Utzurrum: Zonta Cebu’s District 17, Area 3 meeting (Part 1)

The Scene
KEYNOTE SPEAKER. Lawyer Myrish Cadapan-Antonio is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Philippine Living Heritage initiative.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER. Lawyer Myrish Cadapan-Antonio is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Philippine Living Heritage initiative.

The vibrant winds of success are forever trailing the paths of Zonta Club Cebu 2. From the superbly organized “18 Days of Activism” last year to this month’s Zonta’s District 17 Area 3 Meeting, which took off on Jan. 26 to 28, 2024 at Nustar Resort.

Close to 200 delegates from district clubs converged at this burg’s newest island resort complex to tackle concerns about women’s empowerment. The relevant theme “Women + Education + Entrepreneurship + Equitable Access Empow-Her” emphasized education, and business ensuring fair access to resources.

In the words of Zontian Petite Garcia, the organizing chairperson of the Area 3 meeting, “We believe that empowering women is not only a moral imperative, but also a catalyst for social and economic progress.”

Equally interesting were the VIPs in attendance for this area meeting:

Keynote speaker was lawyer Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, who served as deputy legal counsel, Faculty of Law and director of the Dr. Jovito R. Salonga Center for Law and Development at Silliman University for over a decade before she and her family moved to the United States. She also serves on the board of the Harvard Club of the Phils. Global, Save One Life (interim president), an international non-profit organization serving children with bleeding disorders worldwide); and Khan Academy Philippines.

Former commissioner of the Philippine National Youth Commission, Mader Perci Cendana, delivered the motivational message on “Celebrating Differences... Towards a more Diverse, Equitable and inclusive Zonta.” Cendana holds the distinction of being the first openly gay chairperson of the UP Diliman University Student Council and is currently a consultant of the Quezon City Gender and Development Council and QC Pride Council. He is also the immediate past president of Babaylanes Inc., a nongovernmental organization working on building capacities of young LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). Having Cendana is congruent to the Zonta International’s Program on diversity, equality and inclusivity.

The three simultaneous workshops focused on tools to empower women in exploring strategies to enhance opportunities and access to quality education.

“We hope to strengthen our bond and resolve to consistently collaborate with each other to collectively, as an area, and individually as clubs, effect transformational change in our respective communities and spheres of influence,” explained Area 3 director Ma. Teresa Chan.

There’s more to this area affair. Read us on Thursday, Feb. 8 for the social and cultural aspect of this Zonta event in Part 2. See you!


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