Cebu and Sabrosa, now sister cities

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Cebu City and Sabrosa, Portugal formalized their sister-city agreement, when their respective heads, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Sabrosa Mayor José Manuel de Carvalho Marques, signed an agreement in simple ceremonies in the heart of Ferdinand Magellan’s hometown.

The twinning was made possible upon the initiative of Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe Lhuillier.

“This partnership will hope to highlight and promote Philippine-Portugal relations and help build awareness, not only between the people of Cebu and Sabrosa, but among Filipinos and Portuguese in general. I believe that the sister-city agreement is best suited for these two wonderful cities, because these cities share a common historical link in the person of Ferdinand Magellan,” said Ambassador Lhuillier.

This relationship between Cebu and Sabrosa will provide a framework for the pursuit and development of fruitful exchanges in the areas of culture, trade, tourism and education between the two cities.


Sabrosa is in the north of Portugal, where a large number of its commercial and industrial entities are located and in the heartland of Portugal’s famed Douro wine producing region.

In addition to presenting Mayor Marques with the key to Cebu City at the signing ceremony, Mayor Rama also pledged to donate a replica of the Sto. Niño of Cebu where it will be placed in one of the churches in Sabrosa. In turn, one of the main roads emanating from the Magellan monument at the western entry point to Sabrosa has been named Avenida Cidade de Cebu in honor of the relationship of the two cities.

During their stay in Sabrosa, Mayor Rama and his delegation also attended the third Meeting of the Network of Magellan Cities. The Network, which has its Secretariat in Seville, Spain, envisions to bring together the 20 cities that were encountered during Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world.

Among the activities being planned by the Network is the 500th celebration of Magellan’s two-year circumnavigation of the world and securing Unesco’s support for the classification of the geographic route of Magellan’s circumnavigation as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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