DAGUPAN CITY – The city, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), marked the celebration of the 71st Agew na Dagupan on June 20 in commemorative rites held at CSI Stadia.

Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, together with Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorna Bugayong and Young City Mayor Jalen Kody Fernandez, opened the celebration with the laying of wreaths at the foot of the statue of the late Eugenio Perez at Perez Market site.

Regarded as one of the greatest statesmen-legislators from Pangasinan, Perez is responsible for authoring Republic Act No. 170 or the “Charter of the City of Dagupan”, which gave birth to Dagupan as a city.

RA 170 was signed into law on June 20, 1947 by President Manuel Roxas.

Malacanang issued a proclamation declaring June 20,2018 as a special non-working holiday in Dagupan.

The commemorative program at CSI Stadia was joined by Secretary Francis Tolentino, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs who represented Presidential Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as guest of honor and speaker.

Dwelling on the theme, “Balon Dagupan Maaliguas, Itanduro Lawas”, Mayor Belen Fernandez in her message, said that the celebration was a way of looking back on the progress made in the city over the years.

“Agew na Dagupan is an opportune time to remember and celebrate our city’s success and progress – especially in the last five years, in social and economic development, investment in infrastructure, education, youth development, livelihood and employment, health care and public safety. I ask you to join me in yet another progressive journey into the future. Let us strive to grow, be strong and let out all efforts to make Dagupan greater than what our forbearers have imagined for the last 70 years.”

Representing the youth and fellow “Manlingkor Ya Kalangweran” officials, Young City Mayor Jalen Kody Fernandez called on Dagupenos to work together in building towards the future.

“We, as a city, must stand strong together and fight towards our city’s future. We must continue to persevere and strive to be better versions of ourselves each day. We have a vision for Dagupan City, and I believe that that vision has already started to become a reality. This is our home – let’s all make our city a better place to live in.”

Meanwhile, Sec. Tolentino lauded the city’s initiative in honoring its history.

“Dagupan is very lucky to have one of the greatest mayors in the country. This is the first time I’ve attended a public ceremony involving the local government that focuses on honoring their history.”

In the same occasion, Tolentino presided over the induction of all barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan, while Fernandez presided over the induction of the 2018 MYK officials.

At the same time, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Lourdes Servito, together with DepEd officials, unveiled Dagupan history modules during the program.

The first of its kind in the annals of the city, the modules were designed for grade 3 and 7 students and will be integrated into their curriculums.

The city also honored Eugenia Fernandez Escosio of Barangay Carael for being the oldest living Dagupeno at 101.  Escosio received a cash incentive of P5,000.

Winners of “Palyagan na Arawan”, the quiz bee contest on interesting facts about Dagupan, were also awarded during the event, with Wyzelle Velasco of St. Albert the Great School receiving P1,000 for 1st place; Alfred Vergara of St. John’s Cathedral School receiving P700 for 2nd place; and Samantha Ida Olegario of West Central Elementary School I receiving P500 for 3rd place. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)