Mayor Leads Delegation to Sister City

Serena Chen The 17-member Alameda Sister City Association (ASCA) delegation led by Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer (front second from the right) just returned from Dumaguete City, Philippines, after five solid days and nights of tours, conferences, festivals, a beauty contest and a parade. The trip was organized by Alamedan Cynthia Bonta, ASCA Philippine Committee Chair, seen holding the Alameda Sun. The delegation was joined by Dumaguete City Mayor Manual Sagarbarria (on Mayor Spencer’s left) and his wife, Maisa (behind him). ASCA President Karen Fong is standing next to the giant letter “I,” behind Ms. Bonta.

Mayor Trish Spencer and the Alameda Sister City Association (ASCA) visited Dumaguete, Philippines, from Thursday, Nov. 19 until Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria invited Spencer to travel to his city to continue building the sister-city relationship that began when a Dumaguete delegation that included Sagabarria visited Alameda on June 6. (“Alameda Has New Sister City,” June 11). Interest in establishing a sister city in the Philippines began with Cynthia Bonta’s request to ASCA to consider Dumaguete as a candidate. Bonta graduated from Silliman University in Dumaguete. 
Alameda’s visit coincided with the visit of a 17-member delegation from another of Dumaguete’s sister cities, Yeongdun-Gun, South Korea, led by that city’s Mayor Park Se Bok. The South Korean delegation witnessd the signing of the sister city agreement between Alameda and Dumaguete. According to the Visayan Daily Star, delegations from both sister cities were on hand to help Dumaguete celebrate its 67th Charter Day on with its “Paghimamat” ceremony Nov. 24. The newspaper reported that both mayors participated in the city’s Sandurot Festival parade and street dancing.
While in Dumaguete, Spencer joined Sagarbarria in signing a memorandum of agreement that outlined plans for cultural, humanitarian, educational and business exchanges between the cities over the coming years. Members of the Alameda delegation enjoyed tours of the city with its waterfront area. They also participated in business, academic and government forums. 
The trip provided Alameda residents and businesses opportunities to make connections and forge partnerships that will strengthen ties between Alameda and Dumaguete. Spencer and the Alameda delegation departed the Philippines for home on Thanksgiving Day.  The Daily Star also reported the delegates from both sister cities met “with the business sector in a forum sponsored by the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry.” They also attended an academic forum hosted by Bonta’s alma mater, Silliman University.
Dumaguete is one of Alameda’s four sister cities. The other three are Lidingo, Sweden; Arita, Japan; and Wuxi, China.