(A Reprint from the Manila Bulletin) Performers raise baskets containing eggplants as they dance in front of the Pangasinan Capitol Building in Lingayen to celebrate the 432d Agew na Pangasinan, the founding anniversary of the province. The dances were from the town of Villasis where eggplant is the main product. Street dancers from different municipalities participated in the historical event. (Rizaldy Comanda)
Saying that language is what makes a people and country, national artist for literature Francisco Sionil Jose warned that a nation’s language may die if there is poor leadership.
“Language bears the best identity of the people. It is the soul, the heart, and the mind of the people,” said Sionil in a speech before thousands of his provincemates last Wednesday on the occasion of Pangasinan’s 432nd foundation day at the Capitol Park, here.
Pointing out that “culture, history and literature are the primary builders of human development,” the 84-year- old novelist recounted how languages of other nations died because of poor leadership.
He, thus, lauded the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. for “waging a war against all threats that cause the death of culture, history and literature” through the launching of the first Language Orthography showcasing the official manner of the usage of the dialect in Pangasinan.
“I am happy to know that Gov. Espino and the vice governor have a beautiful program such as this. For sure, Pangasinan language will live for many years,” Jose, a native of Rosales, Pangasinan.
Jose, an internationally acclaimed Filipino novelist whose works have been translated into 12 foreign languages, is a Ramon Magsaysay awardee for literature and Balitok awardee in 2010, along with former president Fidel V. Ramos, former House speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. and national artist for theater design Salvador Bernal.
Jose urged national leaders to replicate and follow the good example set by the incumbent provincial leadership of Pangasinan.
ASNA Awards, shaped from the old form of the Pangasinan word “asin,” which is usually ascribed to the good quality of a man’s character or demeanor, was launched on April 5, 2010, the date researched by the Pangasinan Historical Commission formed by the Espino administration and verified by the National Historical Commission to be the real founding day of the province as a regular political entity. Photo by Rizaldy Comanda