Cebu marks 444th founding anniversary as country’s oldest provinceBy Jaime Picornell |Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE 444TH founding anniversary of Cebu recalls a royal decree by Spain’s King Philip II creating this Central Visayan island as the first province in the Philippines. An annual week-long celebration is held culminating with the Governor’s Night, dubbed “Gabii sa Sugob.”
At the forefront of the celebration was Cebu’s new Governor Hilario Davide III, accompanied by his pretty wife Jobel Angan Davide, and his father, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. The program started with lilting music by the Talisay City Rondalla and welcome remarks by Vice Governor Agnes Almendras Magpale. For six months prior to June 30, she had been the acting governor.
In attendance were former Representative Tomas Osmeña with his wife Margot Vargas Osmeña, who is a Cebu City councilor; Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Provincial Board Members Raul Alcoseba and Peter John Calderon, with his wife Patsy, and Ethel Natera, the province’s public information officer.
Among the municipal mayors present were Mariano Martinez of San Remigio, José Egaña of Santa Fe and Edcel Galeos of Argao.
Davide made a toast to many more years of prosperity for Cebu, and delivered a brief though very eloquent speech. The program featured entertainment numbers by the San Diego dancers, the Cebu City Dance Sport Team, the award-winning San Fernando Singers, the Mandaue Guitar Duet and the UP Serenata.
Two weeks later, Davide was guest of honor and speaker at the luncheon meeting of the Consular Corps of Cebu held at Casino Español de Cebu. Welcome remarks were by the chairperson, Emily Benedicto Chioson, honorary consul of Israel.
All members of the corps present were formally introduced, starting with the vice chairman José Sala, honorary consul of Sweden; and the secretary, Carmel Luzuriaga Durano, honorary consul of Poland.
The career consulates were well represented by Shoji Otake of Japan, and Sun Chan of the People’s Republic of China. Other honorary consuls present were Arcadio Alegrado of Austria with his daughter Julie Alegrado Vergara; Philip Go of the Czech Republic; Eduardo Gonzalez of Mexico; Frans Seidenschwarz of Germany; Anton Perdices of Spain;
Enrique Benedicto of Belgium; Armi Garcia of Russia; Samuel Chioson of Portugal; John Domingo of the United States; Antonio Chiu of the Slovak Republic; and Sabino Dapat, formerly of Norway and Denmark.
An excellent buffet lunch was served and there to collect congratulations were Casino Español’s general manager May Ocaba and banquets manager Ritchel Bojos. It was an international menu with praise heaped on France’s coq au vin, Spain’s callos, and China’s Canton noodles.
Carmel Durano introduced Davide who congratulated the corps for their civic efforts, specially with crippled children. “Let me know if I can be of any help,” Davide told the group.
He pointed out that one of his immediate concerns for Cebu province is the need to improve the services of government hospitals. He also mentioned many other activities that have kept him very busy since he took office a little over two months ago.
Emily and Carmel presented a plaque of appreciation to Davide, recognizing “his exemplary traits of magnanimity, professional leadership, and sincere dedication to public service that has earned him the overwhelming trust, confidence and love of the people of Cebu.”
Cathay Pacific (CX) hosted a hail and farewell party at Marco Polo Plaza Hotel to wish its Cebu manager Grace Ho Godspeed, and to welcome Sally Wong as her successor.
Ho had worked barely a year in Cebu, but as CX country manager Martin Xu acknowledged in his speech, she had left an indelible mark. “Her leadership has made the port a better place in her short time spent here,” he said.
For Ho, Cebu was most memorable as it was her first overseas posting as port manager. She cited many highlights, foremost among them was accompanying the statue of St. Pedro Calungsod to Rome, and swimming with whale sharks in Oslob, Southern Cebu.
She is now the CX manager in East Indonesia, covering Surabaya and Denpasar. She has promised to return to Cebu where she made many friends.
Wong was overwhelmed with the welcome she was given. Among the gifts was a typically symbolic, Cebu-made ukulele. Nothing could have made her happier since a few weeks before she had started to take guitar lessons.
Before coming to Cebu, Wong was CX assistant manager for marketing in Hong Kong.
Present at the party were Marco Polo general manager Hans Hauri who sponsored the excellent cocktail fare, and Manny Osmeña who gave all the wine that flowed throughout the party. It is also served onboard Cathay’s flights in and out of Cebu.
The Kerara Soul Jazz Band livened up the evening with dance music, with enthusiastic reaction from travel agents, cargo forwarders, media friends and frequent flyers.
Highlight of the evening was Ho on the dais belting out an excerpt from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”