LINGAYEN -- It will be a long vacation for the residents of Pangasinan.

April 5 (Monday) has been officially declared as special non-working holiday in the province of Pangasinan. For the first time, the province will celebrate its 430th Founding Anniversary.

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Through the Office of the President, Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza signed and issued Wednesday Proclamation 2033 covering the event.

Last year, Governor Amado Espino Jr. created the Pangasinan Day Research and Study Committee headed by former vice governor Gonzalo Duque to establish the founding day of the province.

Last February, Duque and the members of the committee submitted their findings and recommendations to the Provincial Board.

Subsequently, the Provincial Board chaired by Vice Governor Marlyn Primicias-Agabas passed last February 15, 2010 Provincial Ordinance 143-2010.

This was later signed by Espino declaring April 5, 1580 as the official founding day of the province of Pangasinan.

At the same day, the governor designated Duque as chairman of the first celebration of the Pangasinan Foundation Day.

Special guests during the celebration are former President Fidel Ramos of Asingan town (the only Pangasinense to have reached the highest political post in the country) and former governor Conrado Estrella (the oldest living former governor of the province).

The celebration will commence through a thanksgiving mass at 6:30 a.m. at the Capitol Plaza. Thereafter, Espino will lead the unveiling of the new official provincial seal at the Capitol Plaza.

The other activities lined-up include the inauguration of the newly-renovated and resurrected Sison Auditorium (dubbed as the Cultural Center of the North).

There is also the Parada na Dayew (Costume and float parade and street dancing exhibition); groundbreaking of the Pangasinan Eco-Tourism Zone, Konsiyerto sa Kapitolyo, ASNA Awards and Grand Ball, and grand fireworks display before midnight.