Cebu Zontas hold 3-day meeting

THE Zonta Clubs of Cebu 1 and 2 members initiated the District 17 Area 3 Meeting on Feb. 21-23, 2020, at the jam-packed first Lapu-Lapu room of Bai Hotel in Mandaue City.

The event carried the theme “Interact! Innovate! Immerse!”

Empowered and inspired women gathered to discuss Zonta’s continuing and short-term projects, especially on the issues on child marriage, violence against women and gender equality.

The three-day event started with a welcome dinner. The theme of the event’s first day was “Zontians: Zesty at 100.”

On the second day, guests and participants were treated to a Sinulog performance by the Benedicto College dancers.

Afterwards, the Zonta International and District banners were paraded inside the venue. Then came the processional march by club presidents, past Area 3 directors, past district governors, Area 3 vice director, District 17 area directors (all six areas), District 17 treasurer, District 17 governor, Area 3 director and the plenary speaker. They were escorted by the honor guards of University of San Jose-Recoletos, with accompanying music from Huni sa Abian.

The Philippine national anthem and invocation, and the Zonta prayer and song were performed by the Kenesis Duo. These were followed by a performance from Junjet Productions and Knapsack Dancers.

The recorded video message of District 17 governor Teresa Lin was played and viewed by the delegates. The other messages followed from Primitiva “Baby” Perez-Sison and Anita Sanchez for the Zonta Foundation and Centennial Anniversary Endowment Campaign.

Best practices

The important part of the meeting was the 11 participating Zonta Club presidents’ presentation of their clubs’ best practices. The presenters were Minnie Yuvienco, Marilou Cañizares (Cebu 2), Elsie Gonzaga (Bacolod), Eusebia “Bing” de los Reyes (Davao 1), Kristine Chan (IloIlo 1), Guadalupe “Bebot” Chu (Cagayan de Oro 1), Maria Rita Ong (Zamboanga 1), Cheryl Lynn Nuñez (IloIlo 2), Angelita Ang (Davao 2), Virginia “Vinny” Veloso (Cagayan de Oro 2) and Elvira Casal (Tacloban).

Women’s hurdles

In her plenary speech, former professor Rhodora M. Bucoy, chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Women, discussed “Interacting, Innovating, Immersing in the UN Platform of Action for Women: Towards an Equal Future.” She also addressed the societal hurdles that hinder women from being at par with men.

“Women should no longer be hidden figures. It’s high time that we change social norms, practices and eliminate the stigma so equality between men and women could finally take effect in our society and we do so by changing the mindset of our young people especially boys and also men so that they will look up to women as partners rather than subordinates,” Bucoy said.

She further said: “Women, especially those who came from the lower class families, those marginalized ones, are entitled to have access to quality health services, rights at work and rights to work—the same with men.

The event proceeded with an open forum where attendees tackled relevant issues, asked questions and discussed various causes that they support.

Bucoy was also installed as the newest honorary member of the Zonta Clubs of Cebu 1 and 2 due to her outstanding work in women empowerment.

Strong leadership

For her part, Area 3 director Stella Bernabe acknowledged the strong leadership of overall chairpersons Teresa Chan and Petite Garcia, program chair Milagros “Mila” Espina, Elsa Basubas and Vivien Seno, “Funshop” chairperson Lourdes Jereza, for their dedication, efforts and contributions in making the Biennium 2018-2020 District 17 Area 3 meeting a successful, productive and memorable event.

The hospitality and care extended to all the delegates by Elena Young, Cañizares and Yuvienco were of five-star quality.

In the afternoon, the delegates participated in three workshops—Funshop 1 (Interact), Funshop 2 (Innovate) and Funshop 3 (Immerse).

However, the fun did not end with the funshops. It continued during the fellowship dinner that carried the theme “ZontiansGroovin! Through 100 Years.”

Last Feb. 23, the day started with a morning Mass and memorial service at the Sikatuna function room of Bai Hotel. Then the Zontians embarked on their last fun activity: exploring Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen town. S