By Art Gabot Madlaing
BURLINGAME, California – Pangasinan Gov. Ramon “Mon Mon” Guico III disclosed major projects province wide during the United Pangasinanes of America, Inc. (UPAI) installation of officers, inaugural banquet and ball last Saturday, April 15, at the Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom in this city.
Gov. Guico III shared a brief message through live broadcast because he was not able to personally attend the UPAI ceremonies due to emergency appointment in Malacanang Palace with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
The upcoming projects which were shared on behalf of Gov. Guico by Dr. Sheila Marie Baniqued, included the construction of the Pangasinan East-West Expressway (Pewex) to shorten travel time throughout the province of Pangasinan from four hours to less than one hour.
Other projects unveiled were:
1. Construction of the Pangasinan Salt Center to boost production of salt, one of the premier products of the province;
2. Establishment of the Pangasinan Polytechnic College. This is the expansion of the University of Eastern Pangasinan (UEP)) established by Gov. Guico in Binalonan, Pangasinan when he was mayor of the booming town in eastern Pangasinan. The UEP has so far helped more than 7,000 scholars with free expenses;
3. Improvement of the Health Care System province wide to benefit the population especially the senior citizens;
4. Construction of the Capitol Complex to include a mall, 5-star hotel, recreational facilities and other amenities to boost tourism.
In concluding the special report on the upcoming special projects of Gov. Guico in Pangasinan, Dr. Baniqued echoed “Pangasinan Ang Galing.”
She explained that when Gov. Guico was the Mayor of Binalonan, “Binalonan Ang Galing” was the town’s motto. When he was the Congressman in the fifth district, “Fifth District of Pangasinan Ang Galing,” became the motto.
“Tonight, I shout with you all “UPAI Ang Galing!” she said.
Gov. Guico III was scheduled to induct and install the incoming 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, Reguindin, assistant controller; Josephine J. de la Cruz, treasurer; Susan Arcilla, assistant treasurer; Arse Valdez, auditor; Becky Bautista, assistant auditor; Conrad Barcelon, Marcel Cayabyab & Rodil Peralta, sergeant-at-arms.
Others installed were 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 Almerom as adviser.
Chris Alanzalon, Andy Junio, Carlito Carrera, Gloria Junio, Jose Castillo, Lyn Descalzo, and Ben Rufo were named board of directors –town affiliates.
Newly installed UPAI President Alvin Padilla inducted appointed officers, namely, 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 Geoffrey Baraan; National Anthems, Elements of Time Band; Welcome Address, Bernard Valdez; Acknowledgement, 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 Charina Torres San Diego and Rolly Junio,
Presentation of the 2023 Executive Officers and Board of Directors was led by Dr. Ricky Paningbatan, DDS; Presentation of Bouquet to the outgoing UPAI First Lady Cynthia Almeron, UPAI First Lady Marita Padilla, assisted by former Miss Pangasinan Jennifer Castillo; Valedictory Address & Transfer of Gavel of Responsibility, outgoing UPAI President Fred Almeron; Inaugural Address, UPAI President Alvin Padilla.
Delegation from Pangasinan who attended the jampacked Grand Ballroom included Board Members representing the different districts of Pangasinan like Vici Ventenilla, Salvador Perez; Melecio Patague, former vice mayor of Binalonan, Pangasinan, now administrative officer of Gov. Guico III, who visited the Binalonan Group Table 23 arranged by Romy Cerezo, UPAI board member and president of Binalonians of Northern California; comprising of Virgie Tomeldan Guico and her daughter Alei; the former Aida Torres, past president of the Binalonians of Northern California; Virginia Jimenez Madlaing and hubby; and Celestino Medios and his wife from Balungao, Pangasinan.
Other guests included Daly City Mayor Raymond A. Buenaventura; representative consuls from the office of Consul General Frank R. Ferrer; and officers from various associations like US Ilocano National Association (USINA); and 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 president of UPAI 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.