BALON DAGUPAN NEWS
DAGUPENOS paid their last respect to the late Mayor Alipio “Al” Fernandez, Jr. during the final viewing of his remains at the City Museum on August 17, following an honor march from Ciudad Elmina to the city plaza.
Fernandez Jr., who passed away on August 9 at the age of 75, was honored by close friends and former colleagues during the necrological rites held during the viewing.
Among those who shared their eulogies were LNU president Mac Arthur Samson, former City Administrators Rafael Baraan and Judge Joven Maramba, Former City Councilor Edna Gonzales, City Administrator Atty. Farah Marie Decano, City Councilor Luis “Chito” M. Samson and Mayor Belen T. Fernandez.
Messages from former president Fidel V. Ramos and Vice Mayor Brian Lim were also read during the ceremony.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, a close ally and former running mate of the late Fernandez Jr., extolled the late mayor’s character as she dwelt on their memories.
“Mayor Al was a beacon of insight, integrity and selflessness – a guiding force that helped make Dagupan City what it is today. His confidence was driven by a profound optimism about the spirit and capabilities of the Dagupenos. Dagupan will never see the familiar smile as he mingles with local communities once more, never hear him rally us in the face of uncertainty again, never serve side-by-side with him to stand for what is good and what is right. Yet in reality, we will see him, hear him, experience him in the faces of his family and friends, and in our hearts and minds forever,” said Fernandez.
In response to the eulogies, Mayor Al’s son and former Councilor Alipio Serafin Fernandez thanked those who came to honor the memory of the late mayor.
“The best way to honor my dad, to honor Al Fernandez, is to imitate him. To continue what he loves to do best – that is loving Dagupan City. Let us continue serving our people to whatever capacity we can. Do our ordinary duties extraordinarily well. In our own simple way, that is serving our city – we are honoring Al Fernandez,” added Fernandez.
During the ceremony, the city awarded the late Mayor Fernandez Jr. his lifetime achievement award and the title conferred upon him as “Pinablin Ama na Dagupan”, with his family receiving the award and a copy of a resolution attesting to this on his behalf.
The title was given in recognition of Fernandez’s accomplishments and contributions to the city during his stint as a public servant.
On August 18, Saturday, a memorial mass, presided by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, was held at St. John Cathedral.
Hundreds of Dagupeños joined the processional march that followed when his remains were transferred to Eternal Gardens, his final resting place, for his interment. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)
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