Ilocos Norte’s grandest festival will make the arid landscape of the Paoay sand dunes sizzle again with art installations, music, food, and other fun-filled activities on May 13 and 14 to hone home-grown talents and assert the province’s reputation as one of the top tourist destinations in Northern Luzon.
Now on its 10th year, the “Himala sa Buhangin” arts and music festival comes with a double celebration as the desert party will feature day and night activities, such as a 4×4 rally, a sand castle exhibit, a motocross competition, an exhibit show with live music, and a foam party with featured local artists, the Juans, Gigi de Lana, and the Gigi Vibes.
In preparation for the biggest free event this summer, Xavier Ruiz, assistant provincial tourism head, said Wednesday that the sand castle exhibition is open to all interested groups or individuals to showcase their talents in sand castle making.
“All they have to do is to submit their proposed design to the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office,” Ruiz said.
In the past, festival organizers worked with internationally renowned artists like Leeroy New, who constructed a large-scale installation art using indigenous materials, among them bamboo, abaca, and abel iluko textile.
Several statues inspired by popular movies that were filmed at the Paoay sand dunes were also unveiled in previous years, sustaining the arrival of tourists in the area until the pandemic restricted crowd gatherings.
These included the statues of Elsa, the iconic roles portrayed by Nora Aunor in the 1982 film “Himala,” and Flavio, Fernando Poe Jr.’s character in “Ang Panday.” A commemorative sculpture inspired by Temptation Island, a film about beauty queens stranded on a desert island, was also featured.
The two-day festival will also feature a food strip featuring Asian cuisines in support of micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs. (PNA)