By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO – Former Pangasinan Congressman Mark O. Cojuangco hailed the senior citizens and village officials here on their contributions to the community.
Speaking during this town's fiesta celebration's People’s Night, Cojuangco exhorted that as long as he is around he would continue to support the welfare of the elderly.
“Gusto kung malaman ng senior citizens na ako at aking mga magulang ay matanda na rin. Ang ama ko po ay mag otsenta, ang aking ina 77 na rin. At alam ko po ang importansiya ng pag-asikaso sa senior citizens,” he stressed before the crowd in the fiesta that honors the Catholics Patron Senior Divino Tesoro.
Cojuangco’s father is business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Murphy Cojuangco and his mother is the former Maria Soledad "Gretchen" Cuyugan Oppen - the heiress to the Montilla haciendas of Negros Occidental and Lichauco properties in Manila.
He reminded the thousands of spectators that include village brass and public school teachers that what everyone becomes presently has been because of the sacrifices of the elderly.
He lauded the exemplary contribution of the village officials, too, to society.
“Hindi po president, vice president, senator, congressman, mayor, councillor, ang medyo mahirap na trabaho kayo pong mga barangay officials".
THE WINNING GROUP. Public school teachers led by Principal Lyn Manaoat of the Calasiao Comprehensive High School pose for posterity with Mayor Macanlalay after they won the Dance Showdown Throwback '70s and '80s. MORTZ . C. ORTIGOZA
He said they are at the front line of the government on taking care of the plight of the needy.
“Dahil 24 hours buong araw nakaharap kayo sa taong bayan. Kahit ano ang problema sa ating barangay kayo po ang unang pinupuntahan ng taga barangay. Away ng mag-asawa, rescue, problema, baha o whatever kayo po ang pinupuntahan. May sakit may nanganganak tatakbo po sa pintuan ninyo”.
He empathized with them on their measly honorarium given by the government. He said in case he would be elected governor next year he would make the village officials his partners in the development of Pangasinan.
CONTESTANTS STRUT. One of the contestants in the dance contest strutted their stuff before the board of judges. The festivity started at dusk of May 4 and ended at
dawn the following morning. MORTZ . C. ORTIGOZA
“Hindi na po kayo kailangan pumunta pa sa Urduja (governor’s residence) dahil ako na mismo po ang pupunta dito sa bayan ninyo,” he said amid the rousing applause of the crowd.
Meanwhile, thousands of people who attended the festival’s People’s Night here erupted in cheers and applause after Former Pangasinan Congressman Mark O. Cojuangco gave P100 thousand as reward to contestants of the Dance Showdown Throwback '70s and '80s complete with the the motif of that era.
LOTTERY. Former Congressman Cojuangco picks one of the raffle tickets
to see who won the different prices. Cojuangco gave more than one hundred thousand pesos as his contribution to the prices of the dance contest.
“Gusto ko sana makibahagi sa inyong kasiyahan ngayong gabi kaya kung papayagan ninyo po ako mag-iiwan po ako ng P100,000 para idagdag po sa inyong pa premyo ngayong gabi. Bahala na po si Mayor Mark Macanlalay kung paano niya hahati-in. Kung gusto niya sa competition o organizer bahala na siya,” he stressed in the vernacular.
Aside from the P100 thousand he gave, he shelled out too tranches of P10, 000 for each of the participants as consolation prices.