December 12, 2018, Filed under Press Release


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Another milestone in the history of Pangasinan took place as the Pangasinan Bantayog Wika was unveiled by Governor Amado I. Espino, III and the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) representatives on December 6 at the center aisle of the Maramba Boulevard in Lingayen.

The eleventh structure to be established throughout the country, the monument served as a structure of salute to local languages. Similar structures were established in Antique, Ifugao, Mati City (Davao Oriental), Kalinga, Occidental Mindoro, Bukidnon, Bataan, Batangas, Surigao City, and Baguio City.

As such, Gov. Espino thanked the KWF for all its support to the provincial government which started during the term of his father, former governor and now 5th district Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. who is considered as the “father of Pangasinan cultural renaissance.”

Commending the commission, the governor notably mentioned the hard work of his father on establishing genuine love for the province’s diverse history and culture that include the promotion of the local language.

In stating his full commitment to carry out the programs and projects of the previous administration with regards to culture and arts, Gov. Espino stressed the need to “adapt to the times and to establish unique ways of teaching the youth of today or the millennials.”

“Hindi natin basta-basta mababago ang kaugalian ng mga millennial ngayon pero siguro dapat tayong mag-adapt at maging unique at gawing interesting ang pagtuturo sa kanila,” he said as he expressed his desire to launch more programs and projects that will redound to the preservation and strengthening of the Pangasinan language.

The governor also encouraged students to learn and love Pangasinan language being the soul of local culture. “Hindi po dapat maalis sa puso at isipan natin ang salitang Pangasinan,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Purificacion De Lima, KWF commissioner on Ilocano language, who read the the message of Sen. Loren Legarda, the main sponsor of the project, lauded the provincial government for its strong desire to strengthen the Pangasinan language as proven by its various programs and projects.

The commissioner mentioned the need to “form the desire of using local language at home” as one of the most effective ways of preserving the mother tongue.

Based on KWF data, there are 130 languages throughout the country that include Filipino. Out of the number, 41 are considered “endangered” in which 36 are categorized as “weak” while five are said to be “dead.”

On the other hand, Mary Ann M. Macaranas, director of Sentro ng Wika at Kultura ed Pangasinan, identified three things that Pangasinan must boast of in the entire country. This, according to her, are as follows: 1) first to have a language ortography, 2) first to translate the Holy Bible, 3) owns the longest version of Christmas carol.

The ceremonial unveiling of the Bantayog Wika was highlighted with the blessing officiated by Rev. Fr. Hernan Caronongan and excerpts of a creative Pangasinan documentary film by Cristopher Gozum.

Among the invited guests were 2nd District Representative Leopoldo N. Bataoil, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., who delivered the welcome address, various department heads led by Provincial Administrator Nimrod S. Camba, students, and educators. (Ruby R. Bernardino)

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