LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – “A person without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots,” so said Marcus Garvey, an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements.
This, too, became the guiding principle of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., who authors the grand transformation of Pangasinan from barely nil to something exceptional especially in terms of cultural reawakening.
Adhering on the tenet, so much has been done for almost eight years of the Espino administration. Starting off with the proper inculcation of right values to every local folk’s consciousness is the biggest deal of it all. And, results were outstanding and astounding.
The initial steps which were the establishment of the real birth anniversary of the province followed by the composition of the province’s provincial hymn—Luyag Ko Tan Yaman-are gigantic milestones in the history of the province much to the existence of every 2.8 million Pangasinense.
As a matter of fact, Pangasinan now joins the few provinces in the country that has its own provincial hymn. Pangasinan’s Luyag Ko Tan Yaman speaks magnificently of the love and endearment of every Pangasinense who takes pride of the best things about their locality.
From there, the province was able to soar even higher in terms of cultural projects with the help of different sectors led by the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission via special projects on culture, arts and history of the province.
Among the many remarkable accomplishments on cultural reawakening involves the writing of three important books to include the Panuntunan na Ortograpiya ed Salitan Pangasinan published in 2012 followed by Kurit Panlunggaring, and Pangasinan Pinablin Dalin both published in 2015 and were launched during the Agew na Pangasinan celebration at the Capitol Plaza in Lingayen last April 10.
Panuntunan na Ortograpiya ed Salitan Pangasinan, a major breakthrough being the first in the entire country, is a collaboration of the present administration, Ulopan na Pansiansia’y Salitan Pangasinan, the PHCC, the academe with the support of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).
Another major milestone is the publication of Kurit Panlunggaring book which is a compilation of winning literary masterpieces of budding young Pangasinense writers from 2012 to 2014.
Kurit Panlunggaring, a pet project of the Espino administration, is the first literary contest in the Pangasinan language that has successfully drawn professional and aspiring Pangasinan writers.
The literary contest is the province’s rightful answer to the Palanca Literary Awards which aims to inspire budding young artists to use the Pangasinan dialect as medium of literary expression.
In addition, Kurit Panlunggaring is designed to improve the production of more Pangasinan literary works, provide a venue for participants to craft their literary works in their native language.
The governor earlier disclosed that the sustainability of such project will sparkplug the envisioned preservation of the Pangasinan language, and the Pangasinenses’ appreciation of the mother tongue in written form.
Pangasinan Pinablin Dalin, featuring the province’s diverse history, culture, and development, is a herculean tasks for the PHCC and various line agencies in the sense that thorough research and study were done with the primary objective to dig deeper to the roots of the past.
The book details important facts about the province to include its geologic origin, economy, restructuring and its transition from barangay autonomy to colonial state control to revolutions.
It also highlights important facts between two regimes (American and Japanese), the postwar, continuing economic development, as well as the present state of the province.
The governor in his note, said, ‘history has taught us a precious insight: government cannot impose any change that is unfamiliar to the cultural fabric and needs of its citizens.’
In conclusion, he commended Pangasinense even as he disclosed ‘we are succeeding in our cultural agenda, because now, civil society is engaged, communities are starting their own projects, and attitudes are beginning to change.’