441st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY
MALACANANG has declared Monday, April 5, a special non-working holiday in Pangasinan to mark the province’s 441st founding anniversary, referred to as Pangasinan Day.
Proclamation No. 1126 was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, by authority of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Malacanang issued the proclamation “to enable the people of Pangasinan to commemorate the founding day of the province with meaningful and appropriate ceremonies.”
But because of the still ongoing pandemic, no activities (except a mass) had been lined up by the provincial government to mark the occasion, same as last year’s.
It was on April 5, 1580 or 441 years ago when Pangasinan was made as administrative province by virtue of a royal decree issued by King Philip II of Spain.
Research showed an expedition to the north led by Captain Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Spanish Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, in pursuit of the Chinese pirate Limahong, was believed to have led to the founding of Pangasinan as an administrative province.
Pangasinan’s history recalled that the first mass held in Pangasinan was in Barangay Bangan Oda, Agno, where the Salcedo expedition first landed while in hot pursuit of Limahong and his men after making an unsuccessful siege of Manila.
However, Limahong and his men, together with some natives they befriended, dug a channel that led to the sea, where they escaped. Limahong and his men never reappeared since in Pangasinan.
The founding date was determined by a group commissioned by the then Governor Amado Espino Jr., father of incumbent Gov. Amado Espino III, to do a comprehensive historical research.
The research group, led by Gonzalo T. Duque, then president of Lyceum Northwestern and head of the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission, traced and studied documents in the National Library as well as libraries in Madrid, Spain. (Leonardo Micua)
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