The Ambassador of Norway Knut Solem hosted a reception at the Manila Room of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel to install Candice Gotianuy as the honorary Norwegian consul in Cebu. Her territory also covers Negros Oriental.
Young and pretty, Candice is the daughter of lawyer Augusto Go, honorary consul of Korea, and president of the University of Cebu (UC).
Candice is the incumbent chancellor of UC, which has four campuses in Cebu. One of them is the UC Maritime Education and Training Center, in which Norwegian shipping principals are financing the education of 1,000 Maritime students. On their third year, they do an apprenticeship onboard vessels owned by Norwegian companies.
On stage for the installation rites were Ambassador Solem, Consul Candice, her parents Augusto and Elizabeth (nee Gan) Go, and Sabino Dapat, Candice’s predecessor in the post. They were joined by Ivar Tomashi, president of the Norway-Philippines Business Council.
Ambassador Solem thanked Candice for accepting her appointment. “Welcome to the Norwegian Foreign Service,” he said. “We recognize the value of honorary consuls of which Norway has 371 all over the world, with 100 embassies.”
The ambassador also expressed his appreciation for Dapat, “not only for his having been Norway’s honorary consul all these years, but also [for being] a friend.”
Candice, who has an infectious sense of humor, said in her speech if she could now dye her hair blonde to look Norwegian. “Or as dad said, now I might marry a blonde,” she quipped.
“My parents were quite excited with this appointment, and as I have not yet gotten married, this event is a grand celebration,” she remarked. Now you are married to Norway, someone in the audience said.
She acknowledged the help given by her close friend Joan Young Tiu with the preparations, and Teresin Mendezona who took charge of décor and menu. It included Norwegian salmon in various versions as well as ham, sausages and herring.
Numerous prominent guests attended the occasion. Among them was Capt. Erik Frebergblom, managing director of the Norwegian Maritime Foundation of the Philippines Training Center, based in Manila.
Norway’s consulate in Cebu will extend assistance to Norwegian nationals as well as provide useful information about travel to Norway, business opportunities, and processing of consular requirements.
Aside from helping expedite visa applications to Norway, the consulate also does the same for Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Estonia and Finland. The office is located at 2/F, UC Banilad Campus.
Aside from all the above, Candice being an only daughter also heads the UC medical arm, comprising two hospitals. One is Saint Vincent General Hospital in Sambag II, Cebu City.
The other is the soon-to-open multi-specialty University of Cebu Medical Center (UC Med) at North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.
PAL’s new ticket office
Philippines Airlines (PAL) has moved its main ticket office to the QC Pavilion along Gorordo Avenue. It was blessed twice by
Fr. John Iaccono, first in mid-April, and then on May 11 for its formal inauguration.
Cutting the ceremonial ribbon was Salvador “Bud” Britanico, PAL’s young (he’s 33) officer-in-charge and country manager for the Philippines. He said many new developments are brewing at PAL, including new destinations, including Europe.
Assisting him were Chris Lebumfacil, OIC-assistant vice president for Visayas sales; Quintin Calagos who owns the building; and PAL Million Milers Annabelle Rama and Takeshi Miyamoto.
PAL top executives in Cebu attended, such as Marijo Araneta, OIC of the Gorordo ticket office; Emily Parawan, who heads the Cebu Mactan International airport office; Vic Suarez, who heads the Osmeña Boulevard office; and cargo manager Loloi Atega.
The office staff turned up in full force: Tonette Bastasa, Herman Garganera, Honey Ortiz, Annie Borromeo, Carmen Yap, Mary Ann Tiu, Sandra Yap, Leah Libres, Daria Mellijor, Beatriz Lim, Annie Garcia, Noreen Simogan, Iris Licayan, Mary Ong, Cheryl Borneo, Alvin Lee, Abet Bandala, Arlene Pages, Marivir Villanueva, Marlou Albano, Jimmy Concepcion, and Esther Cabanit.
They may have retired from PAL but they were there to join in the celebration: Gemma Karganilla and Aye Noval. QC Pavilion owners Quintin and Emma Calagos were with their pretty daughters—Elaine Ong, Eloise Sy and Eunice Castillo.
Brunch was served, with Lebumfacil encouraging all to try the Fable Cebu Lechon. Glimpsed about were Ann Climaco from the Delta Air office nearby, Jing Climaco of Abacus, travel agents Jessica Dantes, Gwen Po, Allan Carvajal, Aida Uy, Marget Villarica, Nelson and Baby Dy, and Zenaida Chua who sat with Araceli Llanos and Nelia Neri.
They were talking about the forthcoming canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II to be held at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 20, a Sunday. Seems like most hotels in and around Rome are already reserved to receive the numerous pilgrims.
The newly inaugurated PAL office is most conveniently located quite close to the Ayalaland development of Cebu Business Park. PAL flies out of Cebu to many points in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It also has international flights from and to Cebu connecting with Tokyo and Seoul.