Pangasinan Brotherhood: A gathering of courage and determination

ON Sunday, June 27, the Greater Dagupan Association of California (GDCAC) celebrated its 25th year anniversary at the Double Hilton in Rosemead.

Beginning at 6pm and within the hour,  from one wall to another, the energy level started to go up. Mobile phones were ringing, people were moving, talking, laughing and thinking. Formidable, they were ready,  working, generating confidence. There was no time to wait. These were men who acted, rather than talked. Every challenge was going to be done, because they are determined individuals who all worked hard and long to achieve positive results.

GDCAC was born 25 years ago, spearheaded by the  late Atty. Tony De Venecia and Eng. Ads Diaz—who put together a handful of disparate, empirical but gifted men. Young and old, they were linked through their schools, sacrosanct values, social class and concerns in public service. The mixture was good personally and professionally.

The induction and swearing in ceremonies were a glittering time for GDCAC although light and casual maybe was just a perfect excuse for a gathering of fellowship to rib each other over excellent nourishment and sparkling conversation, and dancing in merriment.

The guest speaker, Mayor  Belen T. Fernandez, was smiling her exhaustion away after a 13-hour flight from Dagupan City. Charming and candid, she beguiled everyone that evening, giving that certain sophistry. She charmed, fascinated with the mastery of the business of advisory services. Her mantra, was transparency nothing was beyond dreams. And as she fielded questions, she reflected: she knew exactly the rules of the game, what issues would be touched.

It was a sparkling conversation. Her office, according to her constituents, could be anywhere she can turn a stick into a blossom—a vacant lot into a rainbow, where school children or constituents back home could stay mesmerized even while they’re only batting the breeze over Dagupan bangus and a gentle libation. She alludes progress to determination. The Mayor believes “determination is not a deal, angle contract or hustle, it is was is handed down to you, what your parents had taught you.”

Her constituents held her in high esteem because Mayor Fernandez never promised anything dramatic, nor issued rapturous quotes, but simply said things that made sense and inspired, treating everyone with compassion, aware that a mayor’s job required enthusiasm, persistence, mandatory commitment, philosophical perspective, political acumen, stamina or wisdom wether acquired or inherent.

As City Mayor, her daily chores were not just a heap of calendar pages and appointments of school buildings, markets, park or municipal hall that she had built, but also an array of emotions, changes that made her ponder deeply on life’s why’s and wherefores that propelled cleared path ahead. She had given the Moonlighter more time, than we could have hoped for and be grateful about, in an evening’s task.

Everyone was in glorious celebration. The fun filled gaiety and joyful camaraderie were thrown as the music of maestro Buddy Reyes and his band banged the music away,  with everyone sharing  the dance floor, throwing themselves like unrestricted magical creatures  whistling in the wind in an almost magical fun and what their dancing meant to them.

For Mrs. Vener Diaz, Vice President of the Greater Dagupan City Association of California’s Silver Anniversary and Gala night, core and heart of the Gala Dinner Dance, she attributes the success of the event, to everyone—from her friends, the Board of Directors, supporters and guests, including her team of quiet toilers. Everything was a blessing in a shared  experience, cutting through bureaucracy, every goal of the event was met. Before the day shifted dramatically into an evening, Mrs. Vener Diaz could only feel an indescribable gratitude for the way the  event came alive, bringing the community of the Dagupenos together, into one big happy family, finding the strength together, even as their hearts cry and ache with their prayers for the early recovery of their Beloved President elect Mrs. Ching Arzadon. Her better half Lomi Arzadon, soldiered on, read her prepared speech, choking with emotion, as you could hear a pin drop among her fellow Dagupenos.

On the glitz and glamour, Precy Uy was crowned. Mrs. Dagupan City Association of California (GDCAC 2015). Always elegant and well groomed, she was a shoo in for the beauty title. She speaks with fondness of her family in the Philippines. Her mom and two grown up sons, Calvin and Cheston, made it to her coronation night.

Her genteel fluency, without artificiality, is a natural Dagupan Pride. She has fashioned a distinct career in Home Health Care. in a rolling gentle style:  the treasures of family lore, has also made her independent.

She said, “life will always be a celebration about dignity, about respect, about caring—or whatever suits—let it be!”

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