In the footsteps of tradition-A A +A
Sunday, August 25, 2013
FOR Emily Benedicto Chioson, being an honorary consul of Israel, is simply following a family tradition of sorts.
Emily’s father, Ambassador Frank Benedicto, was Belgium honorary consul in Cebu before he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, a post that saw him as Philippine Ambassador in different countries in the span of 25 years.
Her mother, Leontina, is honorary consul of Turkey, not to mention that her husband, Samuel, is honorary consul of Portugal, her uncle Enrique, honorary consul of Belgium and her cousin Grand, honorary consul of Romania.
Emily was born in Cebu and studied at the Sacred Heart School for Girls from grade school to high school. She took up bachelor of science in commerce, major in accounting at the University of San Carlos.
She works with the family corporation, B.Benedicto and Sons, a hardware store, founded by her grandfather in 1945, of which she is now president. She is also involved in other family companies.
Busy as she already was, when she was asked by the Israeli Ambassador to be the Israeli honorary consul of Cebu, she readily agreed, signifying to the Ambassador her “intention to serve Israel in the southern part of the Philippines especially relative to trade and commerce.” She says that through her father’s 25 years in the diplomatic service, she acquired some knowledge of being a diplomat and was/is confident she is able to serve Israel well.
As honorary consul of Israel, her prime concern is ministering “to the interest and welfare of Israeli nationals within Cebu and other areas” of her jurisdiction. She says her office readily extends assistance in case of problems and difficulties, and “we assist Israeli investors by introducing business opportunities, recommending business partners for a possibility of business ventures. We help the Israeli Embassy to disseminate information related to commerce and industry.”
She continues, ”On occasion of the Israeli Ambassador’s visits to Cebu, we prepare the program of activities and arrange courtesy calls to high ranking government officials like the governor and mayor.
“If requested by the Ambassador we arrange meetings with businessmen and trade organizations.” For the Cebu Consular Corps, of which she is current chairperson, she says that “When need arises and depending on the availability of the members, meetings with the Consular Corps are held, sometimes with important personages invited to support charitable institutions.”
Despite the fact that the family business requires her presence six days a week, she says her family and children are her priority, attending to their problems and school activities.
She adds, “Above all, I always share quality moments with my mother who needs my time and support.” When she does find time to relax, it is usually with some close friends for lunch or dinner “for intimate chats and exchange of ideas.”
Sharing her inner sentiments, Emily says it is “the ethical duty of children to show their obedience, love, respect and care for their parents, to live as their parents’ pride, to be their pillows of strength and support, especially in their old age and to sacrifice for them whatever the cost. For me, filial piety is most important for the youth to have today.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.