CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- An agreement was signed Friday for the conduct of a nine-day flea market and the donation of scholarship grants for the city college.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by the San Fernando City Government, with sarong and Moro cap (a symbol of royalty) clad Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, fiesta executive committee chairman Captain Boy Pacla, and The United Lanao Muslims Association (Ulma) President Mac Bitiarra.

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The "Tianggihan King Balen" (City Flea Market) from May 21 to 30 this year is part of the month-long celebrations of Piyestang Fernandino.

The same Moro group sponsored the event for the City Government last year on a partnership package of P500,000.

This year, Ulma has retained the same terms and amount, but raised the ante by adding P200,000 worth of educational grants for students enrolled at the city college.

Bitiarra told Sun.Star Pampanga that the sponsorship and the scholarship donation was the group’s way of supporting the City Government and the Rodriguez administration.

For his part, Pacla said the partnership with Ulma has always been a welcome endeavor in the fiesta celebrations, and the city college scholarships will help hundreds of deserving indigent students enrolled there.

Pageant bets presentation

After the signing, 12 Lakan and 12 Mutya ng Fernandino candidates, in their swimwear attire, were presented before the panel of judges composed of Edwin Pasumbal, Romac group of companies executive Agnes Romero and newsman Peter Alagos.

They were also presented to the media, who were tasked to vote for the "Darling of the Press."

City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao said this year’s contestants, representing 12 villages, underwent rigid screening and training.

The pre-pageant night of Lakan at Mutya ning Fernandino will be on May 21 at the Event Center of SM City Pampanga. (Jovi T. De Leon0