73rd Agew na Dagupan springs renewed hope for Dagupeños amid pandemic
DAGUPAN CITY, June 20 (PIA) – Today, June 20, Dagupeños celebrate the 73rd “Agew na Dagupan” (Dagupan Day) with renewed hope and resilience amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mayor Brian Lim said the original charter day of Dagupan City passed by Congress on June 20, 1947 essentially laid the foundations for what people know today as Dagupan City.
“When we look back at our history, we give a sense of appreciation to the resilience of Dagupeños. We overcame challenges. We had successes but we also had time of failure and desperation and yet we are still here to celebrate Agew na Dagupan,’’ Lim said during a simple commemorative program at the city plaza.
This was agreed upon by 81-year-old Lilia Maramba of Brgy. Pogo Grande who said Dagupeños are strong people and their resilience is commendable.
“Matibay ya talaga iray Dagupeños. Manlapu la nen panaon na Hapon anggad natan ya walaan yay COVID-19. Kinasian tayo na Dios a katawan tan manbibilay tinin maoksoy anggad natan, (Dagupeños are really strong. From the Japanese occupation until today where there is COVID-19. God spared us and we continue to live peacefully until now)” Maramba told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
Veteran broadcaster and popular news commentator Orly Navarro, who hails from Brgy. Pantal, one of the most populated barangays in the city, said a slogan coined in 1992 after the deadly earthquake and flood puts the perspective as “Dagupan is unsinkable, to leave you is impossible.”
“Amayamay ya pagsubok ya dinalan tayo. Singa amay 1935 ya delap, aramay puol ya baleg insan ayan pandemic, amayamay ya catastrophe tan force majeure ya tatawagen, and yet we struggled and survived. Dakerakel niray improvement ya agawa ed siyudad tan ondarakel iray negosyo. (We have been through so many challenges. Like the 1935 flood, big fire and now this pandemic. A lot of catastrophe and force majeure and yet we struggled and survived. There are even a lot of improvements in the city and businesses continue to thrive),” Navarro told the PIA.
For Dagupeña Arleen Lopez Villanueva, who hails from Brgy. Pogo Chico and is now a nurse in New York City, even if her feet reached overseas, she still embodies the resilience of Dagupeños.
“As a Dagupeña who has survived flood and earthquakes in the past, COVID-19 has been very challenging but something I knew I could overcome. As a frontliner and a New York resident where this pandemic is US epicenter, with God’s help and the experiences I had in my youth in Dagupan City where I was molded to be a strong person, I stood up even after the heavy smoke,” Lopez Villanueva told the PIA.
Master lensman Willie Lomibao has captured many memorable moments and historical photos in his camera as a correspondent for a national daily.
Lomibao said he has endured many big floodings in the city but the 2018 typhoon and flooding has submerged most of his file photos, newspaper collections and photography books, but like all Dagupeños, still managed to cope and rise up.
“So far in recent years, kahit masasabi nating maraming malalaking bangungot dahil sa mga situations na akala mo hindi na makakabangon, little by little, we were able to rise up and prosper. It is a good thing that our government was able to function properly despite the pandemic,” Lomibao said.
Even from the youth group, who were born in a world of internet connections and Facebook, agree that the resilience of Dagupeños is worth bowing to.
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Aquino of St. Albert the Great School located in Brgy. Malued, said at a young age, she has survived flood and experienced this pandemic.
“Dagupeños are survivors and fighters. They always rise up after big challenges. Take a bow, my fellow Dagupeños,” Aquino said.
Dagupan City’s name was derived from the local Pangasinan word “pandaragupan,” meaning “gathering place” as the city has been a major commercial and financial center north of Manila for centuries.
Also, the city is one of the centers of education, modern medical services, media and communication in North-Central Luzon.
It is the only chartered city in the province and boasts of the world’s tastiest bangus or milkfish. (JCR/AMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)