Ilocos Norte summer fest to feature "Camp Himala" on Paoay desert

Apr 12, 2018 ...

The first-ever "Camp Himala" will be held on the Paoay Sand Dunes this April 27-29, 2018, as an added activity of the sixth "Himala! Sa Buhangin" Arts and Music Festival set on April 28.

Mr. Xavier Ruiz, tourism operations officer of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer (INTO), shared that the camp would have both creativity and resiliency or disaster-preparedness as components.

"They'll also be having basic survival trainings, leadership development, as well as environmental principles, instilling in them the value of taking care of our environment after an event, for example," he said, adding that this was INTO's answer to numerous requests to "extend" the Himala festival.

The camp will be a joint event of INTO, the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO), the Provincial Communications and Media Office (CMO), and the Suba Off-Road Drivers Association, who operate the 4x4 vehicles used to traverse the sand dunes.

There being a degree of difficulty of the camp, an age limit of at least 18 years has been set.*

Ruiz added, "This is also an opportunity to instill among our 4x4 drivers to diversify the activities that they offer: not just sandboarding or dune-bashing, but also other tourism activities like camping."

The actual Himala! Sa Buhangin Festival will feature pop-rock band Aegis, the 90's group behind classic songs "Luha," "Halik," and "Basang-basa sa Ulan."

As to art installations, they will feature kinetic sculptures made of recyclable materials and powered by the desert winds, said Ruiz.

La Milagrosa's canonical coronation to highlight prov'l fiesta

With the Himala camp and festival kick-starting the La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta, the entire season will be highlighted by the canonical coronation of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, the provincial patroness, on May 31.

Ruiz added that "it will also be the time that the St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Badoc will be declared as a minor basilica, so we expect a surge in visitors, especially for pilgrimage tourism."

Minor basilica is an honor and a title given to Roman Catholic church buildings, granting several privileges, including the right to include the papal symbol of the crossed keys on the church banners and the right of the rector to wear a distinctive mozzetta over his surplice.


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