By Elpidio R. Estioko
Considered as one of the greatest pillars of Urdaneta City and in the province of Pangasinan, former Congressman (5th district) and former municipal mayor and city mayor Amadeo “Amadito” Perez, Jr. died from a lingering sickness on Thursday morning at the age of 83.
Known as the longest-serving mayor of Urdaneta, Perez died at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Urdaneta City, according to Amadeo “Butch” Perez 11, the eldest child. Perez has another son, Amadeo Perez 111 (Boboom) who was elected mayor of Urdaneta city for three consecutive terms who was termed out last year.
He also served as chair of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan (with the rank of ambassador) during the term of President Benigno Aquino III from 2010 to 2016.
It was announced by incumbent mayor Julio Rammy Parayno 111 during the necrological services that a resolution will be passed renaming Alexander Street, the main avenue in front of the city hall to Amadeo R Perez Jr Avenue on November 14 during his 84th birthday and June 25 will be a city holiday.
“If that happens,” Butch Perez said, “there would now be three streets named after our family in Urdaneta: Perez St. after our family name, Lolo Amadeo Sison Perez Sr., also a former Congressman of the 4th District of Pangasinan. And my father Amadeo Reyes Perez Jr. Perez Street is where the ancestral house of our great grandparents used to be located probably since in time immemorial. Don Amadeo S. Perez Sr. Street the street behind the cathedral was renamed a longtime ago.”
Butch Perez added that, “The local public hospital used to be Urdaneta General Hospital was renamed Amadeo S. Perez Sr General Hospital years ago. Our barangay school used to be San Vicente Central School and was renamed Don Amadeo S. Perez Sr Central School after my Lolo years ago including its extension on San Vicente East.”
Graduates from the then Urdaneta Community High School (UCHS), now Urdaneta City National High School (UCNHS), Batch ’65 were very close to Perez and would like to extend their heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family of former Congressman Perez. They would also like to extend their tribute to a worthy man the caliber of Amadito Perez.
Joweh Sumait, Batch ’65 now residing in Chicago, Illinois and a former president of Urdaneta Jaycees has this to say: “When he was the mayor of Urdaneta, Mayor Amadito always assigned me as the chairman of Urdaneta Town Fiesta marathon. I was a perennial chairman of Urdaneta Town Fiesta Marathon from 1983 to 2010. The annual marathon is sponsored by the Urdaneta Municipal government and the Urdaneta Jaycees. He also designated me as chairman of the Urdaneta Inter-Barangay Basketball Tournament participated by 34 barangays of Urdaneta… He was such a jolly good fellow…He has a very good memory of people’s names in Urdaneta, even their aliases and what barangay they belong (Nalaing nga agiminoria ti nangnagan ti tattao ti Urdaneta pati alias da ammon na). He is good-looking and very neat mayor.”
Obet Barrientos, also of Batch ’65 and now a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, said: “He also came to the wake of my father in 1992. A staunch Liberal Party member, my tatay was a big supporter of the old man Amadeo. Amadito lived a long and fulfilling life …he is one of my idols.”
Greg/Vicky Calacsan, officers of the Urdaneta Association in San Diego said: “Hon. Amadito Perez… we’ve always addressed him as Mayor… during his many visits in San Diego, we had potlucks in different Urdaneta folks’ homes. He would call the guys Mr. and mentioned the last names and knew which barangay each one come from. He was funny, kind, approachable, lovable, and like a family. The last time we saw each other was at the Silew na Sagur picnic at his resort. He saw Vicky de Gala Calacsan and said, yes… she is my classmate in Las Vegas (wen ah classmate ko idiay Las Vegas).”
Mila Goroza, also a Batch ’65, said: “Amadito was a very good friend of the Goroza family of Nancayasan…”
Sumait added that “… when he was still strong, he always attends to almost all the viewing of the wake of the dead in Urdaneta… He masterminded the cementing and road widening of all the barangay roads in Urdaneta.”
Greg/Vicky also added: “Thank you Hon. Amadito Perez for the fond memories … hour visits to the Urdaneta Association in San Diego attending our meeting and special events and meeting especially your surprise attendance in 2000 to my father’s last viewing at Funeraria Angeles in Calle Garcia when you were a congressman. You were the only Urdaneta officer who paid last respect to my father. Thank you from the bottom of the de Gala, Benito, Calacsan, Mones/Martinez families. We will always remember you in our hearts and minds.”
Members of Batch ’65 are extending their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Amadito: Fe Malagayo-Alluri, Elpidio R. Estioko, Greg/Vicky Calacsan, Batch ’65 president Minda Ventinilla Tomines, Joweh Sumait, Cora Massin Jacob, Gus/Girly Castillo, Gilda Doot Nickel , Agnes Magpale, Roger Andrada, Mely Parayno, Dr. Lorenzo “Amante” Agbanlog, Bien Zabala Cordingley, Mila Goroza, Atty. Mario Bravo, Obet Barrientos, Maria Patacsil Fernandez, Danny Calacsan, Rose Tangalin Santos, Bert Lapena, Khrys Ramirez, Apo Lakay (Bishop Ross), Delfin Domagas, former Batch ’65 president Arsenio Dulay, Ligaya “Joy” Cabading, Cora Massin Jacob, Amelia “Amy” Labarinto, Eufrosina Tigno, Mario Mateo, Eliodoro Calacsan, Jose Corpuz, Leticia Malbog Tria, Manuel Idos, Rolando Sabado, and Judina Cadiente.
Again, to the bereaved family of Amadito Perez, please accept our deepest condolence! May his soul Rest in Peace!