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PRIDE OF MY ROOT AND HERITAGE Great is the nation whose people take pride in their roots.

Is it a persons insidious desire that would bring shame to our heritage? Forbid it, God almighty, that all our heroes sacrifices and dedication come to naught just because of some egocentric populace. Trust it not, my comrades; ask ourselves how we ,as Filipinos, can bring glory to our own motherland, and to our province PANGASINAN. The name Pangasinan means "land of salt" or "place of salt-making"; it is derived from the root word asin, meaning "salt. The province is a major producer of salt in the Philippines. Fishing and salt-making are the primary industries on Lingayen Gulf. In fact, the name Pangasinan literally means place where salt is made. Pangasinan produces the best smelly"bagoong" (salted fish paste) in the world. It is always part of the menu of Pangasinenses wether as dip or seasoning for vegetable. The gulf has numerous islands, the most famous of which are in the Hundred Islands National Park. This tourist attraction features 123 islands, the majority of which are relatively small in size. A number of cities are found along the gulf's coast such as Dagupan City and Alaminos City in Pangasinan, and San Fernando City in La Union. Lingayen, the capital of Pangasinan also lies on the shores of the gulf. I am a Pangasinense, a native of a Province marked with colorful history, culture, and tradition. Born with the sanctity of love, pride, and honor, I am greatly endowed with much satisfaction and dignity. The language I speak, the culture I have, and the tradition I am accustomed toall will make me a unique Filipino, a proud native of Pangasinan. With the outrage of different invaders, heroes such as Andres Malong fought for the everlasting freedom of the province against all odds to be delivered from the hands of the enemies. Sweet was the victory with the influx of LOVE, DEDICATION, and SACRIFICE. Martyrs like the local Katipuneros fought fiercely during the Battle of Dagupan; they undauntedly sought for eternal glory no matter what the cost might be. I can envision how General Francisco Makabulos and the others took a stand as they embarked on the glorious victory against some painful strugglesall in the name of FREEDOM. Freedom from the bondage of slavery, terrorism, intimidation, and--------------------true IDENTITY. On January 9, 2008, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. and Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas institutionalized the commemoration to honor the war veterans. The resolution named January 9 as Pangasinan Veterans Day. I am rich with the legacy of a refined taste in music, art, and literature. Several ethnic groups live in Pangasinan, enriching the cultural fabric of the province. Buri hat making, mat weaving, wooden shoe manufacture, brick and pottery making and metalcraft are among the traditional industries that continue to thrive in Pangasinan. Pangasinan abounds in handicrafts and is famous for bamboo and rattan artifacts. Moreover, Pangasinan had its share of prominent visual artist, the most accomplished of whom is the late Victorio C. Edades, who was instrumental in pioneering modernism in Philippine art and became a National Artist for having changed the direction of Philippine painting. Princess Urduja is a figure from Philippine legend, a warrior princess who is said to have ruled the kingdom of Tawalisi in the province of Pangasinan. Though whether or not she actually existed is in contention among scholars, she is still considered a popular heroine and Philippine icon, especially in Pangasinan. A unique feature of the ancient culture was the dances. These were indicative of the peoples' values and skills--the imunan was a courtship dance, the tagam a war dance, and the kumakaret a test of dexterity. Every city or municipality has some sort of a festival or tradition that is celebrated every year. Tradition wise, we are of pure heritage. During the summer, several feasts and festivals are celebrated in Pangasinan, including the Pistay Dayat or Sea Feast, the Bangus Festival, and the Mango and Bamboo festivals.How remarkable it is in the way we celebrate our festivities, with all the grandeur of honoring a patron saint. F. Sionil Jos, and Carlos Bulosan are internationally known writers from Pangasinan. In 1944, Bulosan released "The Laughter of My Father," a compilation of humorous stories showing rural life in the Philippines during his youth. His autobiography, "America is in the Heart," was published in 1946. Victorio C. Edades, a Filipino modernist and a recognized National Artist. They all hail from Pangasinan. And we will forever be proud to say that one of the former Filipino Presidents, HIS EXCELLENCY FIDEL VALDEZ RAMOS, is a PANGASINENSE. It is vain, therefore, to spew out the rooted tendency of our natural spontaneous traits of how it is to be a native of Pangasinanstern, jolly, and dedicated. Who can find a better Filipino than the one who descended from the Austronisian-speakers that settled in Southeast Asia since prehistoric times. Would you opt to go outside the country just to see splendid natural views? We all have such spectacular scenic spots that can fill you with awe. What are Pangasinense made of? An exceptional creation destined to fulfill the missionto be an efficient citizen of our beloved country, the Philippines. We witness the classic history of our province which remains perhaps one of the jewels we treasure, a masterpiece that will never be forgotten. Soar high...aim for the best. I am PROUD to be a PANGASINENSE...YOU SHOULD ALSO BE.

SA RAMOS (03/15/11)