Ilocos Norte celebrates 117th Ablan Day on Aug. 9


Ilocanos here will mark August 9 as a special non-working holiday in the province of Ilocos Norte in honor of the 117th birth anniversary of the late Governor Roque Ablan Sr.

The occasion recognizes Ablan Sr. for his service to the country as governor and labor leader.

Expected to grace this year’s celebration is the Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., along with other guests from outside Ilocos Norte.

“Highlights of the celebration include floral offerings at the Ablan Museum in Barangay 22, Laoag City with a series of activities to follow after the traditional 21-gun salute participated by the Ilocos Norte police,” said Roque Benjamin “RB” Ablan, a fourth-generation descendant, in an interview on Tuesday.

The special non-working holiday declaration is pursuant to Republic Act 6941.

As part of the celebration, organizers led by the Ablan family have organized the “Eats Ablan Day Food Fair” in front of the Balay San Nicolas to showcase authentic Ilocos products among others.

The food fair will run until Aug. 13.

A three-day “passport on wheels” will also be conducted at the Pedro Almazan Hall in San Nicolas Municipal Hall on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, there will be a bloodletting activity also on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Robinsons Ilocos Mall and a free circumcision at Tabug barangay hall in Batac City.

Ablan Sr. was the youngest provincial executive during his time and the only governor in Northern Luzon who did not surrender when the Japanese landed in Vigan, Ilocos Sur during World War II in 1941.

He refused to extend his cooperation to the Japanese and opted to leave the provincial capitol of Laoag in 1942 to avoid arrest.

He transferred the seat of government to a remote village near the boundary of Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

From there, Ablan Sr. organized an armed force together with Lt. Feliciano Madamba of the Philippine Army, which became known as the “Ablan-Madamba Guerilla Group of Northern Luzon.” He died in battle at age 36 on Jan. 31, 1943.

Author: Leilanie Adriano

Source: PNA – Ilocos Norte

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