LINGAYEN--- Members of Ulupan na Pansiansay Salitan Pangasinan (UPSP) hailed Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. as a champion of Pangasinan culture and language during the opening program of their 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Pangasinan State University Audio-Visual Room here last August 4.
In recognition of the Governor’s effort to promote the use of the Pangasinan language, the group passed a resolution and awarded the same to him which makes the governor the honorary president of their group.
Governor Espino, in his speech, opted to converse with the audience impromptu instead of using a prepared message, who in his usual jovial mood, said, will be hardly understood by the multi-racial group. Governor Espino, instead, delivered a conversational piece, peppered with anecdotes and funny musings.
While the capitol, he said, is the face and heart of the province, the Pangasinan language is its soul. That is why he directed the entire provincial government workforce to use Pangasinan as its official language every flag-raising ceremony on Mondays.
The Governor admitted that indeed, Pangasinan is a dying language, and to avoid it going extinct, every Pangasinense should do something about it. For instance, he said, we should use the Pangasinan in all local occasions, instead of Tagalog or English. According to him, every Pangasinense should also practice conversational Pangasinan, or if cannot be avoided, use Tagalog-Pangasinan or English-Pangasinan.
Dir. Jaime Lucas, the founding president of the group who received special citation during the 430th Founding Anniversary of Pangasinan, lauded Governor Espino as the only modern provincial leader who openly endorsed Pangasinan as the official language of the Capitol and the province.
“It’s only this time that I heard a governor endorsing Pangasinan as the official language of the Capitol and the whole province,” he said.
Primarily founded to preserve and promote the use of the Pangasinan language, Lucas said he is thankful that UPSP reached this far and acknowledged everyone’s support, especially of the Governor.
Lucas also shared a data from the Associated Press that every other two weeks, one of the 6,000 languages in the world dies, half of which is expected to be extinct by 2020.
He also lamented the fact that Pangasinan, one of the eight officially recognized languages in the Philippines, is dying. For this, Lucas advocated that parents must never be ashamed to allow, train or ask their children to know the language that we inherited from our ancestors.
Dr. Victoriano Estira, PSU President, on the other hand, called for a stronger “Ulupan” which he said should reflect the culture, hopes and aspirations of every Pangasinense as he pledged his support to the group.
Mayor Jonas Castañeda of Lingayen, meanwhile, said it is an honor and privilege for him to speak before the group and informed them that it is the Provincial Government and his town’s push to preserve and promote the use of Pangasinan.
UPSP has lined up various activities for their 10th Anniversary Celebration. These are: exhibit of books and magazines, film showing of Anacbanua, an award winning Pangasinan film, lecture series, creative writing workshop and the conferment of the Galang ya Pablo Mejia, the highest literary prize on Pangasinan literature. (PIO/Rafael Manuel III)