Family diamonds

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


SEVENTY-FIVE families here will be recognized this Friday as Cebu City’s “Families of Distinction” in celebration of the diamond anniversary as a chartered city.

While the recognition is an honor in itself, I know another reason for jubilation. They were identified by a search committee whose families themselves earned them the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with the seventy-five clans.

So, why aren’t they on the list? Delicadeza. As members of the search committee, they decided they should not lift their own chairs.

Yesterday, I said I’d write about all of them and their illustrious clans. I cor­rect myself. That just isn’t possible on the space here. So, I’ll stagger my write-ups family by family.

Three members on the search committee belong to the Kintanar clan--Dr. Erlinda Kintanar-Alburo, Alice Kintanar-Queblatin and Belinda Kintanar-Navascues. Erlinda is cousin to sisters Alice and Belinda.

Just among them, the credentials span three fields of distinction--literary arts and heritage advocacy, entrepreneurship and tourism, and public service.

Erlinda is a cultural worker, heritage advocate, researcher, teacher, feminist, poet and teacher. Comfortable in both English and Cebuano, she writes poetry and fiction that have either been considered for national awards, and scholarly articles published in various university presses.

For a decade, she was director of the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos. She is presently Full Professor at the same university, handling courses in language, literature, folklore and research.

Like Erlinda, Alice was recognized by the Cebu Provincial Government, through the Provincial Women’s Commission, as among the 100 “Cebuana Trailblazers” of ”Sugbuanang Tag-una.” Today, Alice is a trustee in the Tourism Congress, the consultative body for the Department of Tourism.

While her laurels are stellar enough, I’ll always remember her as among the pillars of the tourism industry, pioneering her Southwind Tours and Travel as an entrepreneur in 1991. For a decade, she was the only German-speaking tour guide and cornered the German tourist market.

Prior to becoming the ever reliable secretary to Mayor Michael Rama, Belinda was an institution at the Cebu City Resource Management and Development Center (Cremdec). An accomplished trainer, she poured her skills into helping develop this center into a self-sustaining vehicle for public service excellence of the City Government.

Unsurprisingly, Belinda was an awardee not too long ago for Best Department Manager of the Cebu City Government.

These three ladies spring from that produced an educator, Francisco Kintanar, the then superintendent of the then Cebu Normal School. Then there was Brig. Gen. Galileo Kintanar, once intelligence chief, and the late congressman Isidro “Ed” Kintanar.

Heroism, too, runs in the Kintanar veins. Belinda and Alice’s father, Gen. Pablo Kintanar, was a survivor of the Bataan death march.

(lelani.echaves@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2012.

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