PGIN to commemorate Capitol bldg centenary with 8th "Open Capitol" exhibit

Feb 06, 2018 ...

This year's "Open Capitol" program and exhibit of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) on February 15 will coincide with a centenary commemoration of the Capitol building, which was first built in 1918.

Initiated by Governor Imee R. Marcos in 2011, "Open Capitol" turns the building into a series of exhibits for the public, particularly students, to enter and observe each provincial office or department and learn about their respective functions.

Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree "Aian" B. Raquel shared, "It's our annual 'open house' for all students, from elementary all the way up to college. It's an opportunity for us here at the Provincial Government to touch base with the youth and show them what we do here – the work that we do, the services that we offer; and of course, to acquaint them with the history of the Provincial Government."

This year's program will feature a commemoration for 100 years of the Capitol standing; however, the original building was fully completed in 1925, according to the Bureau of Public Works. Succeeding renovations and expansions have since enclosed the original structure, but certain features such as the arches and windows are still visible upon entering the building.

Ralph Harrington Doane, who was consulting architect of the United States Insular Government, worked on the Capitol together with Engr. Jose Paez, who became Public Works Director in 1919; and two more notable architects, Tomas Mapua and Antonio Toledo.

The building underwent major remodeling and expansion in 1957, particularly the Corinthian columns and pediment featuring relief art by Ricarte Purugunan of Dingras. It was inaugurated in the presence of Former President Carlos P. Garcia in December 27, 1958.

Frank Murphy, governor general of the Philippines in 1935, included the Capitol as he relayed legacies of the Filipino-American relations to the Philippine Legislature. A historical marker is also set for installation by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) later this year.

"Little dept heads" an addition to the Open Capitol experience

In previous years, a feature of the Open Capitol was the selection of "little officials" to represent provincial figures for a day, including a Little Governor, Little Vice Governor, and Little Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members.

Raquel has bared a new element for the bicentennial installment of the exhibit: Little Department Heads from each office.

Meanwhile, the overall theme of the Open Capitol will be "looking back and looking forward.

"This is alongside our bicentennial celebration. If we're celebrating our 200 years of being a province, we can look at it in this way: we look into the past and learn from our history so that we can also build a strong vision for the next 200 years."


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