Honorary Georgian Consul Thelmo Cunanan led the local government delegation from Cauayan City, Isabela that visited sister-city Rustavi, on the occasion of the latter’s official city day. Heading the Philippine delegation, which included six councillors representing various stakeholder groups in Cauayan City, were Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy and Vice Mayor Leoncio Dalin. This was the first official local government delegation from the Philippines to visit Georgia. Consul Cunanan, together with officials of Rustavi, welcomed the Filipinos upon their arrival at Tbilisi International Airport.
The sister-city agreement between Rustavi and Cauayan was a project of Consul Cunanan, working closely with Mayor Dy and Rustavi Mayor Davit Jikia. The two cities have committed to working together to promote international friendship and understanding and to maintain dialogues aimed at exchanging best practices in the fields of public administration, tourism, health, economics, and socio-cultural development.
The Philippine delegation held meaningful dialogues with Mayor Jikia and other officials of Rustavi on how to increase cooperation and exchanges between the two cities. The Filipinos participated in many city day activities. These included the economic forum on investment opportunities, the unveiling of sculptures are Rustavi’s main square, participation in traditional Georgian festivities, and attendance of Georgian classical music concerts as well as official banquets and ceremonies.
Consul Cunanan was also responsible for the sister-city partnership of Rustavi with Santiago City, which is similarly located in Isabela. Both agreements were signed in 2014. This was followed by the official visit of the delegation from Rustavi City to Cauayan and Isabela in October 2015. These are the FIRST sister-cities of Georgia with the Philippines and the entire Asia. The province of Kvemo Kartli also enjoys a sister-province relationship with Isabela Province, another initiative of Consul Cunanan.