Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria said he is optimistic about the prospect of forging sisterhood relations with Hawaii, of the United States of America.
Sagarbarria took up the sisterhood plan with two members of the Hawaii House of Representatives, Tom Brower and John Mizuno, Monday at City Hall.
The sisterhood is aimed at promoting bilateral trade and cultural exchange between the State of Hawaii and Philippine cities. Mizuno and Brower met last week in Manila with members of the Philippines’ League of Cities to invite mayors to a conference sometime on the third week of February next year in Honolulu.
Both legislators noted the large Filipino population in Hawaii, and Mizuno stressed that forging a sisterhood agreement with Dumaguete would keep their Filipino roots strong. He highlighted as the driving force behind his support for the sisterhood with Dumaguete, his wife, Joje May Besario, who is from Dumaguete and whose roots are in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Mizuno, chairman of Hawaii’s Human Services Committee, said a sisterhood agreement will not only be beneficial to Dumaguete but to Hawaii and the USA. Many things can be offered and traded in terms of tourism, business, health care, student exchange and juvenile justice, he said.
Brower who chairs the Tourism Committee of Hawaii said he has visited several cities in the Philippines three times and that this goodwill mission will promote friendship with between Hawaii State and some cities in the Philippines.
Brower and Mizuno said they expect at least 60 mayors at the conference.
Meanwhile, a fun run to support Hawaii’s sisterhood relations with Dumaguete is set Tuesday with at least 120 running enthusiasts expected to join the 3.5 kilometer event around the city’s major thoroughfares, Paultom Para of the Metro Dumaguete Runners Club said.
The Dumaguete-Hawaii Sisterhood Fun Run is organized by the Dumaguete Amateur Roadrunners and Striders in cooperation with the MDRC.
Sagarbarria, Mizuno and Brower are expected to attend fun run.*JFP
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