August 2023 ended with many celebrations. “The Ties That Bind” was the theme of the Mid-Autumn Festival of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. General manager Dave Junker said that it was a celebration of family ties and reunion, featuring the hotel’s delectable “moon cakes.”

“In My Diary” recorded many significant partnerships between the American Chamber and Shangri-La for some projects for the children in selected elementary schools in Mactan. I really miss those days.

September ushered in the Yuletide season with singer Jose Mari Chan singing “Christmas In Our Hearts” in the morning show, “Unang Hirit” and in other TV programs.

Decades ago, one of the biggest fundraising events of the Zonta Club of Cebu 1 was the Jose Mari Chan show at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. The American Chamber of Cebu also had Chan in a concert in the past at the Casino in the Waterfront Hotel. It was not an easy task handling concerts because artists have varied idiosyncrasies that would need more diplomacy and patience. One of the most professional singers I handled for the city government was Ramon Jacinto, or RJ to most of us. His concert was a “sell out” and really helped raise funds for a community project. Ah, those were happy and exciting days!

By the way, I am not really in the concert promotions but I did a few for the community outreach projects of the American Chamber, Zonta Club of Cebu 1 and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I always worked with a dynamic team and things worked out smoothly.

Cebu Business Month

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry is currently in the midst of its major program, the Cebu Business Month, which used to be celebrated in June, involving the multisectoral sectors in business, academe and civic clubs. I was in charge of the Tourism Congress then which is presently handled by colleagues Edwin Ortiz and Alice Queblatin. There was also the much awaited Grand Chamber Awards which honored outstanding entrepreneurs and companies.


The USAID - SPEED / National Digital Business Agenda for Transformation and Inclusion (NDBA-TRAIN) Regional Consultation was held on Sept. 11, 2023 at the Golden Prince Hotel.

Awards and birthdays

Greetings to Zontians who celebrated their birthdays and received international awards for their outstanding leadership.