,” Municipality of Piddig for “Best in Choreography and Direction,” and “Best Male Performer,” and lastly, the City of Batac for the “Best Female Performer.”

This year’s Tan-ok ni Ilocano:Festival of Festival is the highlight for Ilocos Norte’s 206th foundation anniversary. (Allyssa Charisse G. Magno)

(Source: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)

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