CHAPTER 6
Page 6

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Text excerpts from the book:
PAGSANJAN, In History and Legend
(1975 Edition)
By Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide

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      The Pagsanjeños, with their superiority complex and cosmopolite culture, welcomed all these distinguished visitors with their traditional hospitality, but never accorded them any official honors. They are, as a matter of truth, very choosy in giving honors to foreigners and even to their fellow Filipinos.
      This centuries-old Pagsanjan tradition was, however, broken in 1974. On November 23, 1974, U.S. Ambassador William H. Sullivan, accompanied by his charming wife (Marie) and a party of distinguished American and Filipino officials, visited Pagsanjan. The municipal officials and people of the town, cherishing nostalgic memories of Fil-American relations in past years, received him with warmest hospitality and joy. Aside from erecting a grandiose bamboo arch in front of the municipal building containing the names of the Ambassador and his party, they welcomed him with colorful parade, a Te Deum Mass at the Catholic church, a military review of the R.O.T.C. lady cadets of the Pagsanjan Academy, and a memorable program at the plaza which was highlighted by the presentation of the symbolic town key to the visiting American ambassador by the municipal mayor, and concluded by the Ambassador's eloquent brief remarks, The school band of the Union College of Santa Cruz, Laguna, furnished the music during the ceremonies.


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A DISTINGUISHED VISITOR. Municipal Mayor Gregorio F. Zaide presents the symbolic key of Pagsanjan to Ambassador William H. Sullivan during the visit of U.S. Embassy party on November 23, 1974.
Looking on are Laguna Governor Felicisimo T. San Luis (extreme left), Mrs. Sullivan, and Malacañang Presidential Assistant Guillermo de Vega (extreme right).



      Evidently, Ambassador Sullivan was deeply impressed by the enthusiastic ovations accorded him by the vast crowd of Pagsanjeños. No other foreign visitor, as a matter of fact, has ever been given such a gala reception. He truly captured the hearts of the Pagsanjeños because of his genial personality, intellectual brilliance and charisma.
      The historic visit of Ambassador Sullivan and his party was climaxed by an unprecedented phenomenon. The Municipal Council, in an emergency session held at the Pagsanjan Rapids Hotel shortly after lunch, voted unanimously to adopt Ambassador Sullivan as a "son of Pagsanjan." This was the first time a foreigner was conferred such an honor.

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