We are hearing many good and positive things happening in our home province Pangasinan and our hometown Binalonan.
And so when we were invited to the installation of officers, inaugural banquet and ball of the United Pangasinanes of America Inc. (UPAI), my wife Virginia Jimenez Madlaing and I hurriedly drove to the Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom in Burlingame, California where the event was scheduled, especially when we learned that the guest of honor and speaker is Pangasinan Governor Ramon Guico III, who before becoming governor was congressman of the fifth district and mayor of our hometown Binalonan.
We were hoping we could meet Governor Guico during the event but important commitment back home prevented him from flying to California. He, however, did not disappoint his provincemates and guests as he spoke through live video.
Moreover, Melecio E. Patague II, the provincial administrator, known as the Little Governor at the Capitol in Lingayen, attended the event and made sure to get suggestions, recommendations and feedback from provincemates. Pataque was vice mayor of the governor when he was mayor of Binalonan.
In his live video message, Gov. Ramon “Mon Mon” Guico III amazed the attendees when told them some of his major projects with assistance of Board Member Shiela Marie F. Baniqued. These projects include:
1. Construction of the Pangasinan East-West Expressway (PEWEX) to shorten travel time throughout the province from four hours to less than one hour;
2. Construction of the Pangasinan Salt Center to boost one of the natural products in the province;
3. Establishment of the Pangasinan Polytechnic College, an expansion of the University of Eastern Pangasinan (UEP) established by Gov. Guico III in Binalonan, Pangasinan when he was the Mayor of this booming town in eastern Pangasinan. The university has so far helped more than 7,000 scholars FREE of expenses;
4. Improvement of the Health Care System province wide to benefit the population especially the senior citizens;
5. Construction of the CAPITOL COMPLEX to include a mall, 5-star hotel, recreational facilities and amenities to boost tourism.
In concluding the special report on the upcoming projects of Gov. Guico II in Pangasinan, Dr. Baniqued echoed “Pangasinan ang Galing!” She explained that when Gov. Guico III was the Mayor of Binalonan, “Binalonan ang Galing” was the motto. When he was the Congressman in the 5th District, “Fifth District of Pangasinan ang Galing “became the motto. Tonight, I invite you ALL to say, “UPAI ang Galing!” she shouted.
Gov. Guico III was scheduled to induct and install the upcoming UPAI officers. On his behalf, Atty. Noel Vincent inducted and installed the following officers: Alvin Padilla, president; Charito Roxas-Wui, vice president; Marita N. Padilla, secretary; Norma Bitanga, assistant secretary; Lee Junio, controller; Angelina E. Requindin, assistant controller; Josephine J. de la Cruz, treasurer; Susan Arcilla, assistant treasurer; Arse Valdez, auditor; Becky Bautista, assistant auditor; Conrad Barcelon, Marcel Cayabyab and Rodil Peralta, sergeant-at-arms;
Ernesto Abalos (Chairman), Jose “Pepe” Rosario Jr., Amor Wui (Board Secretary), Caridad Aquino, Romulo Arenas, Nemy G. Bautista, Romy Cerezo, Rudy Junio, Chris Torres, Bernard Valdez, board of directors at-large, with past UPAI President Fred Almeron as adviser;
Chris Alanzalon, Andy Junio, Carlito Carrera, Gloria Junio, Jose Castillo, Lyn Descalzo, and Ben Rufo, board of directors- town affiliates.
Newly appointed UPAI President inducted the following appointed officers: Elizabeth Alanzalon, PRO; Edna Roxas-Gorospe, PRO; Lorette de Veas, historian; Jose Manuel, parliamentarian; Pacita Aningalan, mutual assistance; Jose Esteves, former Mayor of Milpitas, California, Constitution and By-laws; Angeline Noguera, Youth Representative; Norma Panoringan, current Mrs. Pangasinan.
Some highlights of the Inaugural Banquet & Ball include Invocation by Father Goeffrey Baraan; National Anthems, Element of Time Band; Welcome Address, Bernard Valdez; Acknowledgements, Elizabeth Alanzalon; Presentation of Awards, outgoing UPAI President Fred Almeron, assisted by outgoing UPAI First Lady Cynthia Almeron; Introduction of the Inducting Officer, Jose “Jojo” Castillo; Emcees were were Charina Torres San Diego and Rolly Junio.
Presentation of the 2023 Executive Officers and Board of Directors, Dr. Ricky Paningbatan, DDS; Presentation of Boquet to the outgoing UPAI First Lady Cynthia Almeron, by UPAI First Lady Marita Padilla, assisted by former Miss Pangasinan Jennifer Castillo; Valedictory Address & Transfer of Gavel of Authority and Responsibility, by outgoing UPAI President Fred Almeron; Inaugural Address, UPAI President Alvin Padilla.
Delegation from Pangasinan who attended the jampacked Grand Ballroom include the board members representing the various districts of Pangasinan. Administrator Melecio E. Patague II, former Vice Mayor of Binalonan, Pangasinan, who joined the Binalonan Group Table 23 arranged by UPAI board of director Romy Cerezo; comprising of Virgie Tomeldan Guico and her daughter Alei; the former Aida Torres, former President of the Binalonan Association of Northern California (BANC); Virginia Jimenez Madlaing and hubby; and Celestino Medios and his wife from Balungao, Pangasinan.
Other guests included Daly City Mayor Raymond A, Buenaventura; consuls from the office of Consul General Frank R. Ferrer; officers from various associations like US Ilocano National Associaition (USINA), Sarrat Association of Northern California (SANC).
Before his inaugural address, UPAI President Alvin Padilla requested for a moment of silence to reflect on the death of UPAI director emeritus Sozimo de Veas, past UPAI president and beloved husband of UPAI historian Lorette de Veas.
In his inaugural address, President Alvin Padilla pledged, with all humility, to serve UPAI altruistically with competence, honesty and dedication. Emphasizing the word “US,” he asked for involvement, cooperation and unity among all the officers and members of UPAI.
Congratulations to all the new UPAI officers!
(ART GABOT MADLAING is accredited and commissioned Notary Public and licensed Real Estate Broker (DRE #00635976) in California since 1981. He is founder of MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES, FITNESS FOR HUMANITY (aka FITNESS FOR CHRIST) and ACAPINOY. Art is active Evangelist with the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST in San Francisco, California USA.)