That was quite a celebration for Philippine Airlines (PAL) when it launched flights from Cebu direct to Singapore and back four times a week. Venue was the Niña ballroom of the Radisson Blu Hotel, where a brief program with toasts was held.
Here from Manila were PAL top executives like Ryan Uy, vice president for sales; Harry Inoferio, senior assistant VP for Philippine sales; Cielo Villaluna, external communications manager; and Mayette Casanova, assistant vice president for product loyalty and Mabuhay Miles.
From the Cebu end were Reyani Romano, PAL’s area head for the Visayas; Marijo Araneta, manager of the Gorordo ticket sales office; Emillie Parawan, manager of the PAL airport office in Mactan; Pamela Samson, manager for Visayas passenger sales; and Mae Ong, officer in charge of the Osmeña Boulevard ticket office.
From the Visayas area executive staff were Annie Borromeo, Mary Ann Tiu and Rosella Albino. Also present were senior account officers Herman Garganera, Tonette Bastasa, Eldee Alvaro and Cheryl Bornec.
Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña attended, as did PAL frequent flier Amparito Lhuillier, Million Miler Dr. Jose Enrique de las Peñas, US consular agent Glenn Loop with wife Honey, architect Joy Onozawa, and the Department of Tourism’s Judy Gabato, OIC for Region 7.
Among the travel agents were Gwen Po, Rosie Mancao, Aida Uy, Sheila and Carlos Colmenares and Angelita Dy. Earlier there had been a press conference where business class tickets to Singapore were raffled off and won by Cookie Newman and Leilani Paredes.
PAL’s departures for Singapore are at 10 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving next day at 1:45 a.m.
The trip back departs from Singapore to Cebu at 2:45 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays, arriving same day at 6:45 a.m.
Also launched on this occasion were flights from Cebu to Caticlan (the most convenient connection to Boracay) and onwards to Clark, with daily departures at 8:40 a.m.
By June 16, PAL will have flights from Cebu to Chengdu in China. Before the year is over, there will also be direct flights from Cebu to Clark.
His Majesty’s special day
The birthday of His Majesty the Emperor Akihito of Japan was celebrated with a glittering diplomatic reception at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel and attended by a cross section of the Cebu Community.
Hosting were Atsushi Veno, the Japanese Embassy’s deputy chief of mission; and Chiharu Tsuruoka, the new consul of Japan in Cebu.
Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale gave an emotive speech and led the toasts, followed by Mandaue City Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna. Also present were Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and provincial board member Racy Franco.
The consular corps was well represented by its chairperson Carmel Luzuriaga Durano (Poland); Jose and Susan Sala (Sweden); Anton and Maripaz Perdices (Spain); and Antonio and Nelly Chiu (Slovakia).
Julie Najar, general manager of the Marco Polo, was present as were resident manager Xavier Masson, sales and marketing director Lara Scarrow, and communications manager Manna Alcaraz, who were in the lobby to welcome the VIPs.
Top hotel executives in attendance included Laurent Boisdron and Fabien Martinez of the Radisson Blu, Anders Hallden of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, and Efren Belarmino of Plantation Bay.
Also present were Dawn Roa, former regional director of DOT in Region 7; Norma Sanchez and Bethilda Smith from the Ikebana Cebu chapter; Yuki Kono and his brother in law Benjamin Avila and Remedios Esparcia.
More: Jojo Bersales of the University of San Carlos Press, which has just launched a book on the late Cebuano painter Martino Abellana, faithful student of Fernando Amorsolo; and Gwyn Underwood, the new superintendent of the Cebu International School.