DAGUPAN CITY – Dagupan celebrated its 69th year as independent component city in a ceremony held at the city plaza on June 20 on the theme “Pankakasakey na Dagupeño, UNLI-Serbisyo’y Nagamuran” with Fourth District Congressman-elect Christopher ‘Toff’ P. De Venecia as guest of honor and speaker.
Dagupan became a city on June 20, 1947 when President Manuel Roxas signed into law Republic Act No. 170, authored by Speaker Eugenio Pérez.
From a swampland, Dagupan rose to become a major commercial and financial center north of Manila.
With its newly approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Dagupan is set to expand its commercial area by putting in place three growth areas in three strategic places which will surely attract more investors and create more jobs for its people.
Dagupan has been recognized as among the Top 10 Next Wave Cities in the Country along with other cities such as Baguio City, Cagayan De Oro City, Dasmarinas, Dumaguete, Lipa, Malolos, Naga, Sta. Rosa and Taytay.
According to Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, the award means that Dagupan has been identified as one of the best locations for Information Technology and Business Process Management Industry and will follow Manila, Cebu, Clark and Bacolod City in establishing IT-BPM hubs.
Fernandez, who left for the United States at the invitation of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea to serve as one of the panelists in its 17th meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on June 13-17, was represented by City Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo.
In addition, incoming Congressman De Venecia also promised to make Dagupan the next modern tourism hub and cultural destination of the North by developing Barangay Pugaro as a surfing area, constructing a boardwalk along the Tondaligan beach, rehabilitation of the West Central School Library where Gen. Douglas MacArthur stayed during the second world war and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources facility as agri-tourism park.
He also seeks the establishment of a theater festival in honor of national artist Salvador Bernal and a semi-permanent exhibit of the paintings of another national artist Victorio Edades. Both are sons of Dagupan.
On the other hand, Leoncia Villacaria Arenos of 235 Lasip Grande was honored during the 69th Agew na Dagupan as the oldest living Dagupeño. She is 100 and five months old. She was born on January 16, 1916.
Bai Leoncia received a wheelchair courtesy of the Latter Day Saints and a cash reward of P10,000.
The Manlingkor ya Kalangweran led by Young City Mayor Kizziah Ella Mariñas Claveria, a Grade 9 student of St. John’s Cathedral School (SJCS), took their oath of office before City Councilor Jeslito “jigs” Seen.
Other cultural activities was also observed during the week-long celebration of the 69 Agew na Dagupan like Kidiam na Oraka which was won by Allyna Claveria of East Central Integrated School; Beat the Feat 4; Labanan na Awaran and Arte de Dagupan. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)