Friday, November 20, 2015

Dumaguete, Alameda city in US to sign MOU for week-long cultural exchange

Representatives from Californian city of Alameda, including Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, will arrive in Dumaguete next week to sign a memorandum of agreement that will initiate a week-long cultural exchange between the sister cities.
The Alameda Sister City Association (ASCA) stated Monday that the event was the second exchange this year, with Dumaguete sending an eight-member delegation headed by Mayor Manuel Teves Sagarbarria to Alameda last June.
Filipino-American Cynthia Bonta, who founded the Philippine Committee of the ASCA, said the visit was mostly for the benefit of the youth as the exchange will feature fiestas, a whale shark excursion, and a tour of Silliman University, churches, temples, and a geothermal energy plant.
"My motivation for doing all this is to open up the world for our youth," Bonta said.
The delegation to the exchange, the date of which remains unannounced, are aged 17 to 71 and will be "focusing on building youth and student exchange programs between the two cities as well as between Silliman University and colleges within the Peralta Community College District, like Alameda College," ASCA said.
"Other members will be finalizing the details of a medical mission to the Philippines being planned by the Philippine Medical Society of Northern CA for 2017," it added.
No date has been set for the exchange, but a 17-member delegation to Dumaguete will arrive on November 23 to sign the MOA.
According to ASCA, at least 23,000 Filipinos resided in Alameda in 2010 and comprised "close to one-quarter of the overall Asian population" in the city. 
It added that the San Francisco Bay Area region had the second largest Filipino population in the US with 287,879 Filipino-Americans residing in the area.
The migration by Filipinos to Alameda began after World War 2, when veterans settled in the city to work at military bases in Alameda and nearby Oakland. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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