Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ilocos Norte government scholars get stipend

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Laoag City—At least 208 college scholars of the Ilocos Norte provincial government have received their stipend.

Each scholar received P4,500 in cash for the months of June and July and a certificate. The scholars received their stipends at the La Tabacalera function hall in this city.

These students are enrolled mostly at the Mariano Marcos State University and at the Divine Word College of Laoag and Data Center.

Handed by members of the Committee on Education composed of Provincial Social Welfare and Development officer Lilian Rin, acting education department head Matilde Neri, Provincial Planning and Development officer Pedro Agcaoili, Communication and Media officer June Arvin Gudoy and Provincial administrator Windell Chua.

Jean Marie Antonio, a resident of Solsona town and a fourth year student of MMSU taking up Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management said she is blessed for being a scholar of the provincial government since her first year in college.

She said her monthly stipend is a great help for her parents to sustain her education.

Aside from enjoying free tuition fee, a provincial government scholar is also entitled for P2,250 monthly allowance and book allowance.


Urging fellow scholars to study hard, she said her being a scholar inspires her to finish education so that she may be able to help her parents once she gets employed after graduation.

LC urges establishments to promote tourism industry

By Dominic B. Dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city government here is urging local business establishments to help in the promotion of the city’s tourism industry.

To speed up this process, the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently passed a resolution requesting establishments to also display shirts with the printed name of the city or any other landmark in the city.

Laoag councilor Joseph H. Tamayo, sponsor of the measure, said that the shirts he usually sees being worn in the city are printed with the names of the country’s different cities or features their prime tourism destinations.

He then said he decided to craft the resolution to urge local businesses to also print display shirts that feature Laoag.

Mr. Tamayo also enjoined the public to create unique designs for the city’s tourist spots as a means to attract domestic and foreign tourists.

He added that this will also promote the city whenever and wherever these shirts are worn.

Mr. Tamayo disclosed further that only a few establishments in the city offer such shirts and tourists, especially foreigners, are having a hard time finding shirts to buy.

Meanwhile, Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas welcomed the resolution as she said this is another way to promote the city.

The city government is also studying where to put up a permanent “Pasalubong Center” in the city.

Presently, two centers have been put up by the city, at the Aurora Park and at the Laoag City Commercial Center.


The “Pasalubong Center” will be included in the planned “Empanada Center” to which the mayor is hopeful would be realized next year if funds for the project becomes available.

PH: Asia`s fastest rice producer

The Philippines, which achieved 97-percent rice self-sufficiency last year, is now the Asia`s fastest rice producer after registering a 4.04 -percent average change improvement in milled rice production from 2010-2013.

Data from the World Market and Trade of the US Department of Agriculture showed that from 9.77 million metric tons of milled rice recorded in 2011, production increased to 10.99 million metric tons last year.

With the produce, the Philippines surpassed major rice exporters including China and India, which showed an improvement of 1.55 and 3.77 percent, respectively. Thailand, a leading rice exporter, only posted a 0.39-percent change difference in milled rice production.

Tom Slayton, former editor of The Rice Trader and co-author of an article on how rice price crisis could be prevented from becoming a hunger crisis, noted that Philippines, considered a key importer in the world rice trade, posted zero imports that was maintained at 1.50 million metric tons during the last two years.

Bangladesh occurred a 0.25-change difference in imports from 2012 to 2013, while China, although one of the largest rice producers in the world, registered 0.10 difference.

Relating the world rice production data to regional rice industry integration in Asia, researchers Tin Htut Oo, Tim Maung Shwe, and Larry Wong said the “increasing private sector efforts in integrating increasingly ASEAN-wide modern farming and modern economic activities along agri-food supply chains and international trading networks could and should be harnessed and leveraged to complement and supplement on-going government efforts [towards food security in Asia].”

In a related development, the Philippine Rice Research Institute and International Rice Research Institute, an international independent research and training organization with headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, recently signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on conducting researches and promoting technologies.

PhilRice and IRRI will also share information on researches conducted in the country, and provide intensive training among collaborators. 


In a forum conducted in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Sec. Proceso J. Alcala of the Philippine Department of Agriculture recently assured the farmers and the public that his department will “work harder so that the rice that we’ll serve on our table will be planted and harvested in the country.” (PhilRice)

Enter the Dragon


By Stephen T. Barreiro

Once hard hit by the liberalization of garlic imports, agriculture in Ilocos Norte is experiencing a renaissance with the increasing demand for the dragon fruit, a variety of fruit bearing cactus with distinctive agronomic properties particularly suited for Ilocos Norte’s warm dry climate and predominantly sandy loam soil.

Relative ease of propagation, minimal crop maintenance, short turnaround time between planting and harvesting (1-2 years) as compared to other common fruit bearing trees or plants; multiple harvests (8-10 harvests) and high yields (10-30 kilos per harvest) for single healthy plant in a year all combine to make the dragon fruit a highly viable commercial crop. To top it all, a healthy plant with proper care lives and produces fruit for 20-30 years.

When first introduced in Ilocos Norte in 2006, the dragon fruit was looked upon with curiosity and considered as merely an exotic plant. Increasing consumer awareness however has led to the acceptance and consumption of the dragon fruit as a staple fruit. Increasing consumer acceptance and demand has led to the constant availability of dragon fruit in markets and stores. It is now common to see dragon fruit beside such traditional consumer fruit staples as bananas, mangoes, and imported fruits as apples and grapes.

The success of Refmad farms, one of the pioneers in dragon fruit cultivation in Ilocos Norte has spurred many farmers as well as other public and private entities such as cooperatives, schools, and barangays to adopt dragon fruit cultivation in the province.

Refmad farms initially began dragon fruit production in 2005 as a backyard venture. According to Refmad farms founder and owner, Editha Dacuycuy, she initially thought of producing dragon fruit after reading up on its purported health benefits, for her family’s consumption. Consumer awareness of this new, delicious fruit gradually spread first through word of mouth from neighbors and friends.

In 2008, Refmad farms planted an initial hectare to accommodate increasing consumer demand. The success of the farm attracted attention from both governmental and private agencies and institutions such as the Department of Agriculture and Mariano Marcos State University, both of which initiated partnerships with the farm with the aim of enhancing production efficiency and quality. One initiative is in both agencies imparting technical support to enable Refmad farms dragon fruit production to be certified as organic; a must for acceptance in the higher end of the consumer market.

According to Refmad farms manager Mimie Dacuycuy (the daughter of founder Editha), a hectare can accommodate 2,000-2,500 cacti. Production costs for a hectare come up to P1.8 million for 2000 plants as an initial outlay or an average of P900 per single fruit producing cactus plant with an expected return of investment (ROI) in three years given current market prices ranging from P80-130 per kilo.  Propagation with cuttings which reduces the expense of purchasing planting materials, reduces costs per hectare to P1.6 million or an average of P800 per plant.

The initial outlay is used to build posts which support the growing dragon fruit plant and purchase planting materials. After startup, care of the plant is not labor intensive nor does it require intensive training or work experience. Once planted, maintenance is minimal consisting mostly of monitoring for excessive water, pest infestation or blight. Harvesting is simple; I, a city born, bred and raised guy with no previous farming experience was given a three-minute lecture and armed with a pair of hand cutters, I harvested 11 kilos in 15 minutes.

Refmad farms success has spurred cultivation and production of the fruit in all towns and cities of Ilocos Norte. The fruits preference for easily drained sandy loam soil has also enabled hundreds of hectares of erstwhile unproductive land deemed unsuitable for viable agricultural production of such typical water intensive crops as rice, to become usable and profitable from the production of dragon fruit. Further Ilocos Norte’s dry and mainly sunny climate is highly conducive to the propagation of the dragon fruit plant. According to Mimie Dacuycuy, Ilocos Norte is the country’s leading producer of the red variety, locally called “saniata”, and has become known as the “Dragon fruit (red variety) capital of the Philippines”.

Current trends in consumer preferences towards a healthier lifestyle augur well for increasing consumer demand and for the prospects of dragon fruit production. Though, other provinces in the Philippines have also adopted dragon fruit cultivation in particular, Cavite (white variety) and Davao (yellow and white varieties), Ilocos Norte farmers as one of the pioneers have sought further improvements and refinements to  crop production to ensure its hold and even expansion from its current market share.

Through such agencies as the Department of Agriculture and Mariano Marcos State University, not only is the basic technical knowledge of how to propagate dragon fruit made readily available to the public; also, such innovations as how to produce 100% organically grown certified fruit and the materials needed such as organic plant and herb derived pesticides are also made available to growers.

According to Refmad farms’ Mimie Dacuycuy, such innovation has enabled them to maintain the relatively high prices for their produce (P100-130 per kilo) by demand of their products in the high end market niche particularly for Metro Manila. Further, these high quality fruits are expected to be competitive in the emerging export markets.

The rapidly burgeoning dragon fruit industry has also spawned derivative products such as processed foods like dragon fruit flavored ice cream and yogurt. Further, other products such as vinegar and wine derived from dragon fruit have been recently introduced thus providing ever- increasing opportunities for growers.


The Dragon has always been a symbol of prosperity in the Orient. Like Its namesake, the dragon fruit has the potential indeed to propel the agricultural industry in Ilocos Norte to new heights of prosperity.

Fathoming God’s love

WE need to know the real essence of love, its true and ultimate dimensions, its theoretical and practical implications, its source, power and goal, its pattern, ways and manifestations.

Though it is an endless exercise, it would always be worthwhile since from that effort is derived everything that is true, good and proper to us. Especially if done in earnest, such effort generates vitality, health, meaning and joy in our life.

As much as possible we should try to stay clear from an understanding of love that is based only on feelings, instincts, sensual urges, or on some social trends and fads that often trivialize and distort love even as they make a lot of hype about it.

Not even should we rely merely on some ideological, philosophical or cultural and historical factors. They may give something valuable, but if they are not grounded on the real source and power, which is no other than God, they can mislead us.

God, for sure, is everything that we need to go to not only know but also live the true love meant for all of us. He is the creator, the source of all things good and true, the very foundation of reality.

He is the very author of love who loved us first and continues to love us no matter what. We can only love properly if our loving is based on his, if it is inspired and energized by his. No true love exists, much less, prospers, if it does not begin and end with God.

This love, in its fullness, has been revealed to us by Christ. More than that, this love, again, in its fullness, is given to us by Christ through the many instrumentalities he himself has left us—his living word, his sacraments, the Church, etc.

That is why he makes himself the standard of our loving. “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another, as I have loved you…” (Jn 13,34) We should let these words to sink deep in our mind and heart, making them the soul of our life.

And how does Christ love us? Aside from the basic goodness of creating us and endowing us with such great gifts that we have become the masterpiece of God’s creation, he has forgiven us our sins by assuming all our sinfulness and dying to it to rise from it.

In this way, he gives us the means to liberate ourselves from our sinfulness. It is for us to die with Christ so that we too will rise with him. Our death should not just be a matter of the collapse of our vital organs. It has to be a death with Christ. We have to be more attentive to the religious dimension of death than to its physical aspects.

And that means we have to love God and everyone else all the way, in spite of all. If we look at Christ closely, we know that he was very compassionate with everyone. He gave special attention to the sick, the deaf, dumb and lame. This is an attitude that we should continually develop in ourselves.

And more than those who were sick, Christ gave utmost attention to sinners. He knew these were the ones who needed the most of him, who needed what truly mattered in our life, our own eternal salvation and joy with God in heaven.

If we are interested in fathoming the love of God for us, we have to examine ourselves and see the kind of attitude we have toward those who may have offended us. This is where we can see whether we have true love for God and for others.

Does our reaction toward those who may have offended us one way or another reflect Christ’s reaction toward sinners? Are we quick to forgive and forget? Are we even willing to bear the consequences of their misdeeds, yes, even all the way to the cross?

This is the litmus test of our love. We have to be wary of our tendency to pursue the cause of justice outside of the context of charity. To be sure, justice without charity is not true justice. At best, it may appear like justice, but it would end up only as a shell without the substance.


We need to remember that we have to distinguish between the sin and the sinner. The sin, we have to hate, but the sinner, we are obliged to love and to do everything to convert him into a saint.

Northwestern University hosts black sand mining forum


Students are all ears during the forum (Tina Tan photo)

By Stephen T. Barreiro
IT staff

Northwestern University, in line with its progressive thrust in tackling the latest issues, hosted the first forum on the controversial issue of black sand mining in Ilocos Norte on August 20, 2014.

Dubbed “The 1st Black Sand Mining Forum” in Ilocos Norte, the forum was organized by the Kwago Society, a cause oriented citizen watchdog group based in NU led by its president, Jenny Simon, together with the Natural Sciences and  Social Sciences and Humanities departments of NU, Kabataan Party List, Defend Ilocos, and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.

The forum was a “revelation” according to the organizers. Forum organizer and NU professor Shermon Cruz stated that students, professors and concerned citizens, were exposed to the real dynamics of mining particularly black sand mining and its effect and impact on public safety and its risks, government enforcement issues, economic risks and food security concerns, poverty incidence, resilience, and climate change.

Further, Mr. Cruz stated that conclusions that were derived from the forum were that the threat of continued black sand mining (BSM) is real with a possibility that mining operations may even expand significantly in the near future with over 50 BSM applications pending and awaiting approval from the national government.

The forum panel (Tina Tan photo)
Also discussed was that resistance efforts and initiatives from local government units and particularly from an enlightened and vigilant citizenry are “game-changers” in the fight to prevent mining activities and its well documented adverse effects.

Mr. Cruz also called on the local governments to enforce the provisions of the Ilocos Norte Environment Code of 2007 which mandates transparency and public consultation in all mining applications, large and small scale.

The organizers also thanked the panel of speakers and reactors that included representatives from the local government, national government agencies, concerned citizen and pro-environmental groups, and the media.

Panelist and Sanggunian Panlalawigan member Atty. Joel Garcia clarified his stand in authoring the initial resolution calling for a total ban on black sand mining then authoring another, a subsequent “infamous” resolution amending the total ban to one allowing a rationalized approach in allowing black sand mining; a draft resolution that was later withdrawn after a public hearing on the issue that was participated in by cause and pro-environmental groups including the Roman Catholic Church all of whom expressed their opposition to all black sand mining.
SP member Atty. Joel Garcia (Tina Tan photo)

Atty. Garcia also raised the issue that whereas the provincial government has expressed the sentiment that they are against black sand mining in Ilocos Norte, the national government through the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 can overrule the local government and allow black sand mining operations to continue in the province.

Atty. Garcia however said that he will attempt to oppose all such resolutions in the future.


The panel of reactors, led by Veronica Tina L. Tan and Madonna Rabang, who represented the NGO and pro-environment groups, exhorted the audience to be vigilant, to speak out and let their voices be heard and to write letters to their congressmen, opposing mining activities in Ilocos Norte.

Friday, August 29, 2014

SAY IT AIN’T so.


SAY IT ain’t so.

Just days before the 31st death anniversary of Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr., his son and namesake—and incumbent President—Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III has floated the idea of amending the Constitution to allow Presidents to run for reelection.

This surprised many Filipinos—both supporters and critics alike. The critics though harped on the idea of a new dictator in the making. True blue—or yellow—Aquino supporters were also stunned, flabbergasted and disappointed.

This was, after all, the reluctant presidential candidate in 2010; who after prodding and pleading decided to run for the country’s top post. Out of time and out of funds, Mr. Aquino won on the wings of the love given by the Filipino peoples to his then recently-deceased mother, former President Corazon “Cory” C. Aquino.

Now, four years later, PNoy is singing a different tune. Floating the very idea is already considered a sin; that it was his mother who fought tooth and nails to have the term limits for all elected officials to be included and to have the same Constitution ratified in 1987—this is now nothing short of betrayal for all the ideals and of principles of both his parents.

His father wanted to be President but a lone bullet in Aug. 21, 1983 ended that ambition. That end however became a start for his widow who would be swept to the presidency less than three years later by a peaceful revolt. Now the son became what the father cannot, but would Ninoy Aquino have felt the same messianic complex that now seems to permeate his only son?

His mother was counting the days when her term was coming to an end. She could have run for reelection as she was not yet covered by the Constitutional ban then, but she chose to retire to private life quietly. It may not be a stretch of the imagination to think that the reelection and amendment bugs haven’t been prevalent during her term as she is now the only post Martial Law President who didn’t want reelection.

Her son, apparently, was cut from a different cloth as he now thinks otherwise. PNoy insists he listens to his bosses—the Filipino people, according to him; but his bosses are now thinking that what he actually meant is “boses” or voice. And since he keeps using this word in plural form, it translates to “voices”, and that he actually listens to voices—from where we don’t know. It could be the voices of his officials and advisers, or worse voices in his head.

But what PNoy doesn’t seem to understand is the very fact that the term limits were put into place to prevent another President from perpetuating himself into power. That he wants to decimate this speaks volumes.

He may not be aware of it, but the reasons he is presenting is very similar to what Ferdinand E. Marcos was presenting then before he declared Martial Law and himself as President-for-life. He is seemingly afflicted by the same messianic tendency that he now sees himself as the only person capable of reforming the country and propelling it to progress.


We all know what happened to Mr. Marcos and it would serve Mr. Aquino to heed the lesson well. Especially since this was given by his parents. And his idea would not only be a betrayal of what his parents believed in, but more so a betrayal of the Filipino people who gave him an overwhelming mandate in 2010. (MTE)

As land owners receive payments: Soon to rise, finally: SM City Laoag

From a city with small, homegrown groceries and department stores that close at 6:00 p.m., Laoag City in the past couple of years has built a reputation as a retail mecca, with big stores sprouting faster than you can say “cheese”... or “Sy.”

In December 2009, Robinsons Ilocos Norte (San Nicolas technically but is geographically almost Laoag) was the first national retail chain to open in the Ilocos Region. It was followed by three others, all located in Laoag: SM SaveMore in December 2011, SM HyperMart in October 2012, and PureGold in November 2012. Another SaveMore branch will open in San Nicolas before the end of this year. Of the five, however, only Robinsons is a full-service mall with a department store, supermarket, cinemas, a food court, an array of shops, and an activity area. To many (including myself whose fond memories of SM began during our high school field trips in Manila), the Ilocos mall scene will never be complete without a full, honest-to-goodness SM.

Even before Robinsons IN was built, there have been long-standing rumors that an SM Mall will rise in Laoag City. It has not, as you know, been realized. The search for a parcel of land big enough for the mall’s requirements took a long time. SM apparently wanted to have it in Laoag, not anywhere else, and, naturally, they wanted the place to be accessible. Conflicting pieces of information had circulated about SM having finally chosen a lot here and there, but nothing was credible enough to be believed, or at least for long.

In 2012, however, news spread that a land area along Brgy 51-B Nangalisan West (south of the river, road leading to Northwestern University) had been identified by SM Prime Holdings and that negotiations with various families that own the property were already underway. It was a difficult process, our informant (a Laoag City elected official) said, because of the usual process of having heirs of families, some of whom are based abroad, sign documents. SM also haggled with the families in terms of price. All of these went slowly but well, our informant said, and groundbreaking rites were expected as early as February last year, in time for the Laoag City Fiesta month. Alas, there was nothing.

The project hit a snag, our informant said, when officials of a government agency allegedly tried to extort P4 million from SM. Of course, this did not make mall executives happy, and they decided not to pay up. The project was thus derailed.

But all seems well now, says the informant. SM executives apparently sought the help of a top provincial official so they won’t have to lose millions to the alleged extortionists.

Indeed, the green light seems to be on and bright. Brgy. Chairman Romulo Bartolome of 51-B Nangalisan in an interview with this columnist said land developers recently sought his permission for the setting up of fences around the property where SM will rise. Furthermore, he disclosed that landowners have already received payments as much as 30 percent. According to Bartolome, the property measures around 9 hectares, 8 hectares of which is within his barangay while the rest belongs to nearby Nalbo. As Brgy. 51-B’s land area is only 28 hectares, over one fourth of the entire barangay will be occupied by SM. The people from the community seem upbeat about this development. Pedro de Lara, 70, a retired firefighter who is now a part-time tricycle driver says he expects a wave of progress in their barangay once SM City Laoag opens.

In the absence of another major snag, therefore, groundbreaking could be held in a few months and by then officials of Laoag City, which is now being increasingly known more for its malls than its sunshine, may finally sing with great joy, to the tune of the SM jingle, “We’ve got it all for you.”

*****

For pictures of the SM Laoag City site, visit herdylayumul.com

SOPA 2014: IN2020 The best little province in the country


(Delivered by Ilocos Norte Gov. Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos on  August 26, 2014 at the Plaza del Norte)

Apo bise gobernador, kakadwami nga miyembros iti junta probinsiyal, appo a mamayor ken sanggunian bayan, punong barangay ken kadagiti padak nga agserserbi iti ili, the honorable consul of the People’s Republic of China, Zhiao Quiaoliang; our good investors and businessmen, partners in progress and development; patpatgek a kailiak, naimbag a malemyo amin a sangapada.
Bimmangonen ti ilocos Norte, makitan dagiti adu a nagdur-asan ni Ilocano. Ta babaen ti alibtak tayo ket agtultuluyen ti panagbaliw ti aglawlaw. Ti panagdur-as ken pannakabigbig ti Ilocos Norte ket gapu iti gaget tayo amin, saan a gapu iti maymaysa laeng a sector wenno maymaysa nga ili, no dikket ti panagkaykaysa tayo: Ilocos Norte is great again!
Sama-sama tayo noong unang SOPA 2011 at paulit-ulit akong “Awan ti imposible”?  Tapos nung 2012 “One Great Ilocos Norte” naman—parang walang naniniwala noon, pati ako hindi sigurado kung saan tayo makakaabot. Kung sabagay fashion show naman ang SOPA, okey lang. Pero tignan niyo, ang dami nating nagawa! Wala man pumansin nung umpisa, ngayon walang kaduda-duda na malayo ang ating narating sa iilang taon, salamat sa inyong paniniwala, pakikilahok at pagkakaisa.
Wen, kabaelan tayo!
Yes, for all the naysayers and cynics, for all those of little faith, we have come a long way in four years. In 2011 we encountered a hollowed-out province, gutted by outmigration, poverty, crime and a dormant bureaucracy. Poverty in the coastal and mountain zones had climbed up from 21% in 2003 to 24% in 2010. We responded aggressively—food packs in the lean months, 16,000 scholarships per year, barangay roads, fishing boats, tools, and new agricultural packages
Napukawen ti kinakurapay. 9.9% laengen ti nabati pay, nasapsapa ngem 2015 nga nagun-od ti MDG, nga mabingay iti marigrigat.  Naparmeken ti maternal ken child mortality, ken pannakatay gapu iti dengue, rabies, ken chikungonya. Our efforts to reorganize the provincial hospitals, to rationalize and expand the PhilHealth system, and empower the BHWs, have raised the quality of life. Our Human Development Index ranks in the top 10 in the country, everyone who lives in Ilocos Norte is guaranteed the longest lifespan in the Philippines!
Matindi rin ang krimen—may high-profile murder, walang testigo o katibayan. Ngayon sa wakas bumalik na tayo sa katahimikan. Saluduan tay man dagiti pulis, soldado, dagitay taga Coast Guard ken dagitay barangay tanods, BPATS ken enforcers. We are the most peaceful province in Northern Luzon again, following anti-drug and illegal firearms campaigns. Crime clearance now stands at 73%, solution is at its highest at 59%, and there are fewer motorcycle-in-tandem shooting incidents. But we never take peace and order for granted. Anti-criminality, community intelligence, operations, the use of technology and forensic science all have to be prioritized. No mabalin, pasilawan tayo dagiti kalsada tapno agbuteng dagiti kriminal!
Hindi lihim na nakunsume ako sa sistema ng Capitolyo noon, nagngingitngit sa ilang empleyadong laging absent! Ngayon nagkakaunawaan na kami, at nakatutok ang digital Ilocano citizens, nagsusumbong sa text at tweet! I am very proud of our LGus who have earned the Local Government Seal of Good Housekeeping, and following the ISO of Laoag, the Province and our hospitals, nine municipalities are now ready for their own international ISO: Bacarra, Sarrat, Carasi, Curimao, Dingras, Marcos, Paoay, Pasuquin at San Nicolas. Congratulations sa aking mga kasangga!
Nakita tayon ket nangrugin ti panagbalbaliw ken mabigbig dagiti saririt ken laing tayo babaen iti narambak nga umuna a tawen ti Tan-ok Festival. Nagbukas ang Tabacalera at Wilcon, at blockbuster yung teleseryeng “Walang Hanggan” ni Coco Martin, starring Bangui Windmills at Burgos Lighthouse. 2012 agad pinasa ng provincial board ang EDC Burgos windmills. Inilunsad din sa Manila ang Paoay Kumakaway at ang Badoc Gateway naging unang tourist center. Abril ng 2012 dinagsa tayo ng daan-daang libong turista, na nagkaubusan ng pagkain at hotel! Pumasok noon ang Pagudpud windmill group.
Mayo dos ang unang Milagrosa at Himala sa Buhangin, kasabay ang pagbukas ng Savemore, shooting ng Enteng Kabisote at Agimat, at paglunsad ng Task Force Trabaho, tour guides at ILEA retail. Pinunla nung Hunyo yung premyo natin bilang top rice producer at Hulyo nag-province-wide rehab ng puno ang mango growers natin. Ilang buwan lamang andyan na rin ang Hypermart, Puregold at Johnny Moon digital media.
Kabaelan tay gayam! Babaen iti tulong yo amin! Tunggal adda SOPA nga ipagtangsit dagiti nasayaat nga naaramidan iti napalabas nga tawen. Ngem ti kinapudnu na, ditoy Ilocos Norte, dakayo iti makaigapo ken nangaramid ti panagbalbaliw—saan nga ti gobierno, saan a dagiti opisyales wenno babaknang, aglalo a saan a ti gobernadora, no di ket iti maysa ken maysa kadakayo a nangiduron tapno agbalbaliw iti napnuan saguday ti probinsiyatayo. Ilocos Norte is great again, and Ilocanos are greater still!
We have proven, to ourselves and to the world, that we have the will and the energy, the talent and commitment to transform our province. That sad, hollowed-out shell of migrating workers, decrepit infrastructure and desperate rural families is gone, and a vibrant new Ilocos Norte has taken its place. With hope and ambition let us now create a future for our families at home. So that IN2020 Ilocos Norte will truly be a home we can be proud of, the best little province in the country.
IN2020, what is that vision? After listening and planning with Ilocanos everywhere, let us more precisely name our targets.
We want to lengthen our lead in the areas in which we already lead the rest of the country—inclusivity, education and culture, and job creation. As we grow, we must maintain the social networks and compassion that are traditionally Ilocano. And while we embrace technology and all its devices, we will honor our culture, heritage and the values that define us as a people.
We want more and better jobs to provide adequately for our families, both in our cities and farflung rural areas. Every Ilocano must have the choice of working overseas or working here at home. But as our economy grows rapidly and diversifies, we will also safeguard the environment’s rare and fragile treasures.
We want finally to become a modern province, the best province in the country. With the momentum gained from recent development, we will use our natural resources and talents for the benefit of all Ilocanos. Still, as we modernize, we will manage urbanization, taking on the challenges of housing, transport and water management today while we still have the chance to map a sustainable Metro Ilocos.
IN2020, we want a province that we can say, of all the big cities and provinces in the country, Ilocos Norte is the best to live in. But to achieve this, we must plan—and yes, let us dream a little.
Ang pangunahing leksyon ng mga nakalipas na taon ay alam na ng bawat Ilocano: Umuna Edukasyon! Ngayon nasa 96.5% ang enrolment, halos wala ng OSY, at ang mga NAT score o National Achievement Test ay tumataas din: congratulations sa mga guro, estudyante at magulang ng Solsona National High School, Dumalneg at Bangui National High School at sa Badoc Pasuc-Parang Elementary, at Nagpatpatan Elem! Kayo ang katibayan na may K ako magyabang—ang tunay na produkto ng Ilocandia ay hindi bigas o tabako kundi mga Presidente, dahil sa kahabaan ng panahon, ang Presidente ng Pilipinas ay dugong Ilocanomatalino, masipag at tapat!
Now let us take education beyond the classroom, beyond age and place. Let us convert Ilocos Norte into a learning province, so that every field and beach is a science lab, a Heroes Walk is a library in the park, and Sirib buses become mobile movie houses.
Let us harness traditional customs as learning opportunities; Biagen tayo iti saranay, nga isut mangipalagip ti pinagtitinnulong, Dap-ayan nga usaren nga lugar a pagsursurwan dagiti ub-ubing, ken timpuyog- para iti panagkaykaysa nga manggun-od ti ballaigi tayo, ken ‘Apong’ para iti panangited panursuro iti sumaruno a kapututan. Ket babaen kadagitoy a nagkakauna nga kababalin ket ad-ada ken al-alisto nga masursuro.
Let us engage the elderly: my baby boomer generation, now 49 to 58 years old, will be senior citizens IN2020. Biglang dadami ang seniors sa loob ng ilang taon lang! Only lifelong learning will keep us young and vigorous. Lolas and lolos have much to teach the young, just as the young have a great deal to show us: history and computer skills, experience in exchange for Facebook and Twitter.
Ang mga iskolar ng probinsya ay nagbuo ng Sirib upang marinig ang kabataan. Nag-Sirib Express sa kolehiyo at high school, at ngayon mayroon leadership scholars at dalawang libo’t limang daang volunteers na binubunyag ang mga programa natin hanggang sa kasulok-sulukan ng probinsya. Agbiag dagiti agtutubo nga Ilocano! 2020 ay para sa kanila, sila ang tutupad sa ating mga pangarap.
Bagets ken bakets, pati nga Capitolyo naging eskwelahan na, nagte-training at nageempleyo ng sangkatutak na kabataan. Dalawampu’t lima lang ang nadatnan kung SPES o summer job noong 2009, naging 2,798 na bibong-bibong tourguides, clerks, IT, engineering trainees at kung anu-ano pa!
Palagay ko panahon nang pag-usapan din ang MMSU.  Our premier educational institution has begun to rethink its role in a quickly-diversifying economy. Originally focused on agriculture and forestry, bigger enrollments are now found in business, engineering, tourism and computer sciences. Our farmers also await from MMSU research and innovation that will impact their lives—when can indigenous Ilocano white garlic be developed into weightier, sturdier, new and more productive varieties?
Libreng managinip. IN2020 sana may handheld tablets na kaya ang mga klase at todo i-Hub na ang mga bayan. Sana maganda na ang Centennial at Stadium, at pati munisipyo, may sports hub—nasken malagipyo, kabaelan tayo!
Karamihan ng mga turista, pumupunta sa Ilocos Norte para makita ang Paoay Church, mapuntahan lahat ng Marcos Trail, matikman ang genuine bagnet ken empanada. Kaya’t dito sa atin, hindi luho o hilig lang ng mayayaman ang kultura, kundi hanapbuhay at industriya ng buong probinsya. Pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni ilocano, kayamanan natin ito. Napakalakas bumenta ng kulturang Ilocano!
Because every Ilocano was born with this immense heritage, all too often we take it for granted. We must urgently put in place a cultural strategy not merely to protect heritage sites and museums, but to promote art galleries and spaces, endow schools of architecture, design, literature, gastronomy, and renew vanishing indigenous cultures. In Ilocos Norte, culture sells, and for many among us today, heritage is our living.
The first conservation school in the country has been launched in Paoay CIT, to revive the classic trades of carpentry, wood-carving, handloom weaving, bricks and stone. The NCCA, Spain’s Escuela Talleres, and the Betis, Pampanga workshops are partnering with us. We watched with horror when the Bohol churches fell during the earthquake.
 Let us be mindful that after Bohol, our province has the most number of colonial churches. Only with long-term planning and fervent prayer can we safeguard them.
Bago tayo sumikat sa Instagram, ang probinsya, sumikat muna sa sine. Hanggang Thailand, at international Suddenly It’s Magic! Pati reality show sa Amsterdam shinooting dito. Nakakuha pa ng raket ang halos dalawang libong Ilocanong ekstra at support staff.  Starring na naman ang Ilocos Norte dahil sa rebulto ni Nora Aunor, ang Himala sa Buhangin humatak ng libu-libong Noranian at turista. Superstar talaga!
This October, Ilocos Norte’s creative and design industries will be the feature in FAME, the Department of Trade and Industry’s tradeshow in SMX Mall of Asia. It is a huge challenge, following Cebu and Pampanga, the powerhouses of export manufacture, and we are counting on your inabel, damili, baskets and furniture to do us proud! Kabaelan tay daytoy!
Tatlong Tan-ok na ang ating itinanghal, napatunayan na hindi lagi ang bayan na may pinakamalaking budget ang nananalo. Maski maliliit na munisipyo, mga tribu nagwawagi, pagkat malikhain, kaka-iba at kaakit-akit ang palabas. Ako ang unang humihiyaw sa gastos nitong events, Ilocana yata ang Gobernor niyo! Hindi bonggang costume o set ang humahatak ng tao at turista kundi kultura at katutubong talino!
Mapunta tayo sa aking paboritong paksa: trabaho! Kung dati mabagal ang pagdami ng trabaho, nakadagdag tayo ng labing siyam na porsyentong trabaho itong taon. Abot 44,609 jobs na ang dinulot ng Task Force Trabaho, higit doble sa ipinangakong 20,000! We have the highest employment rate in Region I, at 95.26%, higher also than the national average.
Ngem kurang pay! Trabaho pa rin ang utos ng pangangailangan, upang tayo’y maging pinaka-best, pinaka-best na probinsya. Nagbabago ngayon ang mga sector na maraming trabaho. Paunti ng paunti ang magsasaka at namimingwit, dumarami ang nagtratrabaho sa industriya, construction, transportasyon. Lalo’t higit na lumolobo ang service and retail workers, lampas triple ang dami ng namamasukan sa turismo, hotel, restawran atbp. Maraming oportunidad, ngunit kailangang paghandaan ang mga bagong job openings kundi mahuhuli at maiiwanan!
Sabi kasi ang Ilocano ay hindi papayag kapag walang diploma—pero aanhin naman ang diploma kung walang trabaho? Napakarami ng skills program, may K to 12 pa, ayaw kagatin dahil awan diploma. Magpakatotoo tayo, karamihan ng trabaho ay para sa skilled worker, hindi sa nars o titser! Madali nang pumasok, matataas pa ang sweldo! Aluminum fitter, master carpenter, hotel and restaurant work, lalo na bartender, telecoms, IT at healthcare, heavy equipment operator at iba pa. May Provincial Skills Masterplan na, kasama ng pribadong sektor, na tutugon sa mga in-demand na empleyo. Mag-training na tayopaspas dur-as!
While we have created new jobs, they are not always the sustainable quality jobs our families can depend on. An upsurge in retail employment accompanied the opening of the national chains in Metro Ilocos, but are they reliable? Tourism jobs remain seasonal and volatile, if indeed high-paying. At last, after a long wait international call centers are taking notice of our graduates and will be setting up shop. We will continue to partner with BPO’s to build on government property, and hopefully our local businessmen will join us too.
Ti pagserkan ti trabaho ket masarakan laeng iti ciudad. Arigna awan ti pagserkan kadagiti adayo a barangay. Addan programa BRO wenno Barangay Ranger Officers nga mangsalluad iti kabakiran. Siyak pay ket din ti madanagan, nu kasta nga marana da dagiti illegal loggers ken agtatakaw iti bonsai ta baka madisgrasya da.    
Babaen kadagiti nasurok a sangagasut a grupo ken federasyon dagiti naduma-duma a sector kas iti federasyon iti agmulmula iti bawang ken mangga- Babaen iti panagkaykaysa da, dimawat da iti tulong tayo tapnon matulungan da nga maipangato iti presyo da, nangted tayon ti kantedad tapno mapapintas pay ken umado ti apit da. Ti kayat ko nga idanun kadakayo nga no adda grupo yo al-alisto ti suporta ti gobyerno.
Marami na ring Manang at misis na nangutang sa Lacasa, Sea-K, OF-Red—dagdagan pa natin ang kanilang puhunan, dahil napakagaling ng Ilocanang magbayad: mabilis, buong-buo nakangiti pa.
Timmulong tayon ken adun iti trabaho nga naited kadagiti cailian tayo ngem ngimato iti lima nga porsiento dagiti magatgatang sapay lang ngimmato ti mabayadan ti BIR! Iti sumaruno a bulan ket rugyan ti probinsia ti Kadiwa Rolling Stores, kasla idi panawen daydi tatang ko. Agilako dagitoy a Kadiwa iti nalaka a presyo. Agbalin dagitoy a tulong kadagiti nakurapay!
Development in the mountainous east of Ilocos Norte lags behind, our rural folk are moving to the Metro Ilocos in record numbers: just a few decades ago, a mere 15% lived in the centros. IN2020 fully one-third of the province will live in Metro Ilocos. Urbanization is the phenomenon of our century. This year 2014 most people throughout the world are living in cities. Metro Ilocos will begin in the highway barangays of Batac—from Magnuang, Pimentel, Baay, Tabug -through Batac Centro, the Batac-Paoay Road and the crowded Paoay streets, most of San Nicolas’ barangays, to include all of Laoag City through Pasiocan in Bacarra. How do we avoid the pitfalls of urban sprawl, loggerjam traffic, water and other shortages that plague Metro-Manila, Cebu and other cities? Inggana nga adda pay panawen, masapol nga adda intay pagsasaritaan—Agtignay tayon!
Affordable city housing must be the first urban INitiative. The exorbitant cost of land, together with the opportunities offered by Metro-Ilocos to students, employees and aspiring workers are the deadly combination for illegal settlers and slums. We must provide housing finance, construct with private developers, and formulate a progressive legal framework. The province is building Adigi Housing in Batac, and is ready to start the Ayuyang Homes behind the Laoag stadium. This learning curve has shown us that we must diversify our housing efforts to address, above all, the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Unang-una, ang isyu ng lupa, na laging isyu sa atin. Ang gobyerno ang may- ari ng 75.51% ng lupa ng Ilocos Norte. Malaki ang landbank na ito. Kung sana ipagamit ng DENR, DAR atbp. national government offices ang nakatiwangwang na lupa sa pabahay ng  mga Ilocano!
Sa probinsya, tuloy-tuloy tayong namimigay ng Natalged nga titulo, 12,351 titulo na, ngunit daang libo pa rin ang inaantay. Datayo ngamin, satay lang agpatitulo nu masapol tay nga umutang, Dakayo no di kay agpatitulo baka tay daga yo mapukaw ngamin uray rabii umakar ta muhon yo!
Madalas, hindi kayang bumili ng mahihirap ng bahay kahit na ipinapatayo ng gobyerno. Kailangan may housing na paupahan o rental malapit sa eskwelahan, mga opisina at sentrong pinagtratrabauhan. Dahil ang pabahay ay bahagi lamang ng malawakang kampanya kontra sa kahirapan. Sa ilang may-ari o nangungupahan ng bahay, basic utilities ang dapat itulong ng gobyerno—tubig, linya ng kuryente, kalsadang ‘di nababaha. Yung iba may sariling lupa’t bahay, ngunit ang bahay naman ay marupok at peligroso. Sana’y mabigyan sila ng murang semento, hollow blocks, tubo, yero at sila na ang mag-ayos ng kanilang  tirahan.
We seek to offer a whole gamut of housing options, and in partnership with the private sector, develop a modern Metro Ilocos IN2020. There is much to build and government is prepared to provide incentives and support for businessmen who will join us. If only Pag-ibig and the national authorities would accept that socialized housing only succeeds when locally implemented, if they could devolve at least the collections from the province, IN2020 we would surely have a housing program to be proud of!
Ti panagbalay ket saan nga ordinaryo wenno kwentaem no manut magastos mo. Nu diketdi ti panagbalay ket maysa nga parte iti biag ni Ilocano nga uray adayo ka iti lugar tayo ket sika ti agtagikwa. Ta ngamin, uray innot ayan mo, agsubli ka latta!
INisyatibong bago rin ang transportasyon. Lahat ng bumibisita dito ay nabibighani: ang gaganda ng mga daan, wala namang masakyan! Sa plete nagagastos ang baon ng mag-aaral, nauubos ang oras ng empleyado at turista at pati si Mamang Tricycle dumadaing na mahina ang kita! Panahon nang ayusin ang transportasyon. ‘Wag tayong maghintay maging Metro Manilang sakal ng trapik. ‘Di maayos ng mga nagtuturuang ahensya at mayor!
With urbanization, transportation has become our economic destiny: jobs in the city are only available to those with transport access. Yet LTFRB still confines franchises to the 1970’s south-north Manila North highway. Despite immense road building efforts into the Cordillera, many eastern towns and our northern coast remain underserved.
Rugyan tayon ti ruta a Laoag-Sarrat agingganat Dingras, Piddig, Kasano ngarud met iti Marcos ken Solsona? Uray Sabado ken Domingo wenno aldaw tienda laeng. Awan serbi ti nagbannugan tayo nu idiay Batac-Banna Road ket awan agpasada, pati Banna-Nueva Era ket dandani kumpleton! Awan byahe nga Laoag-Pagudpud iti rabii nu kasta a dumateng dagiti turista manipud airport. Adu nga agpayso iti lugan ngem maawan da met nu kasta nga agsipnget. Addan nightlife idiay Laoag, San Nicolas ken Batac, hantay nga Promdin, ket sapay kuma ta makidanggay met dagiti jeep ken tricycle nga agpasada agingganat rabii!
Panawenen tapno intay mangbuangay iti Ilocos Norte Transport Authority tapno isu ti mangdengeg iti amin a sektor ken agplano para iti naannayas nga trapiko ken serbisyo. Tapno iti kasta ket maurnosen ti susik gapu ti out of line, boundary dagiti tricykelan, jeep ken bus.
Ang totoo kaming opisyal takot makialam sa transpo, basag-ulo lagi! Ngunit tingin ko sa umpisa lang madugo, bandang huli, lahat naman makikinabang sa maayos na daloy ng trapiko. Lalo kung mapa-baba pa natin ang plete at madagdagan ang bumabiyahe, jackpot! Handa ang probinsya mag-arkila o bumili ng mga sasakyan para sa tinatawag na “missionary route,” mga bagong ruta papuntang daya na baka hindi agad kumita. Malamang kailangan din natin magpatayo ng “terminal,” maayos na daungan at lipatan ng pasahero sa Dingras at Pasuquin, ayusin pa ang Batac terminal at magdagdag ng ikalawang terminal sa Laoag sa bandang airport. Iba’t-iba rin kasi ang sasakyan na ating kailangan—Elf o cargo panghakot ng palay o gulay, minibus sa turista patungong Pagudpud, 4 by 4 pang-Surong Valley? Sosyal! Kabaelan tayo !
There is no land in our crowded town centers to build more and more roads. Hence, we shall soon have to limit road use in the sentros at least during rush hours. Eventually, we also must manage the flow of private cars into Metro Ilocos but first let us provide diverse public transport options, build more pedestrian walkways to increase walking time, and IN2020 learn to use public bicycles on designated cycling paths.
Magbisikleta sa Laoag? Masaya rin ata tahakin ang Rizal Street, nakasakay sa trambiya na walang trapik, trambiya tapos lumakad at sumakay din ng tricycle? Enjoy din siguro ang water taxi mula Badoc at Currimao, Laoag, Pasuquin, Burgos, hanggang Bangui at Pagudpud? Anat panagkunam, kabaelan tayo?
Dalawa ang pakay ng mga turista dito sa Ilocos Norte: makita ang makasaysayang simbahan at museo, at mapuntahan ang kakaibang kalikasan ng sand dunes, Kapurpurawan at Pagudpud. Tunay na mayaman sa kalikasan ang ating probinsya!
Going green is part of our provincial DNA. Last week, we constituted a multipartite monitoring team for renewable energy projects. Ironically, despite their mission to provide clean energy, wind construction sites have not always observed local ordinances on quarrying, coral preservation, and the protection of endangered plant and marine life. In Ilocos Norte, let it be known that even the country’s biggest companies have to comply with law, the laws of man and of nature.
Thus a third provincial initiative seeks to address the extreme changes we have experienced in rain and water supply. Pagkat bawat taon umuunti ang ulan at patubig—yung dating 556mm na ulan tuwing Agosto, ngayon ay 270mm na lang.
Ti panawen ket saan nga maawatan. Ngamin, ti igaaw ket walo agingana iti sangapulo nga bulan, dua a bulan ket bagyo wenno layos. Ti amianan nga daya ti probinsya tayo, malmes ti tudo—ngem iti abagatan tayo, ket agrengreng-ngat ti daga. Ay, apo, anat aramiden tayo?
Tuloy-tuloy kasi tayong nag-aaksaya ng tubig: ang Ilocano raw ay matipid sa lahat ng bagay pwera sa tubig! Wag linulunod ang bukid, tipid ang bigas sa AWD, o Alternate Wet and Dry Method. Wag basta tinatapon ang tubig na pinaghugasan, tubig sa labada, dahil mahal ang tubig at pwede pang gamiting pandilig o panghugas.
But water conservation province-wide is not enough, new and bigger sources of water should also be developed. With over one-third of the population living in Metro Ilocos IN2020, an unparalleled demand for water will dry up ground and surface sources, putting pressure on meager catchment areas such as INWD’s Sitio Dilomot in Pasuquin. To provide potable water, we require an extensive new system of “3 provincial faucets”: watersheds first in upland Pasuquin and second in Vintar to supply Laoag, third heavy forestration around Paoay Lake to provide water for Batac and the south.
Already the mountains of Solsona and Dingras are perilously prone to landslides and flooding. Our dams in Cura, Papas, Labugaon, Madongan, Solsona and Nueva Era are damaged and inadequate. Together with 3 provincial faucets, we must begin to plant the “Green Wall of Ilocos Norte” a massive watershed of forest along the eastern mountains, which like the Great Wall of China, will protect our dams and fertile plains. By planting sturdy endemic species, we can prevent continued erosion, flooding and drought first in the highly vulnerable barangays Puttao, Sta. Ana, Nagpatpatan in Solsona, in Dingras Francisco, San Marcelino, Barong, then through Banna and Nueva Era, northwards to Piddig, Carasi and Adams.
Perhaps IN2020 the ancient dakkel a dannum, epic rivers in Laoag, Sarrat, Vintar, Dingras, Bolo, Quiaoit and Nueva Era will then revive and flow once again. Even as new SWIP and Small Multi-purpose Storage Projects are planned Quiom–Maipalig in Batac and Tibangran in Badoc, and other potential catchments are built.  If we can manage our water resources, we will surely be the best little province in the country!
How indeed do we disaster-proof Ilocos Norte? We have set up the Provincial Resiliency Council, broadening and deepening the involvement of all sectors, including grocery and water suppliers, off-roaders and tree nurseries. We have prepositioned food, heavy equipment and medicines in newly-refurbished evacuation centers. Last week for the first time in the province, we conducted disaster exercises involving thousands of policemen, soldiers, officials and residents of high-risk barangays. We can never be too prepared! Nalabesen iti panagbaliw ti panawen isu a kasapulan ti intayo panagsagana tapnu magawidan ti pannakairisang ti biag. Nu pay kasta awan pay pimmusay.
Dapat buong taon na kasi tayong naghahanda sa tag-ulan at kalamidad. Imbestigahan ang mga lumang kalye, gusali, dam, dike at canal upang ipagtibay ang mga bahaging kailangan ayusin. Yung kalye, tulay, school building at irigasyon sa Ilocos Norte na pinagawa pa ng tatang ko—halos singkwenta anyos ang idad sa 2020. At hindi naman natin kayang palitan ng bago ang bawat isa sa mga ito?
Lagi nang nanganganib ang ani ng Setyembre at Oktubre; ‘di na dapat magtanim ng bigas sa mga bukid na laging binabaha o inaanod. Masapul nga planwen iti imula kadagita a bulan ngamin, masapol nga adayo kadagiti lalayusen nga lugar ken pagnaan iti danum tapnum saan nga maperdi kas kuma iti balangeg, kamotig, utong, tarong, ken okra. Ken agpanunot tay pay ti sabali nga pamastrekan kas koma iti panagtaraken iti dingwen 45 day chick ken agdait iti bado, ken dadduma pay.
Ngunit may mga dating ugali tayong dapat buhayin muli—ang paglilinis ng canal, pagsasaayos ng mga bahay at bubong. Ti Palomar o Bakris- malagip yo kadi nga daytoy ket us-usaren dagiti Appo tayo, nga no kasta nga agtudo, wenno agdakkel iti danum, ket isu ti mausar nga panaglapped. Ngem no met tiempo iti igaaw, daytoy ket mausar nga mangiturong iti danum nga mapan kadagiti kataltalunan. Iti panagsagana ket saan laeng nga iti gobyerno no di ketdi adda kadatayo!   
In the end, infrastrucuture is just hardware, while genuine resilience ultimately depends on people. We must foster the networks of friendship and family that hold our community together, develop the social capital that will leverage early recovery, and find our leaders capable of overcoming these crises. Kabaelan tayo!
In truth, six years is a short time to achieve all that we must IN2020. Government cannot go it alone, we need you to volunteer and assure continued change and transformation. If we can set in motion a virtuous cycle of generosity and volunteerism, awareness and participation will ensue, your volunteer work will generate government savings, which will in turn fund more student jobs, more loans for women, work for tribesmen, fisherfolk and the handicapped. A virtuous circle indeed!
Sa ngayon, iilan ang nagvo-volunteer, mga suki kong barangay, Red Cross at Chinese Chamber. Lahat tayo ay abala sa trabaho at pamilya. Ngunit hindi ako naniniwala na ang Ilocano ay hindi matulungin: nakikita ko ang hirap ninyo sa barangay gawin ang ating kalye, ang sipag ng mga magulang tuwing Brigada Eskwela, malasakit ng mga doctor tuwing kami’y mag-Capitol Express. Damang-dama rin ang mga donation ng mga balikbayan sa bawat bayan, at maraming Ilocanong nakasama nating tumulong sa Tacloban.
Itan! tapno awan ti maibati, awan ti maisiasi ken awan ti haan a maikkan iti tulong.
Kung abogado o notaryo, sumapi sa mga nagbubuo ng titulo at dokumento. Mahal na mga padi, kayo ang nakakaalam kung panung payuhan ang mga OFW families na namomroblema, mga propesor at mahusay sa numero, please help us with surveys and evaluation reports. Sa mga mag-caregiver at nars, marami tayong matatanda at may kapansanan na dapat alagaan. Natatabunan kami ng papeles sa Capitolyo—sana’y tumulong i-scan ang sangkatutak na papel sa Assessor, ng Accounts at pati mag-imbentaryo sa Engineering at GSO. Lalung makakatulong ang may skills sa pagpintura, pagluto, o mekaniko kung matuturuan niyo rin ang mga gustong mag-training at magtrabaho. Naglukaten ti Volunteer Desk ti Capitolyo, padasen yo!
Idi datayo iti KB, Kabataang Barangay, awan met pundo nga ited ti gobyerno, ngem adda met proyekto nga maipakita. Uray narigat idi panawen mi, ngem nararagsak kami latta, nga ti dakes isu met ti inda panagi-innarem ket nagi-innas-sawa dan! Those were the days ngarud!
Malagipko la unay daydi tatangko nga no adda didigra ket ugali ti pamilyami ti tumulong. Saan a maupay iti atiddog nga pila, ta uray adu ti intugot mi nga agas ken taripnum. Iti kauddian a pila ket inyawat ti amak iti nabati nga agas iti maysa a lakay. “Agan-anus kayo bassit Apo, daytoy laeng iti nabatin. Ti insungbat met ti lakay, “awan anniaman na Apo Presidente, ti laeng kasapulak ket bin-I. Nangitugot kayo koma iti bin-I tapno makamula kami metten”.  Nairut a pinetpetan ti amak ti ima ti lakay sana kinallabay ket kinunana, “Mabainak ken maupayak pay ketdin, Tata”
Bin-I para ti namnama ken masakbayan dagiti ubbing man wenno nataengan. Rugian tayon nga inikkan biag ti probinsia, napaneknekan tayon a kabaelan tayo a pabaruen ti ilocos Norte. Itultuloy tayo ti intay narugian. Bayat ti panagserbi ti amak,  adda met dagiti tiempo a maupay kami. Ngem nairugi min dagitoy babaen ti natibker a pammati. 
A vibrant and caring environment is an extraordinary legacy one generation can leave the next. In Ilocos Norte we are better educated, earn a higher income per capita, enjoy a zero carbon footprint, social equity and access to nature and live longer than other Filipinos.
There have been many provinces, usually large and close to MetroManila, that have laid claim to the title of “best province” in the past.
For us the objective is simple: as a place for us to live, bring up our children, work and do business, and renew the soul, IN2020, as it is now, Ilocos Norte is the best little province in the country.
Kabaelan tayo. Aramiden tayo itan! Agmaymaysa tayo ngarud, a mangsango dagita a karit para iti naprogreso na probinsya tayo.

Agbiag ti Ilocos Norte, Bayabayen na tayo koma ti Apo!