Lingayen- - -The United Pangasinanses of America, Inc. (UPAI) based in San Francisco, California, USA headed by Ernesto Abalos has turned over 58 balikbayan boxes to Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. in a short program at the Capitol Grandstand on February 9.
The boxes which contained various canned goods plus new and slightly used clothings were donated by the group to the provincial government to be distributed to the typhoon victims from various towns in the province.
Gov. Espino, expressed elation over the concern shown by the UPAI even as he commended the group, which is composed of over 400 members, for the support that they extended to the typhoon victims and thanked them for the trust they have given him.
“I hope that our other countrymen will be as concerned as you,” the governor said as he added that every time he visits his ‘kabaleyans’ abroad he always invites them to come and see Pangasinan.
Mario Panoringan, the group coordinator, said they were amazed with all the developments that transpired under the term of Gov. Espino as he mentioned that the Sison Auditorium, which is presently undergoing massive rehabilitation, wowed the entire group.
“At first, we were hesitant to get off the airconditioned shuttle bus because it was so warm outside, but the moment we entered the Sison Auditorium, we were so amazed with what we saw. All we did was to line up and feel like we were members of the royalty holding a grand march,” Panoringan said.
Hazel Sison, a provincial tour guide who escorted the group, revealed that the intricate design of the auditorium caught the fancy of the delegation which made them compare the edifice into a palace.
Again, the group were awed with the new look of the Capitol as they were ushered inside the building on their way to meet with the provincial chief executive.
“I haven’t seen the Capitol as beautiful as today,” Panoringan said as he revealed that he has visited the building many times during the incumbency of the past four governors.
Panoringan, who hails from the capital town of Lingayen, recalled his younger years while strolling along the beach at the back of the Capitol. “Napakaganda ng Capitol at napakalinis pa. With this, I feel proud to be a Pangasinense” he disclosed.
Ernie Abalos, President of UPAI and a real estate broker, said he will invite more friends to come and visit the province and include it as part of their travel destination this summer.
“Hindi naman tayo mapapahiya sa pag-imbita because we now have a Capitol bulding na talagang world-class. For this, we pledge our support to the Governor and we will help him promote the Capitol as our main tourism site,” he said. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)