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Laoag City and Honolulu County Strengthen Ties with Renewed Sisterhood Agreement

LAOAG CITY - In a significant move to bolster bilateral relations and cultural connections, the city government of Laoag and Honolulu County in Hawaii renewed their sisterhood agreement on Monday. This renewal aims to enhance the bond between the two regions, offering opportunities for Hawaiian-Ilocanos to reconnect with their heritage.

According to Philippines News Agency, the ceremony took place at the Laoag City Hall auditorium, where fifteen delegates from the Honolulu City Council, led by Tyler Dos Santos-Tam of District 6, were present. Mayor Michael Keon and members of the Laoag City Council hosted a banquet lunch in honor of the guests. Mayor Keon highlighted in his address that the original sisterhood agreement was formalized on July 15, 1969, through Honolulu Resolution 247, laying the foundation for a long-standing partnership.

Dos Santos-Tam, in a media interview, expressed his anticipation for strengthening economic ties and advocated for the reinstatement of direct flights between Honolulu and Laoag. He believes that such connectivity will unlock new possibilities, enhance the exchange of practices, and promote excellence in sustainable agriculture, education, tourism, and cultural activities. "We are entering a phase where more individuals from Hawaii are investing in the Philippines, including real estate and new businesses. The expected Honolulu to Laoag flight service will significantly boost opportunities. Additionally, the new flight route from Laoag to Cebu will create a network benefiting tourists and returning kababayans, enriching the Ilocos Region," he said.

Looking ahead, Mayor Keon plans to visit Honolulu County later this year to jointly explore and support new avenues of cooperation. These collaborative efforts will focus on various sectors, including climate change and resiliency, emergency preparedness and management, and sustainable agriculture. This partnership underscores the commitment of both Laoag City and Honolulu County to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship that spans across oceans and generations.