Ireland’s ‘oyster city’ mulls sisterhood with Roxas City
BY FELIPE V. CELINO
ROXAS City – A city in Ireland famous for its Oyster Festival might establish a sisterhood with this city, the seafood capital of the Philippines.
Ireland Ambassador to the Philippines Ariel Y. Abadilla recently informed Mayor Angel Alan Celino about a possible sister city pact between Galway City in Ireland and Roxas City.
“The Embassy (of Ireland) prepared the attached concept paper for you and your associates’ perusal and consideration,” said Abadilla in his letter dated October 26.
Guidelines for establishing sister city relations are in the Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 97-306 dated November 25, 1997, he said.
“I have also had initial discussions with the Galway City officials who are keen on the matter at hand,” Abadilla said.
Celino, on the other hand, welcomed the proposal. He said he will consult the Roxas City Council and other sectors about the sister city pact.
As stated in the concept paper, the cities of Galway and Roxas have certain parallelisms in history and commonalities.
Galway is the fifth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland.
Located on the west coast of Ireland, Galway City sits on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay.
Once having the agreement is approved by both cities, appropriate government officials and business delegation from this city will go to Galway on mid-September next year to meet their counterpart, Abadilla said.
They will attend the ceremonies to formalize the sister city relationship and the three-day Galway Cultural and Osyter Festival, he said.
A reciprocal delegation from Galway will go to the Philippines on the first week of December next year to further advance the sister city relations, he said.
The visit will also be for business and tourism purposes, including attendance to the annual Sinadya sa Halaran festival, said Abadilla.
Abadilla said the oyster-opening contest of the Sinadya sa Halaran is similar to Galway’s oyster festival contest.
The winner from the contest here, he said, will be sent as the country’s representative to the Galway oyster opening contest on September next year.
The Galway Oyster Festival, inaugurated in 1954, is held annually during September, the first month of the oyster season.
Should this city’s officials join the Galway’s oyster festival, a four-day board and lodging will be sponsored by the event’s organizing committee, while airfare will be shouldered by sponsors in the Philippines, Abadilla said./PN