Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. (far left) leads other awardees of the Writers International Network (WIN) Canada founded by Ashok Bhargava (center). The governor was conferred the award for his strong advocacy for resuscitating local literature in Pangasinan./ MV Sadim
Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and six other Pangasinense literary writers were cited by the Writer’s International Network (WIN) Canada, headed by Vancouver-based Ashok Bhargava, for their valuable contributions to the preservation of Pangasinan local arts and culture.
The six awardees who received the WIN Distinction Awards on November 23 at the ceremonial hall of Urduja House include Santiago Villafania, Caroline “Ceri Naz” Nazareno, Leonarda “Amor Cico” Carrera, Sergio Bumadilla, Prescillano Bermudez, Atty. Ferdinand L. Quintos (posthumous award). Gov. Espino and Virginia Jasmin Pasalo were given Special Citations for their outstanding contribution to local literature.
In a message, Bhargava lauded Gov. Espino for spearheading the renaissance to upgrade and preserve the Pangasinan literary arts through launching of several programs and projects such as Kurit Panlunggaring, a pet project of the provincial chief executive launched in 2012 that aims to provide opportunities for budding local literary artists to showcase their talents.
Praising the Governor, Bhargava disclosed that for any activity, it is always ‘the leader that matters’ as he noted that the passion of Gov. Espino to keep Pangasinan’s arts and culture alive has made all the difference. It is important for a leader to pour his/her heart out for a certain endeavor, he noted.
In addition, Bhargava commended the province by stating: “The warmth felt in Pangasinan is never experienced anywhere.”
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 noting 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.
On the other hand, Fr. Weng Escano, delivered an impromptu poem dedicated to the excellent performance of Gov. Espino whose main objective lies not only to revive Pangasinan arts and culture but more importantly, to preserve a vital symbol of identity among Pangasinenses. (RRBernardino)