The province of Pangasinan will celebrate the 3rd Agew na Pangasinan (Pangasinan Day) on April 11. The actual date of Agew na Pangasinan is April 5, but the activities and celebration were moved to April 11 as April 5 falls on Holy Week.
One of the highlights is the Asna Awards where the highest recognition will be given to outstanding Pangasinenses. Seven Pangasinenses who had made a mark and great contribution to humanity will be accorded the greatest reverence by their very own province on April 11, through the “Asna Awards.”
“Asna” is an old term of the Pangasinan word “asin.” It describes the good quality of a man’s character or his demeanor.
Highest recognition, the Balitok Award, will be given to Hilarion “Larry” Henares of Sta. Barbara, and Atty. Gabriel Singson of Lingayen. Henares, a descendant of Don Daniel Maramba (governor of Pangasinan from 1916 to 1922), is an economist, educator, businessman, writer, among others while Singson is former governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.Balitok means gold or treasure.
- Ermin Garcia Jr. of Dagupan City – Journalist and publisher of Sunday Punch
- Jose Datuin of Dagupan City – International sculptor and artist
- Ambassador Amadeo Perez Jr. of Urdaneta City – Former mayor of Urdaneta and congressman at the fifth district, now chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office
- Dr. Antonio Tamayo of Malasiqui – Founder of Perpetual Help University
- Gen. Jose Magno of Pozorrubio – Retired General
According to Gov. Amado Espino Jr., the Asna Awards will inspire others, especially the youth, to emulate the achievements and leadership skills of the awardees and strive hard to succeed in their chosen fields.
The awarding rites and grand ball will be held at the Sison Auditorium, the cultural center of the province.
The Agew na Pangasinan will start in the morning with a Mass at the Capitol Plaza followed by a commemorative program, including the 1st Pangasinan Literary contest awarding ceremony and presentation of the Pangasinan Orthography to the Komisyon sa wikang Pilipino.
Other events are the Parada ed Dalan (float and street dancing competition), and the opening of the Tourism and Trade Expo at the Lingayen beach front.
The first recipients of the Asna Awards when it was launched in 2010 were former President Fidel Ramos of Asingan and National Artist F. Sionil Jose of Rosales (both Balitok awardees).
For a Pangasinense to qualify to the Asna Awards, he/she must be nominated by a person or a non-government organization; a Filipino citizen, born in Pangasinan or has Pangasinan ancestry; not an incumbent elected public official; must truly be a Pangasinan at heart, happy and proud to be one; must have complied with all the rules governing nomination; and, should be alive and able to attend the awards night.