Local officials of Angono, Rizal led by Mayor Gerry Calderon welcomed officials of Northern Cape, South Africa on Feb. 16.

Mayor Calderon and Barangay San Isidro Captain Joey Calderon (extreme left) gave figurines of "Higantitos" as souvenir to the South African guests. Also shown in this photo are local officials namely Vice-Mayor Ronald Patrick Rubin; councilors Gino Miranda, Aristito Gil, Snooky Reyes and Barangay Bagumbayan Capt. Boy Tolentino.

Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso; Johann van Schalkwyk, manager of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism; Hugo Lambrechts, Counsellor of the South African Embassy; Zora Wookey, owner of the Worldwide Travel Agency; and Conrad Mouton, owner of Aukwatowa Tours comprise the South African delegation.
The guests were accompanied by Tourism provincial official Mar Bacani.
Counssellor Lambrechts said that his group went to Angono, Rizal to get insight and learn from the town’ successful programs and projects.
He added that like Angono, Northern Cape has a rich arts, culture and tradition but how to transform these advantages in boosting the tourism industry and economic development of Northern Cape remains wanting.
In his speech, Mayor Calderon stressed that tourism plays an important role in uplifting the lives of Angono people.
“As a local government unit that supports and implements the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, we are continually exploring global partnership with different countries utilizing the medium of art and culture.
As positive proof of this endeavor, we have been recognized by ASEAN countries as one of the Culture Capital in the region. Recently, we also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Millennium Development Goals Fund and League of Municipalities of the Philippines for our innovative initiative in MDG achievement through the establishment of ECO-PARK, a new technology in proper management of solid waste reduction and management,” Mayor Calderon said.
After the welcome ceremony, which students of Regional Lead School for the Arts made festive and warm because of their performances, the guests rode jeepney and visited the Blanco Family Museum and Nemiranda Art Gallery. (Richard R. Gappi)