A Look Back at the Rambak Art Exhibit and Auction

Written by GDS

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The end of May marked the conclusion of the first ever Pagwanawanan Festival, a collaborative effort by patrons of art and culture in La Union. The month-long festival was initiated to highlight the skills and talent of some of the province’s local artists. Being a part of the Ilocos region, La Union’s artistic sensibilities have intrinsically been woven with core values treasured most by the Ilokano: hard work, resourcefulness, simplicity, and practicality.

Values are a collective representation of principles, motivations, and attitudes that influence the very essence of our being. Be it an individual or a community, they shape our worldview as well as the multitude of concepts that give us ideas. Going hand in hand with art and culture, values can be viewed as a framework through which people create tales and stories that speak of the things which we hold near and dear to our hearts.

The Pagwanawanan Festival offers a reflection of these ideals through classical and contemporary mediums such as visual arts, crafts, music, and film.

Inaugurating the list of events lined up for the Pagwanawanan Festival is an art exhibit and auction held at the Crete Function Hall of Thunderbird Hotel and Resort last May 12, 2017. The exhibit, entitled Rambak – Rabii ti Pammadayaw or “Celebration – A Night of Paying Tribute”, will have a portion of the proceeds go to LU Soul’s eco-literacy projects that go hand-in-hand with community livelihood programs for the Month of May to June 2017. LU Soul founder Tina Antonio and Peter Nang, Vice President of the second district of La Union, gave the opening remarks through a video presentation.

Artwork from members of the Artists Guild of La Union (AGLAUN) and three guest artists from Manila were on display at the event. Here are their creations:

There were also several musical and dance performances given by various groups originating from La Union. The DSWD Choral opened the festivities with a solemn hymn entitled “How Great Thou Art” followed by the Philippine National Anthem. The choral also serenaded guests with traditional Ilocano songs while refreshments were being served later on, giving stirring renditions of “No Duadem Pay” (If You Still Doubt) and “Pamulinawen” (Stone-Hearted Lady).

Members of the Indigenous Peoples of Pugo gave the first of two dance performances of the night with a tribal dance called “Patudan”.


They were followed by the group Sala Ti Ubbing (Dance of Children) who performed “Sayaw sa Kawayan” (A Dance in Bamboo).

In between these two dance performances, the musical group TRIO delivered a tribute to their home province with a song of their own composition entitled “La Union Probinsiya ti Ayat” (La Union the Province I Love).

Lastly, the evening was drawn to a close by Rigel, Sifra, and Kathleen; performance artists who are all members of AGLAUN who all performed two traditional Ilokano songs apiece. Rigel sang “Ti Ayat Ti Maysa Nga Ubing” (The Love of a Small Child)  and “O Naraniag A Bulan” (Oh Bright Moon). Sifra gave renditions of “Isem” (Smile) and “Bannatiran” ( a local specie of bird with a “come and go nature”, acting as a metaphor for love). Kathleen concluded with the exhibit’s final songs: “Toy Karayo” (This Affection) and “Dungdungwen Kanto” (I Will Take Care of You).

Through these events, we can spark the spirit of artistry and creativity in our local community by expressing appreciation and supporting the continuance of tradition.

The Rambak Art Exhibit and Auction was spearheaded by the La Union Conventions and Visitors Bureau (LUCVB) together with La Union Soul. The La Union Conventions and Visitors Bureau (LUCVB) is a non-stock, non-government organisation under North Philippines Visitors Bureau and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) that promotes tourism through events and partnerships.

La Union Soul is community building eco-tourism effort involving various private, public and NGOs. The movement is keen to ensure the preservation of marine life and livelihoods in the “surfing capital of the North” with the aim to protect the local economy, its local stakeholders and our reliance on clean, safe and secure waters for all living creatures.