Pupils in ASEAN costumes delight crowd in Dagupan parade

DAGUPAN CITY, Aug. 9 — Pupils dressed in costumes of people in Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN ) member-countries were the toast of the crowd during a parade that ushered the celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN in Dagupan Tuesday afternoon.

The pupils from various schools in Dagupan also carried giant flags of each member-country to the delight of the crowd on the sidestreets of A.B. Fernandez Avenue and Perez Boulevard.

All ended up at the city plaza where different booths were put up displaying newly cooked culinary delights of each ASEAN member, prepared by students from various local colleges and universities.

Mayor Belen Fernandez said all the people of Dagupan were delighted to host the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, a grouping of nations in southeast Asia, of diverse culture and history, which means so much in their lives.

It was the late Ambassador Narciso Ramos, father of former President Fidel V. Ramos, who signed for the Philippines the first ASEAN declaration on August 8, 1967 in a meeting with foreign ministers of the original ASEAN member countries. The Ramoses are from Asingan town.

Mayor Fernandez said ASEAN has a crucial role to play in the lives of Filipinos because of the friendship, peace, and stability brought to member countries and their peoples during the last 50 years.

At exactly 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Mayor Fernandez lit seven lanterns, six bearing the logo of ASEAN and the other bearing the seal of Dagupan City, amid cheers from the spectators that packed the plaza.

The lighting of lanterns was done simultaneously in 72 other places in the country picked to host the celebration.

After the lantern lighting, many people stayed at the city plaza to listen to local songs. PNA-northboundasia.com