DAGUPAN CITY – At least 5,000 Dagupeños came to commemorate with the city when it joined the whole nation in celebrating the 50th year of the Association of South East Asian Nations capped with a parade and a cultural program at the city plaza on August 8.


The city is among the 76 Local Government Units throughout the country that participated in the golden event of the ASEAN from Region 1 to Region 12 and the CARAGA, CAR, NCR AND NIR regions.


The whole stretches of A. B. Fernandez Avenue, Perez Boulevard and M. H. Del Pilar Street were closed to traffic to make way for the ASEAN parade, which started from Burgos Street up to the city plaza where a cultural program was held.


Mayor Belen T. Fernandez led the celebration along with the different city officials, department heads and city hall employees, officials of the Department of Education, teachers and students from the public and private schools.


The celebration became even more colorful with the cultural dance performances by the students and teachers in native customs of the member ASEAN nations, choir singing and the lighting of the landmark lanterns and fireworks display at the city plaza.


Young leaders of the Manlingkor ya Kalangweran led by the young city mayor Jilian Kay Madison S. Fernandez also joined the celebration. Jilian’s message is for ASEAN to continue to prosper and rise, to unite people and nations and build bridges for bright future for everyone.


Mayor Belen Fernandez committed the city to be a genuine partner for change and to be a great light for its people and for other peoples to follow.


She said that the great spirit of ASEAN does not only make the city a community, but a family as well. And as a great family of nations, Dagupan believes it will thrive and progress further in an environment of cooperation, partnership, consensus and positive engagement.


“With one heart and one spirit, please know that our city shares the light and the great promise of ASEAN on its 50thanniversary,” she added.


Fernandez expressed belief that with the confident and decisive leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ASEAN breathes a new energy, a new dynamism and a new courage. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Aug. 9, 2017)