FMR Senator Shahani says Gov. Espino restores grandeur of the Past
Lingayen- - -Former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani urged Pangasinenses to unite in bringing back the sense of pride, integrity and honor handed down by great ancestors, especially the war veterans, to today’s generation.
In her speech during the 68th Lingayen Gulf Landings and Pangasinan Veterans’ Day celebration, January 9, Shahani reminisced the glory days of her youth in her hometown of Lingayen where she and former President Ramos were born more than eight decades ago.
Shahani said that Lingayen was a beautiful, rustic place with the beach as its prime attraction.
The former senator pointed out that the grandeur of the past has been restored under the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. who worked overtime in refurbishing the Capitol compound and its environs, thus transforming the complex into a tourism centerpiece for Pangasinan.
“The biggest challenge today is how to make Pangasinan really wealthy because it has all the potentials as what was written in the country’s national anthem,” Shahani said as he quoted the lines - - “sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw” in the national anthem.
She likewise reiterated her call for Pangasinenses to rededicate all efforts to make Pangasinan one of the most progressive provinces in the country.
Meanwhile, Gov. Espino paid tribute to all war veterans, addressing them as “gallant fighters” who gave up their youth in exchange of country’s freedom.
The governor said that while the unsung heroes deserve the commendation, the provincial government has endeavored to highlight the epic struggles of World War II heroes thru the presentation of Charles De May photo exhibit in 2011 and book launching in 2012 featuring 33 stories of war heroes.
The occasion kicked off with a solemn mass followed by wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Shrine led by the governor; Former Senator Shahani; Lt. Gen. Anthony J. Alcantara , AFP Commander, NOLCOM; Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina,, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator as represented by Commodore Salvador Esguerra, PVAO deputy administrator; and Atty. James Curtis-Smith, President, Returned and Services League of Australia.
After the program, a medical mission was also held for the war veterans who received at least P10,000 worth of medicines each.
A full length video presentation entitled “Unsurrendered 100 Voices” which featured the memories of World War-II Pangasinan by some veteran heroes was also presented at the Sison Auditorium during the lunch right after the program at the Veterans’ Park.
One of the highlights of the program included the awarding rites for the oldest living war veteran in Pangasinan in the person of US Army Sgt. 1st Class Glicerio V. Valdez, Sr. of Alcala town, who is now 102 years old.
Valdez has been an awardee for three consecutive years now. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)