Laoag City-San Juan City Sisterhood Agreement Signing
Two well-known cities in the country formally bond their mutual undertakings through the signing of a Sisterhood Relationship Agreement (SRA) held at the Laoag City Hall Auditorium on August 10, 2016.
The cities of Laoag and San Juan in Metro Manila were both represented by Mayors Chevylle V. Fariñas and Guia G. Gomez respectively, together with their members of the City Council, Department Heads, and the Punong Barangays.
But before the signing of SRA, the San Juan City delegation was toured in the entire city and province of Ilocos Norte for the beautiful tourist attractions and sceneries.
It was learned that the cities of San Juan and Laoag, particularly their Liga ng Mga Barangays (LMB), first took their SRA two years ago held at the Plaza Del Norte in Paoay, Ilocos Norte and was again attended by both the two Mayors and the Punong Barangays.
During the signing proper, mayor Fariñas thanked mayor Guia for coming back again and most especially for bringing along the whole delegation.
Mayor Fariñas thanked the whole delegation for choosing the city of Laoag as their first sisterhood of all cities in the country.
She said that San Juan will always be very close to her heart because her eldest son Jamie and daughter Mikee, who is the present LMB president, were both born in San Juan.
In her speech, Fariñas said that friendship is a universal phenomenon that transcends race, religious learnings, differences, and the catalyst that transforms towards one direction to achieve a common goal.
The SRA was made possible through city resolutions approved by the two cities.
Fariñas said that the sister city relationship between the two cities is very vital and important as they both inspire and stimulate each other’s best practices and new innovations in becoming more progressive and more developed cities.
Fariñas believes on the saying that two heads will always be better than one. In other words, the cities of Laoag and San Juan will definitely be the best partners.
The City of Laoag is a third-class city and the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte, and it is the province’s political, commercial, and industrial hub and the location of the Ilocos Region’s international airport. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,904 people.
Laoag City celebrates its annual fiesta on February 10 called the Pamulinawen Festival and its Charter Day every June 19.
Laoag City as the Northern Gateway to the Phillippines, has also a lot of tourist attractions that would definitely attract foreign and domestic visitors.
Likewise, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez also expressed her thanks to the officialdom of Laoag for again a very warm welcome they showed to the whole delegation of San Juan.
Gomez said that in their tour to the city, they observed the beauty of the surroundings, cleanliness, and a very rich culture.
Gomez appreciated the clean and green program of the city of Laoag from its rural to urban barangays.
With the city of Laoag’s Pamulinawen Festival, Guia also announced San Juan’s WattahWattah Festival in commemoration of their patron saint San Jaun Bautista in June.
The WattahWattah or Water Festival was launched during the term of former Mayor and now Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito.
Guia promised that the WattahWattah Festival and the Pamulinawen Festival will be one the best festivals in the country very soon like the best Festivals of Dinagyang, Mascara, and others.
During their visit to the poblacion at night, it was raining and Mayor Guia and others were surprised because the water at the streets was so clear compared in Manila. As one of them said, “bakit sa ‘tin sa Manila kapag lumosong ka sa baha natatakot ka, baka ma leptospirosis ka, e bakit dito sa Laoag, enjoy na enjoy kami habang nababasa ang aming mga paa”.
“Kaya kailangan malinis din ang San Juan kaparis din ang Laoag”, Guia added.
Guia was also inspired as she never saw any single out-of-school youth along the streets as she believed that they are all in school, compared in San Juan that made her ask Fariñas to tell her secret.
The 74 years old Mayor also mentioned the city’ssuccessful Night Market which is being operated by the city government of Laoag compared in San Juan wherein the Greenhills is being operated by giant, big businessmen like the Ayalas, SM, and Ortigas Limited.
“And I want a similar night market in San Juan to be operated by the LGU”, she added.
In her speech, the three termer Mayor also mentioned her support on the proposed burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, being one of the most famous, if not the most famous, in the country.
Geographical record shows that San Juan is only 5 percent with a total of 600 hectares compared with Laoag’s land area of 12,747 hectares.
San Juan is the smallest city in the Philippines located east of Manila. It is historically known as the site of the first battle of the Katipunan, the organization which led the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire. It is a part of Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines.