LINGAYEN – Provincial Government has given honor and recognition to 11 Pangasinenses for carving a name at their respective fields.
The honor was given during the province's historical celebration called Agew na Pangasinan (Pangasinan Day) last April 5.
“I value this more than the other awards because it comes from my own province,” said National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil Jose, a native of Rosales town.
“It is really an unexpected honor. I am very happy for my mother who hails from Alaminos that someone from her family was able to gain this recognition. I'm humbled like the other awardees,” said Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist/writer Rina Jimenez-David.
“This will serve as an inspiration to other Pangasinenses (wherever they are working or studying at) to think back home and extend a helping hand to their fellow Pangasinenses,” Police Supterintendent Eric Noble of Sta. Barbara town stated.
The three are one of the 11 awardees.
Former President Fidel Ramos of and Jose were conferred the Balitok Award. Both in the Ilocano and Pangasinan dialects, balitok means gold or treasure.
The Asna awardees are former Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (government service/public health); COA Commissioner Reynaldo Villar (government service/accounting and auditing); Santiago Villafania (arts and culture); Dr. Westly Rosario, BFAR-National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC) chief (aquaculture); lawyer Menardo Jimenez of the GMA Television Network (business and entrepreneurship); and Rodolfo Tan-Cardozo, the fist international master for Pangasinan (sports).
Jimenez-David was given recognition in the field of mass communication, and Noble for community service.
The awardees also took pride of being part of the Asna Awards and Grand Ball, the first event held at the newly restored and renovated decades-old Sison Auditorium, the Cultural Center of Pangasinan.
“This (Asna Awards and Grand Ball) is the maiden and inaugural event for this newly renovated Sison Auditorium, intricately and meticulously designed to live up to its distinct role as the embodiment of the culture and the historic past of this great province,” Governor Amado Espino Jr. remarked.
“The ASNA Awards is the highest recognition given to outstanding Pangasinenses who have excelled over a lifetime in their respective fields of endeavor, who have established a reputation that cuts them above the others, and for this reason have brought pride and honor to our province,” he stated.
ASNA is the old form of the Pangasinan word asin (salt), from which the name of the province Panag-asinan is derived.
“ASNA usually stands for a man's good character or good demeanor, as in maasnan impan-ugali (meaning affable or good character). The Asna awardees, therefore, are outstanding Pangasinenses who are truly worth their salt,” Espino said.
He added that because of the very short time to prepare for the celebration, there are many more equally deserving Pangasinenses who have been left out, “but who will be recognized in a similar occasion next year.”
Asna Awards committee was chaired by Pangasinan historian Arabella Arcinue
Espino commended former vice governor Gonzalo Duque, president of the Lyceum Northwestern University (LNU), for a job well-done both as chairman of the Pangasinan Foundation Day Research and Study Committee and the Agew na Pangasinan celebration.
That night, Espino appointed Duque to head the committee to write the history of Pangasinan in the province's native tongue.
Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.
A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com
“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly
“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature
"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life." – A Boost to Pangasinan Literaturefrom Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)
"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth." – Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)
"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores
Translations of Erolalia in German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hindi language. And here is the 1st version of the poem published in The Sunday Times (Manila Times, 11.23.2003).
Six of my poems translated into Arabic by Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif (English Dept., College of Education, University of Basrah, Iraq) and have been published in TEXT - the Cultural Monthly Journal, Issue No.13