June 17, 2004  (STAR) C‘EST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop  -  Six prim and proper articulate ladies and six equally well-mannered, eloquent gentlemen, all with remarkable credentials, impressed everyone present at the Marcelo Fernan Press Center, (Cebu’s newest venue for meetings and conferences, as they were presented) full of confidence and eager to compete, for the much-awaited quest for Cebu’s Ambassador and Ambassadress of Trade and Goodwill for 2004.

The selection searches for exemplary students, outstanding young professionals and successful entrepreneurs who can share pertinent information about the city’s economic and tourism potential to all interested and eventually assist in the promotion of trade and goodwill.

The contest presentors, respected banker Michael Go and event host Angela Calina, interacted with the hopefuls, giving the members of the board of judges the opportunity to ask questions and clarifications on today’s various relevant issues.

The judges included Tourism Attaché Edu Jarque and members of the diplomatic corps, such as US Consular Agent John Domingo, Belgian Honorary Consul Enrique Benedicto and British Honorary Consul Moya Jackson. They were joined by Rodeon Roxas of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Ted Locson, Cebu Visitors and Convention Bureau founding president Patrick Gregorio, Cathay Pacific Airways Cebu general manager Lawrence Fong, Cris Lebumfacil of Philippine Airlines, PLDT corporate business head Jovy Hernandez, arts patron Elvira Luym and Sun Star Daily lifestyle editor Nelia Neri.

After much deliberation, the proclaimed winners as Ambassador and Ambassadress of Trade and Goodwill for 2004 were George Parilla, account manager of Innove Globeline, and Daryl Visitacion, a University of San Jose Recoletos psychology student. Runners-up were Ely Oporto of Big Foot Global Solutions and Hyacinth Alcordo, a University of Southern Philippines nursing student.

The search, initiated by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry a couple of years ago, with Mila Espina as its active hands on chairperson, is a project of the Cebu Young Diplomats’ Corps, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism- Region VII, Commission on Higher Education, Coalition for Better Education, International Visitor’s Program, Philippines and Women in Travel.

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To many, Amparito Llamas Lhuillier is a top socialite based in Cebu, who constantly graces covers in glossy magazines, and whose life continues to be featured in publications here and abroad. Yet very few realize that this highly visible lady has sponsored scholarship grants for deserving high school and college students, as well as thesis grantees in selected fields of study, at the University of San Jose Recoletos.

The educational foundation that bears her name recently expanded its grants to include some children of employees of the various family-owned business establishments.

One recent afternoon, the persona with a golden heart, bursting with joy and fulfillment, tendered an intimate merienda cena at the Laguna Garden for the alumni, recent graduates and l5 new well-screened scholars for the coming school year.

At a distance stood her husband Michel, ever so supportive, ever so proud.

Bless them both.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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