Emily Benedicto Chioson, honorary consul of Israel in Cebu, and the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines hosted a diplomatic reception to celebrate the 66th anniversary and independence of the State of Israel.
Israel Ambassador Menashe Bar-on attended the event, held at the Manila Room of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
Ambassador and Ms Bar-on have been to Cebu on various occasions and have made many friends here. Among them are Emily’s father Ambassador Francisco Benedicto, and her husband Sammy Chioson, honorary consul of Portugal.
The province of Cebu was well represented by Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. They expressed their deep gratitude to the ambassador for the immediate response to the devastation caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the northern part of Cebu, and Camotes Islands.
Toasts were made to the continued friendship and cooperation between Cebu and Israel. It was a well-attended event, with Marco Polo general manager Hans Hauri and manager Julie Najar making sure “kosher” food was served.
The excellent red and white wines had come from Bibendum, and there was Margie Richards Taylor to collect due praise.
Mila Espina handled the evening’s brief program. She welcomed Ma. Teresa Chan who a few days later was inducted president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) by vice president Jejomar Binay at the City Sports Club Cebu. She is the first woman president of the CCCI in its 112 years.
The Arts Council of Cebu, represented by trustees Teresin Mendezona and Mariter Klepp and executive director Mariz Rallos, was recognized by Ambassador Bar-on for its cooperation in the evening’s second part.
There was a performance by Tal Kravitz at the hotel’s ballroom with a large audience. Tal Kravitz is an internationally famous Israeli musician who can make a musical instrument out of practically anything. Like a large saw blade, for instance, which he can make sound like a violin.
He is quite glib, and admitted to being able to sing in 30 languages. He sang a well pronounced “Malagueña” in Spanish and before the evening ended said he’d up the score to 31 with the Cebuano favorite “Usahay.” He asked the audience to sing along and everyone did.
Vince and Lucille Colina were present, she having just completed her two-year term as president of the Zonta Club of Cebu I.
Succeeding her is Nellie Chiu who was present that evening, escorted by her husband, honorary consul of Slovakia Antonio Chiu.
The Cebu consular corps was led by China’s consul general and Ms Zhang Wei Gou, and Japan’s Consul Shoji Otake. Former honorary consul general of Austria Arcadio “Dodon” Alegrado came with his daughter June Alegrado.
Honorary consuls present included Austria’s Julie Alegrado Vergara; Belgium’s Enrique Benedicto with wife Helena; Canada’s Robert Lee with wife Anna; France’s Michel Lhuillier with wife Amparito; and Elizabeth Seidenschwarz, who came without Germany’s Franz Seidenschwarz who was unable to attend.
More: Korea’s Augusto Go with wife Elizabeth and their daughter Candice Gotianuy, who is honorary consul of Norway; Romania’s Grand Benedicto with wife Genevieve; Spain’s Anton Perdices with wife Maripaz; and Sweden’s Jose Sala with wife Susan.
Glimpsed, too, were Cebu City Hall’s consultant for international relations Angel Espiritu with protocol officer Leslie Anne Reyes and public information officer Elmer Labella; Lim Liu; Glenn and Honey Loop; Bonifacio and Lydia Sia; Del and Marilou Ordoñez, whose Delmar Travel has organized numerous tours of the Holy Land.
It was a black-and-white formal affair for the Ladies-in-Law as members of the Cebu Lady Lawyers Association (Cella) call themselves, at Salon Granada of the Casino Español de Cebu.
The occasion was the induction of new officers and members with Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen as guest speaker and inducting officer. Incoming president is Joje Decal who counts with a dynamic set of officers.
Among them are vice presidents Michelle Mendez-Palmares (external) and Fiscal Gingging Lomanta (internal). Margie Yu is secretary; Beth Reyes, treasurer; and Joy Pesquera, public relations officer.
In the board of directors are Joyce Adlao, Daymeg Lepiten, Sue Belarmino, Bianca Tabo-Tabo, Geraldine Cajilig, Mailah Tumulak, Pam Condat, Chappy Piramide and Sunita Doolani.
New Cella members are Charisse Pepito, Ghenee Rose Aguhayon Escolar, Angeline Asdillo, Marichu Agura, Brenda Mangubat, Celeste Belciña, Yvonne Epondoulan, Gemabell Manisan and Fiscal Matet Casiño.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama graced the occasion. Inspired by a performance of the award-winning Cebu City Dance Sport team he also did a number that was much applauded and landed him on the front page of a local daily.
A plaque of appreciation was presented to Associate Justice Leonen by Joje Decal and past president Justice Marilyn Yap. Cella immediate past president is Melina Martinez.
Other past presidents are Arlinda Famulaga, Dean Corazon Valencia, Ging Ging Laude, Sylvia Suarez, Cecilia Adlawan and judge Anne Militante.