Zambo forges sisterhood pact with San Mateo PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 June 2012 14:11

Zamboanga City forges today, June 23, a sisterhood agreement with the municipality of San Mateo, Rizal in celebration of Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano.

The formal signing will take place 11am at the City Hall conference room with Mayor Celso Lobregat and San Mateo Mayor Jose Rafael Diaz leading the signing rite.

The sisterhood pact, supported by Zamboanga City Council 122 authored by Councilor Rudy Lim and San Mateo Sangguniang Bayan Resolution 50 sponsored by Councilor Mark Ian Buenviaje, O.D., is aimed to encourage and develop various fields of endeavour that are beneficial to both parties, promote mutual understanding and ultimately enhancing socio-cultural growth among its people.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and his San Mateo counterpart Vice Mayor Bartolomeo Rivera Jr. and the members of their respective Councils will stand witnesses during the signing ceremony.

The San Mateo municipal officials first came to Zamboanga last February 26 to join in the celebration of Dia de Ciudad de Zamboanga where the idea of entering into a sisterhood agreement with the city of Zamboanga came about. Several members of the Zamboanga City Council also visited San Mateo on several occasions, one of which was to observe the municipality’s successful land fill program.

San Mateo is a first class urban municipality of Rizal Province comprising of 13 municipalities that make the province of Rizal (CALABARZON Region). It is approximately 24 kilometers from Manila and 11 kilometers south of Pasig City and has a total land area of 4,825 hectares broken down into 15 barangays.

The sisterhood pact with the municipality of San Mateo is the fourth twinning agreement that the Zamboanga City Government under the administration of Mayor Lobregat entered with.  The three other sisterhood agreements are with the city of Dagupan formalized in 2005; Zaragozza, Spain forged on June 30, 2008 and Trece Martires City of Cavite signed on February 25, 2009. 

Based on the sisterhood agreement, the people of both the Zamboanga and San Mateo local government units “agree to collaborate for the mutual benefit of their communities by exploring, educational, economic and cultural opportunities and by sharing technology in the fields of commerce and industry.

Both parties likewise agree to “support and encourage opportunities for mutually beneficial and practical exchanges in the fields of business, arts and culture, health, science, education, sports, tourism and local governance; agree to exchange constructive ideas and best practices in local governance to increase both LGUs’ knowledge and understanding in effectively managing various facets of city governance” and “agree to encourage and foster goodwill and friendship, inter-LGU visits of city officials and executives, associations and residents of the City of Zamboanga and Municipality of San Mateo.”

The signing of the sisterhood agreement today highlights the celebration of Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano which marks the day of the laying of the cornerstone of Fuerza de San  Jose on June 23, 1635, which was renamed to Real Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragozza (Fort Pilar) in 1719.
Mayor Lobregat said chabacano language was “borne out of necessity of an admixture of tribes, races and culture” and out of it evolved a distinct language that is predominantly Spanish in origin with at least 60% Espanol and 40% native words and survived to this very day.

And in celebration of the Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano today, Mayor Lobregat issued Executive Order CL-459-2012 enjoining the speaking of chabacano in all schools and colleges, government offices and private establishments in the city, today.

The mayor has stressed that “the chabacano language is indeed a true reflection of our rich culture and a testimony of our heritage and our link to the meaningful and colorful past. This is precisely what sets Zamboanguenos apart from the rest of the Filipino people, living in a paradise branded as “Asia’s latin City”. — Sheila Covarrubias