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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Utzurrum: Of visits and reunions

THE Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel was the venue for the appointment of Candice G. Gotianuy as the new Honorary Consul of Norway for the provinces of Cebu and Oriental Negros.

Doing the honors was the Ambassador of Norway to the Philippines, Knut Solem. Also joining the group at the raised dais was Ivar Tomashi, president of the Norway-Philippines Business Council, Candice’s predecessor Sabino Dapat, and her parents, lawyer Augusto W. Go, Honorary Consul to Korea and Elizabeth Gan-Go.

Our latest honorary consul comes to the position armed with a hefty bio data—brains, beauty and a respectable family history in the fields of business, entrepreneurship and the academe. Harvard-educated, she also holds the position of chancellor of the University of Cebu’s (UC) four campuses in Cebu. Coincidentally, the family also owns and manages the UC Maritime Education and Training Center, where Norwegian Shipping companies finance the education of 1,000 maritime students. Before graduation, they serve as apprentices onboard Norwegian-owned vessels.

Candice’s many hats include: heading the company’s medical arm; the St. Vincent General Hospital in Sambag 2 and the soon-to-open multi-specialty hospital, the University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMed) in Mandaue City. Concurrently, she holds an executive position at the Cebu Technical School, a technical-vocational school.

Well, Candice, the best of luck as you add still another rung to your ladder of success. The diplomatic world!

***

Speaking of Consuls and countries, a recent Cebu guest was the First Lady of the Republic of Estonia. Regal, stunning and with a towering presence, Evelin Ilves cut an attractive figure as she sauntered down the red carpet of the Cebu Provincial Capitol in a floral gown, where a warm Cebuano reception awaited her.

Forming the welcome committee were our very own Acting Gov. Agnes A. Magpale and Acting Vice Gov. Julian Daan. On the other hand, madame Ilves was accompanied by her daughter, Catherine and Tiit Kepp, head of the Airport Management Board in Talin, Estonia’s capital. Part of the local party from Manila was Fernando Peña, Honorary Consul of Estonia in Manila.

The formal event featured a sumptuous dinner with unbeatable entertainment; festival dances from the cities of Danao and Mandaue as performed gracefully by the University of San Carlos Dance troupe.

We learned that the charming First lady was a former lifestyle magazine editor in her country, and has a heart for the welfare of women and their empowerment (shades of a Zonta Club of Cebu 2 advocacy).

Madam Ilves was actually here in Cebu on holiday and enjoyed the beaches and hospitality of Mactan’s Shangri-La Resort and Spa. And we’re sure she treasured the sculptured token, a gift from our province.

***
Reunions seem to be the order of the day every time a member of the group jets in for a visit. We’re talking here of our pilgrimage group to Rome to attend the St. Pedro Calungsod Canonization rites. The rites over, we proceeded to other holy shrines in Eastern Europe.

When our very charismatic chaplain-cum-tour guide, Arizona-based Fr. Ricky Ordoñez dropped by Cebu, hosts Henson and Norma Go lost no time contacting the gang for dinner at Ching Palace (where the cuisine is to die for).

Also visiting Cebu was California-based Maribel Kokseng-Kratz. We don’t have to describe the fun and camaraderie that night, made more rib-tickling with Fr. Ricky’s travel trivia and vignettes!

Come August, Maribel Kratz will be back, so save that date, gang!

***

Here’s a homecoming update from STAA (i.e. St. Theresa’s Alumnae Association) president lawyer Alice K. Morada. The “Homecoming Day” will be on July 27, Saturday, with the theme, “It's better at STC at 80,” celebrating 80 years!

Since this is a milestone, a huge crowd is expected—more since the production numbers will feature Philippine Festivals from around the country.

Alumnae who are not jubilarians this year are requested to call the STAA office and ask for Sharlyn Hernando to allocate seats in the auditorium.

Likewise, alumnae who will join the dinner are also requested to call to make reservations. Please cooperate. Thank you and see you!
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