MANILA,  September 13
, 2004 (STAR)  C‘EST CEBU by Honey Jarque Loop - The Women in Literary Arts Cebu, a prestigious association, whose membership is exclusively by invitation only, together with the Cebu Waterfront Hotel, the choice venue of important events and memorable occasions, recently invited writers-with-a-mission, genuine literary enthusiasts and ever-present supportive friends to an intimate just-before-sunset gathering to launch Checkmeta, the newest collection of short stories and poems by renowned writer Cesar Ruiz Aquino.

The organization, which is currently headed by its dynamic president Annabelle Tan Amor, had chartered members, such as Marlinda Angbetic Tan, Erma Cuizon and Gingging Dumdum, read some passages of poetry from the selection, giving an interesting insight into what the publication is all about. And quickly scanning its pages, I found it to be very entertaining, a bit moving, at times hilarious.

Meanwhile, the Casbah Restaurant, which specializes in authentic Mediterranean cuisine, prominently situated at the Rivergate Complex on Mango Ave., was abuzz with anticipation at yet another exclusive get-together of more fans of the literary world to celebrate the publication of A Crowded House, the third novel of Cebuano writer Jovenir Bataican.

The guests, some of which were perhaps unfairly accused of being momentarily anti-social, could not help but immediately flick through the pages of the book, which centers on love, a complete diversion from his two earlier works, suspense thrillers Under the Red Carpet and Legally Dead. Can you really honestly blame them?

These are two must-have books for one’s private library.

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Cebu Pacific Air, one of the country’s national carriers and popularly known for its excellent record of service reliability and passenger approval, recently identified its 12th million passenger as he crossed its pre-departure gate at the Mactan Cebu International Airport. Frequent traveler Manuel Dumdum received a three-month pass that will enable him plus a companion to fly to any of the airline’s destinations as often as they wish.

Recently, the pioneering and innovative airline, now in its eighth year of operations, made airline, as well as Philippine, aviation, history by appointing a lady captain for a commercial aircraft.

Captain Catherine Marie Castillo, assisted by First Officer Mayra Florencio, together with an all-woman cabin crew, made her Manila-Cebu maiden flight with her proud mom Lita, Peggy Vera, VP corporate planning and external affairs, Viveva Singson, JG Summit Holdings communications manager, and Edwin Bautista, director for domestic affairs and government relations. Cebu Pacific Air general manager Bong Mojica, who was on the flight, had this to say: "The airline is committed to expanding prospects for women pilots so they can take full advantage of employment opportunities in the aviation industry."

He further stated that the appointment of Captain Castillo is reflective of the airline’s culture, which puts strong emphasis on abilities and professionalism.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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