The Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) is housed in a neo-classical building erected in the mid-1930s, patterned after a Genoese palace. It has just undergone a most felicitous renovation. On the ground floor is Rizal Memorial Library, which is run by the city and visited monthly by about 1,500 students.
There is a museum on the second floor where works by Cebu’s leading artists are displayed. They depict highlights of Cebu’s history, from pre-Hispanic times to the recent past. The third floor has a multipurpose air-conditioned social hall with a well-lit stage.
“It looks more beautiful than ever!” exclaimed Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama the night he attended the installation of the 2011-12 officers and directors of Quota International of Cebu. Its classic lines and décor were enhanced by swaths of white gossamer and masses of colorful orchids.
Filipiniana was the requested attire, and the Quota ladies were resplendent, led by incoming president Jocelyn Pesquera, Ma. Victoria Calderon, who is vice president for internal affairs as well as president-elect for the next term, and outgoing president Pinky Shan, who has been multi-awarded during her hectic term.
Here to grace the occasion and assist in the induction were the top Quotarians from District 41, such as Governor Emilie Simon, Lt. Governor Ching Uy and immediate past Governor Caroline Piad, who has visited Cebu frequently and thus has many friends here.
Past president Connie Garcia and Lyza Torres hosted the lively program, which was highlighted by dance numbers from Cebu City Children’s School for the Performing Arts. Governor Emilie Simon charged the officers individually according to their tasks and duties, as they held a rose in one hand and a lighted taper on the other.
Aside from president Joy Pesquera and VP Ma. Victoria Calderon, the rest of the officers are Sue Gray, vice president for external affairs; Nifracia Abatayo and Evelyn Ramirez, secretaries; Angie Divinagracia and Dinah Lozada, treasurers; past president and charter member Lorette Calderon, auditor; and past president Ma. Luisa Veloso, PRO. Luisa was congratulated for the floral décor, which impressed Mayor Rama.
On the board of directors are Merinisa Arinasa, Remedios Esparcia, past president Consuelo Garcia, Clemencia Gatpolintant, Jojin Patalinjug and immediate past president Pinky Shan.
Mayor Michael Rama shone as the evening’s brightest star. He serenaded the Quota ladies with his favorite song, “Just the Way You Look Tonight.” Such was the enthusiastic applause that he obliged with an encore, “Fallin’,” which some hummed or tried to sing along with.
The mayor also had an inspirational message for the Quota ladies, urging them to continue with their exemplary concern for the less fortunate. They have three daycare centers and undertake various charity projects during the year, especially with the hearing-impaired.
Funds are raised through an annual Santacruzan, wherein candidates sell raffle tickets. The highest sellers play important roles in the procession and pageant. This year it was held at Cebu Grand Convention Center with the attendance of Mayor Rama, and Rep. Cutie del Mar of Cebu City’s north district.
Chairperson of Quota Santacruzan 2011 was Besalinda Varga Pansoy. Roslyn Roy was Reina Emperatriz; Leslie Cathleen Alajas was Reina Elena, with Fred Lowinsse Barera as Emperador Constantino; Rose Via Noval, Reina del Santacruzan; Ruby Anne Pansoy, Reina de las Flores; and Lindsay Angelique Gomez, Reina de los Angeles.
In the court of Reina de las Flores were Nogen Juntilla, Reina de las Estrellas; Mary Rose Arinasa, Reina del Rosario; Killiaen Marie Ferrer, Reina de la Paz; Danielle Roy, Reina del Cielo; Ma. Rebecca Albaño, Reina de los Corazones; Kristina Shan, Reina de los Profetas; and Elise Demiar, Reina de la Libertad.
The Reina de los Angeles court had little girls Erika Barete as Reina Rosa Mistica; Myles Isabel Ang as Reina Fe; Charlene Nicole Jo as Reina Esperanza; and Angela May Mayor as Reina Caridad. In the cortege of Emperador Constantino were Edraymund Oñes, Principe Imperial; Thonard Kent Arias, Principe del Sur; and Dylan Joel Orbeta, Principe de Roma.
Congratulations are due the officers and directors as well as the Quota International of Cebu members, which include Ma. Luisa Abelgas, Suzette Albaño, Editha Bajenting, Elsa Barrameda, Aida Catro, Rhodamie Chan, Lourdes Garcia. Araceli Mercado, Dionisia Orbeta, Lerma Orlanes, Marina Parado, Ma. Barbara Pineda, Estrellita Raya, Magdalena Romero, Laurencia Suening, Jane Shan, Rosenda Tabasa, Cristina Tomakin, Ma. Eloisa Tomimbang, Elisa Torres, Jessamyn Villamor, Lourdes Yap and Elsa Locero Yared.