Magalang, Concepcion sign sisterhood pact

SISTERHOOD. Magalang Mayor Maria Lourdes “Malu” Lacson (2nd from left) and Concepcion Mayor Noel Villanueva (2nd from right) show a copy of the sisterhood agreement between the two towns. Joining them are Councilors Erwin Villanueva of Concepcion and Norman Lacson of Magalang. (Joey Pavia)

THE munipalities of Magalang in Pampanga and Concepcion in Tarlac recently signed a sisterhood agreement, recalling that they used to belong to one community during the Spanish period.

Officials of the towns led by Magalang Mayor Maria Lourdes “Malu” Lacson and Concepcion Mayor  Noel Villanueva vowed to work together for the vast improvement of the two local government units. The simple ceremony was held at the Magalang Sangunniang Bayan Session Hall on Thursday, attended by councilors  and officials of both towns.

“This agreement is not just a symbolic gesture, but a commitment to forge a stronger future together, embracing our shared origins and aspirations. As we undertake this auspicious event, it is fitting to
reflect upon the rich history and interconnectedness shared by Magalang and Concepcion. Centuries ago, these two locations were united as one municipality, forging a shared journey that has shaped
the lives of their residents. Their intertwined past serves as a testament to the unbreakable bond that exists between us today. As we gather here, we are reminded of a remarkable tale that binds our two
municipalities together,” said Lacson in her speech.

Villanueva said that in 1700s, records indicate that the towns of Magalang and Concepcion are one community, with the seat of its government in San Bartolome de Magalang, presently known as Balen a Melacuan, Sitio of Bartolome, now a barangay in Concepcion.

A great flood devasted the whole settlement of then San Bartolome in September 22, 1863 and the people left with no other choice but to abandon the place, he said.

Officials of Magalang and Concepcion pose for posterity after the signing of the sisterhood agreement, (Joey Pavia)

“It was also at this point when the people were in disagreement as to the place where they are to resettle. Some went North and others went South,” he added.

The first group headed by Don Pacianao Luciano, the Governadorcillo, organized their own settlement in the slope of Mt. Arayat down South and named the settlement after him. Eventually, the place was renamed as Magalang.

The second group who went North settled to a place now called Sto. Nino. Most of the settlers became dissatisfied with the place as it was abound with snakes and scarce with water. They moved further South to a place where Concepcion now stands.

“From Shared Origins to Shared Ambitions towards a Stronger Future Together: A Tale of Sisterhood,” beautifully encapsulates the essence of our partnership,” said Lacson. She added: “It reminds us that despite our geographical distance, we share a common heritage, values, and aspirations. We are united by our desire to foster progress, growth, and prosperity for our communities. Through this sisterhood agreement, we affirm our commitment to work hand in hand, building bridges that span the distance between us and fostering collaboration across various aspects of governance, economy, culture, and community development.

“This agreement is the beginning of a beautiful journey, one that will involve the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and experiences. It will open doors for cultural, educational, and economic exchanges, facilitating mutual growth and development. By looking beyond our immediate surroundings and embracing the diversity and richness of our sister municipality, we will broaden our perspectives and enhance our own capacities. In the pursuit of our shared ambitions, we recognize that by joining forces, we can achieve far more together than we ever could individually, “ she added.

Villanueva also thanked Lacson for helping him and his wife during the time they were affected by Covid-19.

“I personally want to thank Mayor Malu for adding days to my short life,” he said.