101st Ablan Day rekindles love, unity among IN leaders
DESPITE the heavy downpour, local officials and residents from the 21 towns and two cities of Ilocos Norte gathered as one to commemorate the 101st birth anniversary of World War II hero and public servant extraordinaire Governor Roque B. Ablan.
To re-echo the vision of love and unity of the war hero for all, especially the youth of today’s generation, a simple yet full of dramatic and action-filled yells and cheering dances, celebration overwhelmed spectators, especially the kin of the late guerilla leader and patriot led by his son and namesake, three-term Rep. Roque R. Ablan Jr.
However, the most marked difference in this year’s celebration is the attendance of Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas and Pagudpud Mayor Marlon Sales, both belonging to political families that are not allied to Ablan. Their attendance further boosted the rekindling of the old Ablan’s dreams and aspirations to have love and respect for mankind for the attainment of a common goal geared towards a better Filipino nation.
The Fariñases are well-known political opponents of the Marcoses while the Saleses of Pagudpud have not been known to be allies of Ablan, particularly former Pagudpud Mayor Reynolan Sales, brother of the incumbent Pagudpud mayor, who have been Ablan’s rival for the first district congressional post in the past two elections.
The younger Sales however stressed that election is over and it is now time for everyone to work together towards progress.
“Our participation here, together with my sister [Bangui Mayor Salvacion Sales-Cimatu] is our way of expressing [that] politics is over. We couldn’t find any reason why we should be blamed after all it’s already the last term of Congressman Ablan. We need focus and development in our province of Ilocos Norte, particularly in our towns Pagudpud and Bangui,” the incumbent Pagudpud mayor explained noting that the province’s northern towns have become have for tourists due to Bangui’s windmill farm and Pagudpud’ white beaches.
For his part, Fariñas expressed gratitude for having been invited to the event as he personally expressed his cooperation with the undertakings of the province.
Ilocos Norte Governor Michael M. Keon, on the other hand, noted that he is up to the challenge by committing himself and his administration to uphold the call and heroic deeds of the old Ablan, particularly in listening to the voice of the youth, which has always been regarded as the hope of the nation.
Rallying to the call of the patriot Ablan, students from various schools, colleges and universities of Ilocos Norte staged a lively presentation that depicted Ablan’s vision for today’s leaders and concerned citizens to become more responsible citizens in the protection of each other’s rights, particularly on education, social welfare, love for country and protection of the environment.
As a way of committing themselves to the late governor’s ideals, local officials and other concerned individuals both from government agencies and private organizations signed a covenant upholding Ablan’s legacy to the people.
Other guests during the celebration were former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, and Education asst. sec. Vilma Labrador, standing in for Education Sec. Jesli Lapus as guest speaker. The education secretary was in a tour in Australia at the time.
Leilanie G. Adriano