2005 to 2009 Chronology
(November 09, 2009 to January 09, 2006)
A Chronology of Ilocos Norte History
November 21, – December 04
After declaring that the Laoag City sanitary landfill was indeed a landfill, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office has made another turnaround as it ordered the closure of the said garbage facility for not conforming to technical guidelines and criteria for its operations.
Currimao, Ilocos Norte – Strictly for your eyes only. This was the message of Currimao Mayor Rosario C. Go, referring to the rock and coral formations and wild bonsai plants that line the shoreline of Barangay Pangil in this town.
Urging the preservation of this eco-tourism zone, beachgoers and picnickers visiting this site are prohibited to throw their garbage and gather bonsai plants with the rock formations to preserve the locale’s natural attraction.
Citing a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan, Go related that any one found violating this would be penalized P2,000.
While encouraging more investors to take advantage of the favorable economic activity in this northern part of Luzon, which has been geared towards the development on eco-tourism, agriculture, health and education, a group of Filipino investors from Hawaii is shaking up the local economy by putting up a multi-million mango processing plant in Barangay Sulbec, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.
The said plant has been officially scheduled to be inaugurated on January 7, with no less than Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle as guest of honor and speaker.
February 06 – March 05
Burgos, Ilocos Norte – The century-old Cape Bojeador lighthouse – one of the province’s top tourist attractions – has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum.
In a two-page resolution signed by Corazon S. Alvina, director IV of the National Museum, and attested by the museum’s board of trustees, the lighthouse’s being one of the enduring major Spanish colonial structure in the country that still exists and which still continues to serve as a signal station and beacon to sea vessels in the country has been one of the reasons it was declared as a national treasure.
The Chinese government has renewed its commitment to tighten trade and economic relations with Ilocos Norte and this city during the three-day visit of Chinese Ambassador Li Jin Jun.
Li’s visit last March 14 took place almost a year after the Chinese government sent its officials to the province in May to explore investment opportunities.
Piddig, Ilocos Norte – The next Cecile Licad could be an Ilocana. At 14, young and promising pianist Bianca Montañez made a debut doing her interpretation of Schubert prior to Licad’s evening performance in an opening concert at the majestic Paoay church for the Filipino Heritage Festival on April 30.
Ilocos Norte athletes set eyes on Palarong Pambansa. For the seventh straight year, the Ilocos Norte contingent once again romped off with the overall championships of the 2006 Ilocos Region Athletic Association (IRAA) meet in both the elementary and secondary divisions held in Lingayen, Pangasinan from March 20-24.
Ties between the provincial government of Shandong and Ilocos Norte was strengthened anew with the recent visit of trade leaders and local officials from China’s second most developed province. Hon. Bai Jimin, chairman of Shandong’s Provincial Trade Union, together with two municipal vice mayors and two other youth leaders visited the province on June 1 for exploratory talks on possible trade and tourism investments.
Japanese Ambassador Ryuichiro Yamazaki made a short visit to the province on June 2 to personally inspect the Japanese-assisted-Laoag River Basin Flood Control and SABO Dam project. Prior to his visit to the project site, the ambassador made a stop at the Provincial Capitol and paid a courtesy call to Vice-Governor Windell Chua, who was then the acting Governor.
Cebu Pacific (CEB) adds another route to its domestic service with its three times weekly service between Manila and Laoag City starting June 8, 2006. The Manila-Laoag flight departs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 12:25pm arriving at 1:15pm and departs at Laoag at 1:45pm arriving in Manila at 2:35pm.
At the 8th World Taekwondo Festival and Korea Classic Open Championships held last June 26-30 in Jeonju, South Korea, 13 year old Devy John Singson of Batac, won a gold medal in the junior light middle weight division after besting his Korean opponent in the finals.
July 12 & 13
With typhoon Florita leaving two casualties and an estimated P60 million in damages, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved a resolution declaring the whole province under a state of calamity on their July 17 regular session at the Provincial Capitol. Though the declaration may be a couple of days late, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor and SP presiding officer Windell D. Chua explained that when Florita first unleashed its fury in the province on July 12 as public storm signal no. 2 was hoisted, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), during an emergency meeting, assessed that there had been no major damages in Ilocos Norte yet and it was only on the next day, July 13, when damages all around the province had been recorded.
August 08 & 09
The centennial birth anniversary celebration of Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr., one of Ilocos Norte’s greatest heroes, is set to be celebrated for two days this year for Ilocanos to be given ample time to honor the late governor.
Scheduled for August 8 and 9, previous celebrations were only a one-day affair, the celebrations will be spearheaded by the late governor’s family, led by Rep. Roque R. Ablan Jr. (1st district, Ilocos Norte), in close coordination with the National Historical Institute (NHI).
The two-day celebration will showcase the later governor’s heroism in fighting for the rights, welfare and freedom of Filipinos, particularly the Ilocanos during his reign as governor.
Hosting the first-ever windmill farm in the country and in Southeast Asia has its perks as the municipality of Bangui received almost P4 million in real estate property taxes from the Northwind Power Development Corporation (NPDC), which is also acclaimed as the biggest private investor in Ilocos Norte.
In a ceremonial program at the Office of the Governor on October 9, the NPDC, represented by lawyer Ferdinand A. Dumlao and Neil Jacobsen, Danish investor and president of NPDC, officially handed over the real estate property taxes payment of P3,911,324.26 to the municipality of Bangui, headed by Mayor Wilfred A. Gases.
November 27 – December 03
Breaking Ground. Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. leads the ground breaking ceremony of the multi-million hotel and the convention center in Barangay Balacad, Laoag City. The governor was joined by Dr. Cresencis “Myrna” Bundoc, 1st vice president and head of area management office-North Luzon DBP, members of the provincial board, mayors and Metropolis representatives. The said project is expectedly to be completed in 18 months.
February 26 – March 04
Ilocos Norte dominates IRAA; Champions for 8th consecutive year – SAN CARLOS, Pang – Ilocos Norte athletes once again have proved that they are the best in the region by dominating the 20 IRAA games.
Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has finally selected his cousin and former Gintong Alay chair and current Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Michael Marcos Keon or the gubernatorial post after months of consolation within the Marcos Camp.
San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte – Citizens of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) now have a better reason to engage in business and pleasure in this northern gateway of the country after the formal opening of the Chinese consulate here.
The formal opening of the Chinese consulate, located along the national highway in Barangay 1, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, was attended by big-tome Chinese businessmen, government officials led by Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., as well as other public and private organizations, including former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Lin junjun.
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte – After 62 years, the living witnesses and instruments in the liberation of Northern Luzon from the clutches of the Japanese Imperial Army met again as they commemorated and unveiled the Stingray memorial at Caunayan Bay in this town, the site of the delivery of war materiel for the guerillas which they used to repel the foreign invaders, on April 21 in honor of the unsung heroes of the nation.
With a total vote tally of 150,555 as against his gubernatorial rival former Governor Rodolfo C. Fariñas’ 86,849, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Michael M. Keon was proclaimed the new governor of Ilocos Norte.
Obtaining a total of 31,741 votes, incumbent Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas was elected into his second term as his closest rival in the mayoralty post in the May midterm election, former police Gen. Rowland Albano could only muster 11,140 votes.
A winning mayoralty candidate and a winning councilor bet were shot dead Sunday night (May 20) as post-election violence erupted in Bacarra town, Ilocos Norte. Killed by an unidentified gunman were mayor-elect Philip Velasco and councilor-elect Marcelo Adaya. They were attending a farmers’ fiesta celebration in Bacarra shortly before midnight Sunday.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said he would have turned up dead like Bacarra Mayor Philip Velasco and Councilor Marcelo Andaya had he showed up at the public auditorium where the killings occurred.
Marcos was the guest of honor during the farmers’ festival on Sunday night (May 20) but he deferred going to the program when he was informed of the killing.
As you continue to burn anything from your surroundings, drive a smoke-belching vehicle and cut trees as if there is no tomorrow, you are a contributor to global warming.
This, in a nutshell, was the message delivered by the lecturers of the first-ever forum on global warming in the province as they enjoined each individual to actively participate and get involved in saving Earth from further abuse and degradation.
BATAC, Ilocos Norte – Batac became the second city of Ilocos Norte after the capital Laoag when 11,750 residents endorsed Republic Act 9407, the law that converted it into a component city.
The province’s newest city came 42 years later after Laoag obtained its cityhood under RA 4584 on June 19, 1965. Ilocos Norte’s two districts are now home to two cities: Laoag in the first district and Batac in the second district.
Commission on Election records showed that 1,433 residents rejected the cityhood bid. Voter turnout on Saturday’s plebiscite was 51.46 percent.
Mayor-elect Jeffrey Nalupta, son of outgoing Mayor Jesus Nalupta, Sr., will have the distinction of sitting as the first city mayor of Batac once he assumes his position on June 30.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has declared the entire province of Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity due to the prolonged dry spell that has damaged crops on August 6.
The declaration came at the heels of rainfall in the past few days as provincial agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the rains are still insufficient for local farmers particularly those on rain-dependent areas.
Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) records show that only 50 percent of arable lands in the province have been planted with rice due to insufficient water needed by farmers in rain-dependent areas of the province, which include 14 municipalities.
For the first time ever, Laoag City will be the setting for the 1st Zonta Interdistrict Conference on September 14-16 at the Fort Ilocandia Resort hotel. Organizers led by the Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte expect more than 350 representatives from 6 countries to attend the three-day event with the theme “Living Together, Growing Together with Zonta”
Incumbent Zonta District 17 Governor Virma Vergel de Dios, and Zonta District 31 Governor Bischiou Chiou have also confirmed the appointments of Mary Ang of the Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte, and Ching Fong Yeh to lead the preparations for the event.
As Overall Conference Co-Chairman, Ms. Mary Ang will be assisted by Ms. Alegria Valenciano, Committee chair for Administration; Dr. Purisima Bueno, Committee chair for Special Events and Public Relations; and Editha Medina, Committee chair on Finance, all members of the Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte.
Delegates from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines comprising Zonta District 17; and Taiwan comprising Zonta District 31, have confirmed participation in the three-day conference.
The ilocanos’ thriftiness will be tested in the next few weeks following the amount of damage wrought about by Typhoon “Mina” (international codename Mitag) which left an estimated P94 million worth of agriculture damages around the province.
The Ilocos Norte athletes have proven themselves again to be the best in most sports competition in the Ilocos region after being the over-all champion in both the elementary and secondary levels in the recent Ilocos Region Athletic Association Meet (IRAA) 2008 held at Lingayen in Pangasinan on February 24-29.
Pasay City – The multi-awarded Laoag City government has once again proven its worth as it topped the Best Float Competition in the recently concluded Aliwan Festival 2008 held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CPP) Complex in this city.
With 21 total entries, the Pamulinawen Festival float, Laoag’s entry—a float depicting a giant calesa with bamboo arches – provede to be the most creatively made of them all as it romped with the P500,000 top prize.
The Indigenous Peoples (IPs) from the remote town of Adams, Ilocos Norte descended from their mountainous dwellings to express their strong opposition to the proposed mining exploration of Benguet Mining Corporation in their 658- hectare ancestral domain. The 658 hectares is part of the 21,000 hectares application of Benguet Mining Corporation’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), covering the municipalities of Nueva Era, Solsona, Carasi, Vintar and Adams here in Ilocos Norte.
Computer units, photo exhibit of Ilocos Norte’s scenic and historical landmarks including white sand beaches, centuries-old churches, and native products showcasing Ilocanos’ rich culture and traditions are now open for free use and viewing at the Gameng Learning Center located beside Museo Iluko here in Laoag City.
The center was launched on November 7 with Ilocos Norte Vice Gov. Windell D. Chua leading local officials, tourism stakeholders, guests and visitors, including Atty. Liza Marcos, wife of Rep. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (2nd district, Ilocos Norte).
Despite the opposition of several Laoag City Elementary School teachers and parents to the planned conversion of the school lot into a commercial area, the Laoag City government, the Catholic Church and Bellagio Holdings, Inc. signed a memorandum of agreement effectively initiating the conversion of the said lot.
The 80-yearl old Laoag Central Elementary School building located at the heart of Laoag City is “an authentic Gabaldon style school building,” National Historical Institute (NHI) chairperson Ambeth Ocampo said in a certification recently issued.
The NHI certification was issued on January 21 and it also stated that “While it is not a declared national historical landmark, we strongly encourage the provincial and local government to conserve and preserve this structure and we are committed to send technical support if required.”
Heritage conservation advocates and supporters against the proposed conversion of the LCES into a mall received a boost after Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus came out with separate statements supporting the Provincial Government’s initiative to protect local heritage sites and structures. Recently, the National Historical Institute has certified that Laoag Central Elementary School is an authentic Gabaldon style school building.
Ten Years of Excellence! The Ilocos Norte athletes with their coaches and trainers have again shown their superiority in the Ilocos Region Athletic Association with a historic 10th straight year record. Topping almost all fields, the athletes were highly motivated and well supported by no less than IN’s sports guru, Gov. Michael M. Keon. February 22-27, 2009.
Batac, Ilocos Norte – Will local residents here say goodbye to their cityhood status after the Supreme Court denied a motion for reconsideration of its earlier decision to strip the cityhood status of several newly converted cities, including this city?
On March 31, Supreme Court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the newly converted cities with a vote of 6-5, affirming their ruling in November last year.
While Batac officials have yet to issue an official statement on the matter, THE ILOCOS TIMES learned that their lawyers are still seeking possible remedies and further appeal before the High Court.
Earth hour participants from various stakeholders gathered at the Provincial Capitol on March 28 around candles that formed the number “60”, signifying lights out for 1 hour.
Patients of the Gov. Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH) can now avail of the services of a state-of-the-art CT scan following the donation of St. Luke’s hospital of the medical equipment to the province. In the turnover ceremony at the provincial hospital on May 16, Ilocos Norte Gov. Michael M. Keon along with hospital doctors and staff formally received the donation from Dr. Jovencio Cuanang, St. Luke’s representative.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) – National Committee on Museum (NCOM) Executive Committee unanimously agreed that Laoag City be one of the three venues selected for the International Museums Day (IMD) Celebration.
IMD 2009 is a three day celebration which will be held on May 18, 21 and 25, 2009, in Laoag City (Ilocos Norte), Batangas City and Bacolod City respectively. The theme for this year’s. celebration is “Museum and Heritage Tour ism.” Gameng – Museo Ilocos Norte will host the celebration in Laoag City.
After being the first in Southeast Asia to host a wind farm, Ilocos Norte is set to become a biodiesel producer in the province as Japanese investors have signified their intent to develop more coconut farms and biodiesel plants in Northern Philippines.
If plans don’t miscarry, Rep. Roque R. Ablan Jr. (1st district, Ilocos Norte), said on June 24 that the Pacific Bio-Fields Holdings, Inc., a leading coconut biodiesel producer in Japan and the Philippines has allotted an initial P3.5 billion for massive planting of coconut trees in government-owned plants.
Several barangays, covering at least seven municipalities in Ilocos Norte went underwater while some were isolated on July 17 as torrential rains brough abour by typhoon Isang flooded rice fields, national highways and residential areas.
July 27 – August 02
The diversified features of Ilocos Norte as a tourist attraction has put the province as the 10th top tourist destination in the country for the period 2008 up to the first quarter of this year.
Among the best features in Ilocos Norte that every visitor must see and experience include natural, cultural and sports facilities, Gonzales said because Ilocanos take pride of their rich cultural heritage sites like the Paoay Church, the century-old Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the newly build windmills, crystal clear waters, waterfalls, museums, rock formations, sand dunes as well as water sports facilities for scuba diving, surfing and kayaking, among others.
A total of 40 wind turbines, expected to generate 80 megawatts of electricity, will soon be erected in Pagudpud, the northernmost town of Ilocos Norte, after the Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corp., an affiliate of UPC Renewables, one of the fastest growing wind developers in the world, launched its wind-power development project here in Ilocos Norte.
Batac, Ilocos Norte-A 10-year old pupil of the Immaculate Conception Academy in this town won a bronze medal in the 2009 Primary Math Olympiad held in Tianjin, China.
Rafael Adriano Nalupta, son of Batac Vice Mayor Ronald Allan M. Nalupta and Nieves Nalupta, represented the Philippines along with 45 other math wizards from the country in the annual math competition held August 9-14, 2009.
Taiwanese tourists are back in the province as international flights at the Laoag International Airport have resumed.
About 64 passengers on board a chartered plane touched down at LIA on August 14 from Taipei. Mandarin Airlines also resumed its Kaoshung-Laoag flights.
Both chartered planes will be flying to Laoag every Tuesday and Friday.
Currimao, Ilocos Norte – Lorenzo Rey G. Ruiz, 58, of Dingras, Ilocos Norte and board of directors president of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative was shot dead by a still unidentified gunman on September 4, 2009 as he was alighting from his service vehicle to attend a board meeting on the cooperative’s substation in this town.
Ruiz suffered multiple gunshot wounds on his head, neck and chest.
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila – Indigenous materials including corn ear leaves, dried fruits from wild trees that grow in Ilocos Norte’s farmlands and forests were used in designing Ilocos Norte’s exhibit display at the 20th Philippine Travel Mart and which wowed thousands of local and foreign viewers here.
Adorned with Ilocos Norte’s local products like abel, garlic, basi, vinegar, wild fruit wines as well as natural resources such as pebbles, salt and others, the exhibit also displayed mounted photographs of the province’s historical, scenic and man-made attractions, including informative materials packaged in tourism brochures and leaflets, the Ilocos Norte exhibit display later earned the highest votes from judges as it emerge d as the overall winner in the exhibit competition under the provincial category.
Laoag City once again shone in the national spotlight as it won first place in the Best Booth competition in the recently concluded Philippine Travel Mart 2009 held at SM Mega Mall in Mandaluyong City.
Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena on September 11 as one of the highlights in commemorating the 92nd birth anniversary of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos. A simultaneous medical mission activity participated by local doctors, nurses and other volunteers from the province and Metro Manila was also held at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac on the same day.
Piddig, Ilocos Norte – When asked if they know Teofilo Yldefonso, most Ilocanos here would probably have no clue. But this is set to change after the National Historical Institute (NHI) built a marker in this town’s plaza on September 21 featuring a colored statue of the man whom the NHI recognized as the first Filipino Olympian and the only back-to-back Olympic medalist of the Philippines.
Born in Barangay 4, Sitio Bayog here in Piddig, Ilocos Norte on November 4, 1903, Lt. Teofilo Yldefonso is a great swimmer and a gallant soldier who introduced the modern breaststroke in swimming.
Damages in agriculture and infrastructure from the devastation wrought by typhoon “Pepeng” (Parma) have reached an estimated P450,636,562.52 as of October 9, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council reported.
Paoay, Ilocos Norte – Local residents living near the Paoay Lake in this town were forced to evacuate their houses on October 8 after torrential rains and strong winds pushed waters from the lake to spill over residential areas. The Paoay Lake used to have“below par” water level but with the recent typhoon “Pepeng” (Parma).
Ilocos Norte gov’t taps private firms to manage convention center to ensure that the newly constructed hotel and convention center will be professionally managed and would be able to generate more revenues to maximize the peoples’ money used in building the P475-million project, the Ilocos Norte provincial government, under the administration of Gov. Michael M. Keon, is set to engage the expertise of Paramount Hotel and Facilities Management Corporation, and the Philippine Exhibit and Theme Park Corporation PETCO), two groups known in running big hotels and convention centers around the country and abroad.
Museo Ilocos Norte celebrates 10th year anniversary; the history continues.