SURFING SISTERHOOD. Jason Ha (right) translates the explanations of Councilor Jongsuk Lee (left) of Yangyang City, South Korea, and Young Kwon (center), the chair of Surfstar organization in the same city, on the important features of the sisterhood agreement between their city and General Luna town in Siargao Island. The friendship between the two local governments, both dubbed as surfing capitals in their respective countries, is expected to strengthen cooperation in surfing events and tourism activities. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)

GEN. LUNA, Siargao Island – City officials of Yangyang in South Korea and this town are set to forge a sisterhood agreement seeking to further advance cooperation in sports events, especially surfing and other tourism activities.

Yangyang City is known as the surfing capital of South Korea, matching this town's status as the surfing mecca of the Philippines.

A 10-man delegation from Yangyang City composed of a city councilor, officials of a surfing organization, and businessmen joined the opening of the 26th Siargao International Surfing Competition here on Oct. 15.

“They were personally invited by Mayor Sol Matugas to come here to witness the international surfing competition,” Jason Ha, a Korean-American businessman, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday.

Ha is now residing in the town running his own hotel business.

Yangyang City Councilor Jongsuk Lee said the sisterhood partnership will mutually benefit his city and the town of General Luna.

“We are here to study how the local government was able to manage international surfing tilts in the last 26 years,” Lee said in Korean dialect.

In return, Gen. Luna will also learn about advanced technologies in Yangyang and how these are helping the local government unit, he said.

“We are so impressed with Gen. Luna, the warm welcome of the officials and the people here are so friendly,” Lee added.

Kanoa Palmiano, a professional surfer from Yangyang, also joined the 26th international cup but failed to reach the quarterfinals.

Young Kwon, the chair of a group of surfers in Yangyang under the Surfstar organization, said he is more interested in the management of the international surfing tourneys in Siargao.

“Though our city is the surfing capital of South Korea, no international surfing event has been held there yet,” Kwon said.

The terms and conditions of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for sisterhood ties are  being finalized by the Gen. Luna municipality.

“Councilor Lee will personally bring the document and present it to the mayor of Yangyang City for study,” Ha said.

Once approved, top officials of General Luna, together with some surfers and representatives from the business sector will fly to Yangyang for the signing of the MOA sometime next year, Ha said. (PNA)