Edgar Castillo Corpuz had a connection with Lathrop long before he ever arrived for a visit.
And on Monday night he got to thank the elected officials that welcomed him into their community with open arms.
The Councilor from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, The Philippines – Lathrop’s sister city – was on hand at the Lathrop City Council meeting Monday night at Lathrop City Hall and was honored as a representative with a plaque commemorating his connection with the community.
“I was happy to get to meet the mayor and the councilmembers tonight, and to strengthen the relationship and the sister city designation,” Corpuz said after the meeting. “I’ve received such a warm welcome from everybody – Lathrop has been very good to be since I’ve been here.”
Bacarra – a city of just over 30,000 people on the northwestern tip of the Philippines facing the South China Sea – has long been Lathrop’s sister city and a source of pride for local Filipinos who has been a major part of the community since its early days.
And there’s a very good chance that somebody from the council will return the favor by visiting the agricultural-heavy community.
After being presented with a plaque, Corpuz invited those that represent Lathrop to make a trip to the Philippines to represent their American constituents and further strengthen the bonds between the two municipalities – something that Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal expressed interest in doing.
“Thank you so much for visiting us,” Dhaliwal told Corpuz during his remarks. “We would love to be able to visit Bacarra one day.”
Sister Cities International is a non-profit citizen diplomacy network that aims to pair communities in the United States to other countries in the world as a means of cultural exchange and unity.
According to Zip Atlas, Lathrop at one time had the highest concentration of Filipinos in the Northern San Joaquin Valley – with nearly 10 percent of it’s population hailing from the island chain back when the city’s population was just over 10,000. It has more than doubled since those numbers were recorded.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.