Amigos de España de Cebu held a lively meeting at Salon Barcelona of the Casino Español de Cebu. Special guests were honorary consul of Spain Anton Perdices and his wife Maripaz Vicente Perdices.
Invited by Carmen Campbell was Luli Arroyo, who spoke to the gathering in perfect Spanish. She said that at home, her grandparents, former President Diosdado Macapagal and Evangelina Macaraeg Macapagal, usually spoke in Spanish.
The tradition was kept by her parents, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Mike Arroyo. It was also mentioned that both her mother and her grandmother were very fluent in Cebuano.
Someone said for all to take example, as one of the main thrusts of Amigos de España is to conserve the Spanish language as a medium of communication.
With Luli had come Cebu TV personality Mike Acebedo Lopez. They sat at the table of Mariquita Yeung.
Amigos de España president Amparito Lhuillier couldn’t make it, but present were vice president Susan Montenegro Sala, secretary Myra Gonzalez and treasurer Julina Pando Muertegui.
Other early birds were Paqui Aboitiz, Quina Melendez, Maria Pilar Escaño, Julie Gandionco and Carmen Martinez with her daughter Ditas Martinez and granddaughter Menchit Martinez who, having spent some time in Madrid, speaks Spanish with that special nuance.
Present were Dr. Lourdes Narcise, Marichu Garcia, Conchita Taylor, Pilar Cusi, Amelia La O, Marilou Ordoñez, Teresin Mendezona and Pacita Sode with her son Kingsley Medalla.
Also present were Margot Larrañaga, Anna Marie Dizon, Tina Ebrada, Mayen Tan, Chinggay Utzurrum and Rosebud Sala, who brought Paching de la Rama Battistucci.
Honorary consul Anton Perdices said that Instituto Cervantes is planning to send a Spanish professor to be based at the University of San Carlos.
One concern of the Amigos as well as of other interested parties is the return of the Spanish channel on cable TV. (The channel was pulled out by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board for allegedly violating censorship rules —Ed.)
The group looks forward to the launch in Manila of the book “La Carrera de Candida and other stories” as part of the projects of Premio Zobel.
Meanwhile, the French . . .
Alliance Francaise de Cebu held a general membership meeting to elect officers for the incoming year. President remains Michel Lhuillier, honorary consul of France in the Visayas.
Members of the board include Bayani Atup, represented that evening by lawyer Al Lima-Lima; Fr. Dionisio Miranda SVD, president of the University of San Carlos; Mayen Tan; and Honey Loop who was in Japan.
Louis Thevenin, director of Alliance Francaise de Cebu, gave a detailed account of the organization’s activities, foremost of which is the diffusion of the French language in southern Philippines.
Present were professor Thomas Le Grand, Amparito Lhuillier, Marguerite Lhuillier, lawyer Danny Deen, Dr. Nestor Alonso and Victoria Hermosisima.
Everyone went down to the private dining room of La Maison Rose for a delectable French dinner prepared by chef Adrian Guerrey. Louis Thevenin personally chose the excellent red wine poured throughout the meal.
Consular Corps of Cebu
The Consular Corps of Cebu held a meeting at Salon Andalucia of the Casino Español de Cebu, presided by its chair, Carmel Luzuriaga Durano, honorary consul of Poland.
Dr. Franz Seidenschwarz, honorary consul of Germany, presented a PowerPoint history of the Consular Corps in Cebu going back to six decades, which cover the years after World War II.
Present were vice chair José Sala, honorary consul of Sweden; secretary Anton Perdices; Julie Alegrado Vergara, honorary consul of Austria; Enrique Benedicto, honorary consul of Belgium; Philip Go, honorary consul of the Czech Republic; Ben Dapat, honorary consul of Denmark; Emily Benedicto Chioson, honorary consul of Israel; and Sammy Chioson, honorary consul of Portugal.
‘The Sound of Music’
In 1980, as part of its centennial celebration, Colegio de la Inmaculada in Cebu presented the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical “The Sound of Music” to such acclaim that it scored repeat performances.
It will be presented again from Dec. 10 to 13 at the school auditorium, with matinees at 3 p.m. and gala shows at 7 p.m. It is directed by Benjie Diola.
The cast includes Fr. Jun Agravante and Michael Lao (Baron Captain von Trapp); Kathlene Anne Adolfo and Shane Reseroni (Maria); Kiara Lynne Torralba and Amity Grace Rosell (Liesl); Gerald Lauron and Benedict Diola (Rolf); Mother Sister Martha Camole DC and Joan Malgapo (Abbess); Shawn Espina and Johnnie Lim (Max Detweiler); Anika Apalisok Fernandez and Tricia Rivera Gullas (Baroness Elsa Schraeder).
Uniqlo now in Cebu
Uniqlo, Japan’s retail giant, opened its Cebu store at the Northwing of SM City Cebu with a bang.
Katsumi Kubota, Uniqlo’s chief operating officer in the Philippines, gave an eloquent welcome address. As he spoke his eyes wandered, appraising the large and enthusiastic crowd gathered for a fashion show that generated much applause.
When that was over, the crowd rushed to the Uniqlo store to take advantage of the opening-day discounts.
Amparito Lhuillier glowed when she found a most attractive blouse for P295. She also chose T-shirts from a stack for husband Michel.
Busy attending to all was Jaja Chiongbian Rama of Big Seed PR & Events who handled the Uniqlo opening. She told us to keep the evening of Dec. 3 open, for the opening of Marks & Spencer’s new location at Ayala Center Cebu—Rustan’s old site before it moved to its three-level department store also in Ayala Center.