PREPARATION. A worker on a boom lift fixes the new welcome arc of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, along the Gilbert Bridge, in this undated photo. Laoag is preparing for the Pamulinawen Festival on Thursday (Feb. 10, 2022), a non-working holiday in the city. (PNA photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The Pamulinawen Festival will be celebrated here on February 10 despite the threat of Covid-19.

Malacañang has declared it a special non-working day under Proclamation No. 1088 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

The Pamulinawen Festival’s new normal edition will conform with minimum health and safety protocols, as approved by the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Pamulinawen is an Ilocano folk song about a tough woman.

As per tradition, a band will march around the city at the first light of day, followed by a Mass and a theatrical presentation, dubbed Comedia Ilocana, featuring a moro-moro (scripted) fight due to the forbidden romance between a prince and princess.

The Pamulinawen day also celebrates Feast of St. William the Hermit, the city's patron saint.

"As the Pamulinawen Festival was originally in honor of our patron saint, St. William the Hermit, the Comedia has portrayed how Christianity has affected our lives then and now. It is a reminder that our relentless faith will always get us through even the darkest of times,” city tourism officer, Ana Carmela Remigio, said in an interview on Saturday.

Other activities include an agro-industrial fair and fiesta at the Aurora Park, Miss Laoag beauty pageant, pet show, 4x4 sand dune challenge, and fluvial parade.

Laoag still has 328 active Covid-19 cases as of Friday. (PNA)