It was a day of pomp and ceremony.

     Finally,  after  one  hundred fifty-eight years, the people of Isabela  enthroned  Queen  Isabella  II  of  Spain in  her  place  of  honor  in  the  front  and center  of  the  sprawling  eight  hectare compound  of  the  Isabela  Provincial Capitol, the province’s seat of power.

     Basking  in  the  glory  of  the province’s  rich  cultural  heritage  and taking  great  pride  in  her  immense agricultural  prowess,  the  people  of Isabela  led  by  Governor  Faustino Dy  III  and  Vice  Governor  Tonypet Albano celebrated the province’s 158th Founding  Anniversary,  focusing  on the  theme “Isabela: ang pagsibol ng bagong sentro ng AGRIkultura”.


     DILG  Secretary  Mar  A. Roxas,  Belgian  Ambassador  Roland Van  Remoortele  and  former  senator and  currently  Climate  Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez led other dignitaries in gracing the historic occasion  highlighted  by  the  unveiling of the Queen Isabela II monument and the  inauguration  of  the  Queen  Isabela Park.  The  memorial  is  a  majestic  and elaborate  work  of  art  painstakingly fashioned by hand by Joel Pragas, one of the best and most prolific artists ever to grace Isabela’s local art scene.

     The Park was built in honor of Queen Isabella II of Spain after whom the  province  of  Isabela  was  named through  a  royal  decree  issued  by  the King  of  Spain  on  May  1,  1856.  It’s a  magnificent  megastructure  which  includes  a  colossal   amphitheatre designed  to  serve  as  venue  for  the leisure,  cultural  and  tourism  activities of the province. It features eco-friendly and self-sustaining green design, while the rear portion has a landscaped lagoon with natural spring water.

     “Ang pagdiriwang ngayong taon ay lubhang  makahulugan sa atin pong lalawigan sapagkat ngayon po natin nakita ang kaganapan ng isang pangarap, ang isang liwasan na para sa lahat, para sa Isabeleño at para sa ating mga bisita, ang Queen Isabela Park.” Dy said in his first ever speech in the province’s latest landmark.“Ang magandang liwasan na ito ay hugis bilog na sumasagisag sa walang tigil na pagsulong ng atin pong lalawigan. Ang waring mga hagdan-hagdang lupang upuan na nakapalibot dito ay simbolo na mayroong pag-angat ng buhay ng ating mga mamamayan lalo na ng ating mga magbubukid - ang tahimik nating mga bayani sa kanayunan,”he said as he lavished Isabela farmers with praises.

     Top agriculture officials of the country  attribute  Isabela’s  outstanding performance in rice and corn production to the provincial government’s immense support to small farmers.

     “Mabuhay ang Isabela! Happy Anniversary Isabela!” exclaimed keynote  speaker  DILG  Mar  Roxas,  a few minutes after he led the unveiling of  the  monument.  He  also  lauded Isabela  officials  for  harnessing  the province’s  supremacy  in  agriculture while engaging in cultural development initiatives,  thus  the  distinction  as  the country’s  emerging  center  of  agriculture.

     In  September  2013,  Isabela was  build  as  City  of  Charm  to  the Philippines’  Country  of  Honor  during the  10th  China-ASEAN  Exposition  in Nanning, China.

     Dy  envisions  the  park  as  a “center for the Isabeleños creative pursuits”and a venue that will inspire the “full flowering of the arts and the flourish of our culture.”

     “As repositories of the majority and nobility of our race, we offer our unshakeable faith in the glory of our history and the immense possibilities of our desired future,” he said.