The Zonta Club of Cebu celebrated its 45th founding anniversary with a series of events throughout November, named Zonta Month by the city and provincial governments of Cebu. Club president Lucille Colina is most grateful for the distinction.
Zonta is an American-Indian term meaning trustworthy. It is an apt name for a service club for women with chapters all over the world.
Its 45th year was an occasion for the Cebu Zontians to raise funds for the typhoon victims. It was held at the main ballroom of the Radisson Blu Hotel, filled to capacity.
Former president Tina Ebrada was at the entrance receiving one and all. Causing quite a stir was the arrival of Dr. Suga Sotto Yuviengco, charter president of the Cebu Zonta when organized in 1968.
She sat with Felisa Chiongbian, a pillar of the organization. Also present was Rosita Rodriguez Arcenas, one of the originals and most active up to this day, attending all international conventions.
In a place of honor was Maria Cristina “Marian” Cabarrus Aboitiz. She was the Zonta Club’s awardee as “Woman of Substance.”
This was given in recognition of her outstanding leadership and community service in culture and education, entrepreneurship and environmental conservation, as well as for her focus on the values of humility, fortitude and integrity.
Marian Aboitiz lives by these tenets every day of her life, and more so at the present time, concerned as she is with the assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Bohol, and the typhoon in Eastern and Central Visayas. Aside from that, she is a devoted nurse to her ailing husband, Roberto Aboitiz, president of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation.
Marian’s citation was read by Stella Bernabe, project chairperson. The award was conferred by Zonta District 17 international governor Wennie Teoh who is based in Hong Kong, area director Anita Sanchez and Zonta Cebu president Lucille Colina.
‘Legends of Men’
Mila Espina, a past president of the club, wrote the script, devised the choreography and personally directed a spoofy musical show titled “Legends of Men.” This was a sort of sequel to her “Women of Legends,” presented some years back also as a Zonta fundraiser.
Mila used the songs of Cole Porter, and added a cast of women to show how men, no matter how legendary, need them to get along with their lives and accomplishments. The results were hilarious.
Lending their support and performing in different numbers were the scholars of the Amparito Llamas Lhuillier Educational Foundation studying at the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) and in Mila’s Speechcom.
Opening number was “Begin the Beguine” sung by US consular agent John Domingo as Adam in tux, in the Garden of Eden. Monica Orellano was tempting as Eve.
“In the Still of the Night” had Dr. Warfe Engracia as Zeus, surrounded by lovely goddesses. Amparito Lhuillier was Venus; Aida Uy, Diana; and Yvette Vass, Athena.
Judge Bienvenido Saniel was game enough to sing “So In Love” and “You Do Something to Me.” Dancing about were Isabel Garcia as Salome; Janice Minor as Cleopatra; and Zonta Cebu II president Myrna Tan as Helen of Troy.
Jose Ng was most effective as England’s King Henry VIII belting out “Night and Day.” Tess Chan appeared as Anne Boleyn; Beverly Dayanan as Queen Elizabeth I; and Carol Ballesteros as Princess Diana, tiara and all.
Loy Jurado brought the house down as Napoleon Bonaparte, holding on to and pouring Napoleon brandy on Dale Balbuena as an aide de camp. The song was most appropriate: “I Love Paris.”
A recording of Mary Martin’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” introduced the entrance of Gregg Huettel as President John F. Kennedy, enunciating, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Mariter Klepp was Jackie Kennedy with a precarious pill box on her head. Dancing and flirting about was Gregg’s wife Agnes Huettel as Angie Dickinson. Selina Richmond was Marilyn Monroe, singing the birthday song, all sultriness.
Frank Sinatra was Francis Monera singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Adding glamour to the scene was June Alegrado as Ava Gardner. Chasing them about was paparrazzo Sean Delfin.
“Just One of Those Things” was the song to introduce President Ferdinand Marcos, impersonated by USJ-R’s Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Bolilia. Nelia Neri was Imelda, perfectly coiffed by Albert Arriba at his best.
Shiela Colmenares slinked about as Dobie Beams, while Rev. Fr. Vincent Ramon Jr., also from USJ-R, made for a dashing George Hamilton.
Jessielito Moncada as Manny Pacquiao and Sam Costanilla as Nonito Donaire sparred about to the tune of “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Alice Woolbright was perfect as the seductive Paris Hilton.
The finale did not have Cole Porter’s music, but a dramatic portrayal of “Jesus Christ Superstar” excerpts. Edwin Castañeda was in the title role. Equally good were Charles Egama, Judas; Marie Eloise Lepiten, Mama Mary; and Jazziejoy Mantilla, Mary Magdalene.
There was a standing ovation for all as they were called onstage for the photo op. Mila Espina was duly congratulated as were program hosts James Aliazon and Mayen Tan; plus special guests who sang during dinner—Sonny Espina, Ben Yapjoco and John Clifford Gawchua.