AURORA DAY. Lawyer Cristine Faith R. Sabella, chief of staff of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto, Jr., commander of the Philippine Army's 91st Infantry Battalion, Rep. Rommel Rico T. Angara, acting Governor Reynante Tolentino and acting Vice Governor Jennifer Araňa lead the 45th Foundation Day celebration of Aurora province and the 136th birth anniversary of the late former First Lady Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon. The event was held at the Provincial Capitol compound in Baler, Aurora on Monday, Feb. 19. Photo by Jason de Asis

By Jason De Asis

BALER, Aurora-Atty. Cristine Faith R. Sabella, chief of staff of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) graced the 45th foundation anniversary of Aurora province which is also the celebration of the 136th birth anniversary of First Lady Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon at the Capitol Grounds in Barangay Suklayin, here on Monday, Feb. 19.

Sabella represented NCIP Chairperson Jennifer Pia “Limpayen” Sibug-Las.

Sabella said in her speech during the culminating activity that the government officials are lead partners in advocating projects, policies and programs that promote the well-being of the IPs, taking steps to ensure that their rights are fully respected and their culture are preserved. Sabella added to renew commitment in building a brighter future for them by reaching more to all IP communities in this province.

“As we honor Dona Aurora today, may we also give due recognition to our IP ancestors. They both immensely contributed to the progress and beauty of Aurora province. Let us be inspired to carry forth her vision of a society where every individual is empowered to reach full potential. Let us not leave anyone behind,” she said.

On the 45th anniversary Sabella said, let us celebrate the founding anniversary by appreciating the milestone of this province with gratitude for our shared history, pride in our progress and a collective determination to forge ahead a brighter future.

Aurora Day Celebration (ADC) 2024 Chairperson Virgilia P. Gomez said that she was overwhelmed with a profound sense of pride and joy, despite the challenges during the planning and preparation before and throughout the celebration, they have come together symbolizing unity and resilience. “Indeed, Aurora stands as a beacon of inspiration and possibilities, from the rich tapestry of our cultural heritage to the boundless potential of our people. On behalf of the ADC 2024 committee, I extend my deepest gratitude to all of you for your unwavering support and active participation,” she said, adding that they forged meaningful connections and laid groundwork for future endeavors.

She added but beyond the accomplishments what truly stands out is the spirit of camaraderie and a shared purpose. “As we conclude our activities for ADC, let us carry with us the lessons of our history, the dreams of our ancestors and the aspirations of our youth. In the spirit of “Aurora sa Muling Pagsibol ng Liwanag” let us rekindle the flame of hope in our hearts, ignite the sparks of innovation in our minds and illuminate the path towards a progressive future,” she said.

Aurora Representative Rommel Rico T. Angara said that Aurora Quezon, if living , is very happy for the uprising progress and development in Aurora province. “Projects continue in covered courts, domestic airports, bridges, barangay halls, roads, new municipal buildings among many others…”one of my dreams is to have a 2nd level hospital and it was already passed in the committee level to have an Aurora Medical Center facility will be put up soon in the province of Aurora. Ito po ay isasalang na sa plenaryo,” he said.

Acting Governor Reynante Tolentino said that the celebrations marked the continues progress in the culture, arts, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure among others. He further said in his speech: “Ang tema ng ating pagdiriwang ngayon ay nagpapaalaala sa atin ng pag-asa para sa tuloy-tuloy na pagbangon at pamamayagpag ng ating lalawigan sa iba’t-ibang larangan, kasabay ng pagsibol ng Aurora mula sa dilim patungong kaliwanagan ay ang pagyakap natin sa kaunlaran…tayo po ay magtulungan patungo sa mapayapa at progresibong pamayanan,” Tolentino said.

Acting Vice Governor Jennifer Araňa said that they are at their best with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members to support all the programs of Acting Gov. Tolentino for the continues progress of Aurora province. “Sina Senator Sonny Angara at Congressman Rommel Angara ang ating pangunahing bayani sa ating lalawigan at mas magiging higit ang ating pagsibol ng liwanag sa taong ito ng 2024 hanggang sa mga darating pa,” Araňa said.

Benjamine Avanceňa, a descendant of Quezon said during the program that he was grateful for remembering the good deeds of their great grandmother and also recalled the past of Aurora Quezon.

In a letter of Senator Sonny Angara to Acting Gov. Tolentino stated that the senator lauded the local government leaders in the province for the continuous progress and development. He also cited the tourism booming industry where local and international tourist flocks in Aurora because of the amazing beauty of nature and development.

“Nakakataba ng puso na naririnig natin sa kanila na muli’t-muli tayo ang binabalikan. Bilang anak ng Aurora ako ay nakikiisa sa pagdiriwang ng ating lalawigan…bilang inyong kababayan, ako po ay laging nakahandang tumulong at sumuporta sa pangangailangan ng ating lalawigan at ng ating mga kababayan. Sa mga pagawaing imprastraktura, narito po ang inyong lingkod na lagging nakaagapay sapagkat napakahalaga ng imprastraktura sap ag-unlad ng isang bayan,” he said.