LINGAYEN, Pangasinan- – “We reaffirm our commitment not only to ourselves or our family or jobs but for the whole province of Pangasinan. As we stand tall and stand together for the province, let us unite and join forces to make Pangasinan more progressive.”
This was disclosed by Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III in his message during the commemorative program of the 437th Agew na Pangasinan celebration on April 5 at the Sison Auditorium.
As such, the Governor notably thanked his father, former Governor now 5th district representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. for initiating the act of finding out the birthday of our province with the help of historians which was affirmed by the Pangasinan provincial board through the crafting of Provincial Ordinance No. 143- 2010 last February 15, 2010.
In stating his commendation, the Governor then urged all Pangasinenses to express love for the province by giving importance to their jobs, communities, and fellowmen especially those who are in need.
Borrowing the words of his father, he said that all the hardships and sacrifices of everyone is “dedicated to the younger generations of Pangasinense.”
“We leave a better Pangasinan for them… Dapat mas maganda po na Pangasinan ang dadatnan ng mga kabataan.” he stated noting that it is an honor for him to be given the opportunity to serve as the highest official of the province.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Bustamante-Mills, the guest of honor and speaker who was an ASNA awardee in 2015, Mills narrated her ordeal as she grew up in poverty from selling pandesal, ice buko, ice candy and fish in the market.
The seventh of 11 siblings, she said the turning point of her life happened when her mother died when she was 18 years old. This, she said, forced her to leave her hometown of Dasol to work in a factory in Bataan to put her younger brothers and sisters through school as their father had no steady job.
In 1986, when she was 19, Bustamante began working as a domestic helper in Singapore. During her three years in the job, she also studied Accounting at the Open University of Singapore Institute of Management. She was even able to finish the undergraduate program without her employers knowing it.
From a domestic helper, Mills now own Chalré Associates, a multinational recruitment firm for senior management executive positions. She is now happily married to businessman Richard Mills from Canada and the couple is now residing in the Philippines.
In between her speech, Mills professed her love for the country especially to Pangasinan, the reason why she opted to return to her roots.
At the end of her speech, Mills was given resounding claps and standing ovation by the audience who were deeply touched by her success story.
The commemorative program was also highlighted by the awarding of winners for the 6th Pangasinan Literary Awards dubbed Kurit Panlunggaring 2017.
List of winners with title of entries are as follows:
Poetry Writing (Youth Division) – Realyn Lee A. Nepascua (Say Tanila Na Ogaw), Champion; Denson D. Padlan (Paraday Mangonigon), 1strunner-up; Liera D. Aguinaldo (Nanduruman Panangaro), 2nd runner-up.
Essay Writing (Youth Division)- Denson D. Padlan (Tawir, Sulat Tan Sipan), Champion; Angela Kate N. Estrada (Kulturan Pangasinan:Bilayen, Bitlaen Tan Bibbiten), 1st runner-up; Realyn Lee A. Nepascua (Malinal La’y Labi: Kansion Nen Saman, Natan Andi Angga-angga), 2ndrunner-up.
Poetry Writing (Adult Division)- Alma Nepascua (Esaes Daray Anlong Ed Kumanem A Bulan), Champion; Alex Romeo R. Fernandez (Saray Anlong Na Gunigon Tan Tamitam), 1strunner-up; Renato R. Santillan (Aliwan Pananisia), 2nd runner-up).
Children’s Story Writing (Adult Division)- Alex Romeo R. Fernanded (Say Istorya Na Duaran Lusor), Champion; Jomel D. Loresca (Say Barongan Nen Tonton Tan Say Agew), 1st runner-up; Harvie C. Aquino (Say Alamat Ya Inasin), 2ndrunner-up.
Shorty Story Writing (Adult Division)- Alvin S. De Guzman (Lunario’y Kaibaan), Champion; Dionisia B. Fernandez (Bunga’y Kanunutan, Samal Na Laman), 1st runner- up; Harvie C. Aquino (Say Alamat Ya Inasin), 2nd runner-up.
After the program, Gov. Espino and Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim along with some members of the board led the ribbon cutting and opening of Pangasinan Tourism and Trade Expo at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center (PTDC).
The affair was attended by Madame Prescila I. Espino, Pangasinan First Lady Karina P. Espino, Congressman Leopoldo N. Bataoil, P/Supt Ronald Oliver Lee, among many other guests.
In the street dancing competition, the contingent from Mapandan bagged the championship crown with Villasis and Mabini bagging the 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively.
The 3rd, 4rth and 5th runners-up went to Lingayen, Balungao and Bayambang ocntingents.
Gov. Espino and Vice Gov. Calimlim, who both watched the whole competition, led the awarding of cash prizes and trophies.
(Ruby R. Bernardino)