Espina: Yuletide milestones

Seda Hotel celebrated its 10 years of successful service during the ceremonial lighting of its huge Christmas tree in its lobby. The event was led by president and chief executive officer of AyalaLand Hotels & Resorts Corp., Javi Hernandez; and Seda Ayala Center Cebu general manager Gwen Dela Cruz.

Meanwhile, this year’s quest for Miss Cebu had its series of seminars in history and culture, personality development, social graces, protocol and public speaking to make it a meaningful tourism program which projects the enduring values of womanhood. The Cebuana is known for her charm and intelligence, leadership and friendliness.

Decades ago, this project was then called the search for “Miss Cebu Tourism.” Eventually, it was expanded to “Miss Cebu” as the culture bearer of the entire province and across the globe.

We honor the proponents then Mayor Ronald Duterte, Vice Mayors Renato Osmeña and Alvin Garcia, past mayor Tomas Osmeña, who were assisted by Tourism commissioners, among them Nelia Neri, Joseph Gaisano, Paul Loo of Cathay Pacific, Francisco Borromeo, MCE, Philip Rodriguez, among others. (I might have missed a few names).

Props also to the pageant choreographer, Junjet Primor, the zealous adviser Cinbeth Orellano, our pageant team (Monette Aliño, one of them), and Cebu’s creative fashionistas, who interpreted beautifully the “beauty and brain” search for the total Cebuana.

The song “Beautiful Cebuana”—composed by Paul Melendez, lyrics penned by MCE and sung by the Sakdap, and other songs, “Cebu, Where the Heart Sings,” sung by Anna Fegi, and “I Love Cebu”—immortalized the vision and values of the “maanyag na Cebuana.”

Proudly, we hailed the victory of Miss Cebu in the national and international Hall of Fame.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama continues to make the pageant bigger and better each year. I watched how the current Tourism and pageant chairperson Cinbeth Orellano succeeded in expanding the search for the total Cebuana. I witnessed how Cinbeth metamorphized into a dynamic tourism proponent.

During my seminar with the Miss Cebu team, I was asked why the swimsuit portion was removed from the pageant. We thought that focusing our national costumes and modern attires and the Interview would make the pageant more relevant. Not all Pinays look good wearing swimsuits. The oriental inhibition is still there.