ADVOCATE. Her stunning presence as well as her well-delivered speech about her advocacy on uplifting culture had added meaning to the opening of Museo Sugbo’s new galleries—one featuring the photos of some of Cebu’s media leaders and another featuring the artworks of local artists—plus a coffee shop. As the event’s special guest of honor, former First Lady now Ilocos Rep. Imelda Marcos arrived at museum close to five in the afternoon when the invitation from the Governor’s Office said the program would start at six o’clock. Marcos, tall, resplendent and lovely as ever, took the chance to chat with the museum’s staff, which is led by director Jojo Bersales, Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale and retired columnist Delia Jurado. After a few minutes, Gov. Gwen Garcia arrived and after a brief exchange of pleasantries, the two women proceeded to the lobby to unveil the museum’s marker. A massive crowd had already gathered to witness the event. I was the program emcee.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

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IMPRESSIVE. It was actually my very first encounter with the former First Lady up close and personal, although the night before, at the Capitol grounds and at the social hall, during the Garbo sa Sugbo awarding, I had the opportunity to pose with her as veteran photojournalist Loy Jurado took several pictures of us. Marcos impressed me and the rest of the guests as she chatted with us, telling us how she admires the kind of leadership that Gov. Garcia is showing the Cebuanos.

After the Garbo sa Sugbo awarding, the dance floor was opened with the Firelights Band providing music from their danceable hits. The 81-year-old Ilocos legislator took the dance floor with choreographer and artistic director Junjet Primor.

She was dancing so gracefully in her trademark terno. She also gamely posed with guests who approached her for souvenir pictures. I’m sure they will proudly show these photos to their friends.

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UNITY. Back to the Museo Sugbo affair. In her speech, Marcos once again proudly told all of us that she has always been and will always be a patroness of the arts. One nice point she stressed was, “culture is the key to unity.” As a Marcos, she may still be assailed by others but that is another story.

However, we have to credit her for leading a kind of cultural renaissance during her prime, for her genuine concern, and actual work on preserving the past and encouraging all of us to appreciate our rich history and heritage.

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CONTEST. When Girlie Garces of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) asked me to emcee the company’s beer drinking contest media edition, I readily nodded because I had always wanted to witness how my media colleagues would fare in the arena of drinking this No. 1 beverage. The nightspot at Parkmall in Mandaue City was literally filled to the rafters with broadcast commentators, columnists, reporters, photojournalists and other media workers who went to the event. It was actually part of SMC’s national beer drinking competition. The grand finals will be in November. The winning team will bring home P500,000 (yes, half a million pesos!).

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WINNERS. In the Parkmall event, there were nine media teams that participated, with each team consisting of five members.

Team Bombo Radyo won P30,000, followed by Team Sun.Star Cebu and Team Freeman with P25,000 and P20,000, respectively. It was fun—not necessarily because of the cash prizes involved but because of the camaraderie and the fellowship amongst media workers.