By Nikka Garriga
LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN – Mention Pangasinan products and most people would instantly think of these things: dried fish, salt, tupig (coconut delicacy) or bagoong (fermented fish).
But like any other province in the country, this asinan (salt-making) municipality does have more to offer than what their name suggests. Not just in the field of agriculture but in the arts as well.
The celebration of the 433rd Agew na Pangasinan kicked off with a Parada ed Dalan representing the major crops of each town–from the walis tambo or brooms of Bautista, the bamboos and mangoes of San Carlos, sugarcanes of Binalonan to the milkfish or bangus of Dagupan.
Another highlight of the festivities is the Asna Awards, which recognizes selected Pangasinenses for their outstanding works in their respective areas.
Coined from the local word asna which translates to salt, it symbolizes the good quality or demeanor of the people of Pangasinan.
The Kurit Panlunggaring and Balitok a Tawir Awards, on the other hand, acknowledges outstanding Pangasinenses in the field of literature, culture and arts.
Kurit Panlunggaring aims to promote the use of the local language in literary works such as poems, short strories and essays, while Balitok a Tawir focuses more on local culture and heritage through dancing, chorale and zarzuela competitions.
The province originally celebrates its founding anniversary on November 30. It was until a research conducted by the Pangasinan Research and Study Committee in 2009 revealed that it was on April 5, 1580 when the province became a separate political unit.
A Sangguniang Panlalawigan law was passed in 2010 declaring April 5 as Pangasinan’s official foundation day.
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