By Ashok Bhargava
VANCOUVER: Under the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr, a project to revive Panganenses – once a vibrant language but now dying – is progressing very well. The Writer’s International Network (WIN) Canada took notice of this initiative and decided to recognize the contributions made by six writers to the preservation of local language, literature, arts and culture.
The six writers selected to receive the WIN Distinction Award at the official residence of Governor called Urduja House are: Santiago Villafania, Caroline “Ceri Naz” Nazareno, Leonarda “Amor Cico” Carrera, Sergio Bumadilla, Prescillano Bermudez, Atty. Ferdinand L. Quintos (posthumous award). In addition to distinguished writers Governor Espino and Virginia Jasmin Pasalo were given Special Citations for their outstanding contribution to local arts and culture.
Ashok Bhargava pointed out that initiative like Kurit Panlunggaring launched in 2012 aims to provide opportunities for budding local literary artists to showcase their talents. Praising the Governor, Bhargava said that for any activity, it is always the leader that matters. Due to dedicated passion of Governor Espino, Pangasinan’s arts and culture has revived and flourishing as well.
In addition, Bhargava commended the province by stating: “The warmth felt in Pangasinan is never experienced anywhere,” as he further added that WIN Canada chose Pangasinan as the venue of the group’s first awarding rites for local literary writers for the mere fact that literature thrives in every local writer’s heart. Bhargava also said that he chose Pangasinan because the literary writers are as good as the others even disclosing that “Pangasinan is truly number one.”
For his part, Gov. Espino thanked Bhargava together with his wife Aida (who hails from Sta. Maria town) for recognizing Pangasinenses whose heart and soul exude with the love and passion for arts and culture. “It is important to trace one’s roots,” Gov. Espino said as he stressed that “the new leaf of history, culture and arts of Pangasinan” is now seen through the sublime meaning of loving the province from the heart.
Meanwhile, Pasalo, a known environmental and culture and arts advocate, thanked WIN Canada for giving importance to homegrown writers. “This serves as a tribute to the province’s cause to revive local literature and an honor for local writers, as well,” she stressed on interview.
The awarding ceremony was highlighted with launching of a “WIN Peace & Friendship” necklace. This necklace was blessed by Governor Amado Totaan Espino Jr then touched by all poets, writers and dignitaries present in the official residence of Governor with the hope that it would become a symbol of hope and friendship. This necklace is envisioned to empower creativity and spread peace and friendship.