LINGAYEN, Pangasinan —The province of Pangasinan turned 439 this year, but the celebration of its founding anniversary on April 5 is only on its 10th year.
Pangasinan, comes from the word “Panag-asinan” that means place of “asin” (salt) or salt-making since the province is well-known to be producing salt (rock salt). It has 44 towns and four cities, comprising six districts of the province.
Its capital is Lingayen town, which is the home of the majestic Capitol Building.
The province, its people and its language are called Pangasinan, but some accepts the word Pangasinense referring to its people. Moreover, the use of Pangalatok to refer to the people is offensive to the residents of Pangasinan.
The language of the province is considered to be the one of the widely used in the country. Its origin can be traced to the Austronesian languages in Asia and closer to Ibaloi language, according to the Provincial Information Office.
Pangasinan has a total of 2.7 million population based on the 2010 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority. Out of the total population 1.3 million are Pangasinan-speakers mostly from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th districts, while the residents in the 1st, 5th, and 6th districts are Ilokano-speakers.
The towns of Bolinao and Anda also have their own Bolinao dialect.
The province used to celebrate Pangasinan Day every November 15th to commemorate the birth anniversary of late Speaker of the House of Representatives Eugenio Perez, who was the first Speaker of the House from Pangasinan.
Perez’s birth date was declared a special non-working holiday in the entire province every year in 1990.
Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., said during the commemorative program, that it was on 2009 when former Governor (now 1st District Representative) Amado Espino Jr. formed the Pangasinan Research and Study Committee chaired by former Pangasinan vice governor Gonzalo Duque to determine the exact charter date of the province.
“On April 5, 1572, Pangasinan was made an encomienda by the Spanish colonizers and on April 5, 1580 gained its status as a separate political unit,” Calimlim said quoting the result of work of the committee.
The declaration of Pangasinan’s founding day on April 5, 1580 was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Provincial Ordinance No. 143-2010.
“Remember, rejoice, renew,” said Governor Amado Espino III during the recent commemorative program of Pangasinan Day.
“Just like what Rev. Fr. Jerry Orbos said in his homily (during the Thanksgiving Mass). I urge you (Pangasinenses) to remember the sacrifices of those who were before us. Let us preserve being the salt of the earth and add more flavor by adding more good works for the province,” he said.
Espino also encouraged his province-mates to rejoice in what the province has already accomplished and for them to renew their commitment.
“Let us strengthen our love and commitment not just to our province and to our families, but even to the new generation who will inherit the province from us. Let us be united in loving and developing our province,” he added.
The Malacañan Palace has declared April 5 (Friday) as a special non-working holiday in the whole province of Pangasinan to mark the celebration of the province’s 439th founding anniversary.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea stated in Proclamation 696 that “it is but fitting and proper for the people of the Province of Pangasinan be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with the appropriate ceremonies.
The proclamation was signed on March 13.
The recent founding anniversary of the province started with a Misa na Pisasalamat (Thanksgiving Mass) officiated by Rev. Fr. Jerry Orbos held at the Sison Auditorium, followed by a commemorative program with Senate President Vicente Castelo Sotto III as the guest of honor and speaker.
Sotto hailed the development of Pangasinan calling it “the golden era” of the province.
Meanwhile, the winners for the literary contest (Kurit Panlunggaring), which aims to inspire Pangasinenses to embrace the language through literary works, were awarded during the program.
The Pangasinan Tourism and Trade Expo located at the Capitol beachfront, where local products of the province and neighboring province can be bought, was opened. The trade expo will last until May 3.
Paliket ed Kapitolyo, which featured Pangasinenses Angeline Quinto and Mitoy Yonting along with other local talents, capped the founding anniversary celebration at the Capitol Plaza. (PNA)