Neri: Around town

Nelia G. Neri

IT IS a yearly tradition for the Consular office of Japan in Cebu to celebrate the birthday of the Emperor of Japan with a cocktail reception. Welcoming guests at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu were Minister and Consul General of the Embassy of Japan in the Phils. Atsushi Kuwabara, who came all the way from Manila, and Counsellor and Mrs. Hiroshi Watanabe of the Cebu Consular office.

In his short talk, Minister Kuwabara spoke of the cordial relations between Japan and the Philippines, and the increasing number of tourists between the two countries. He also mentioned the planned fourth Mactan bridge with Japanese funding. Meanwhile, Cebu provincial board member Andrei Duterte, who represented Gov. Gwen Garcia (she was out of town), talked about our long-standing friendship with Japan and proceeded to offer a toast.

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) proudly re-launched its Cebu-Los Angeles service during a cocktail/dinner press conference at Radisson Blu Cebu. The non-stop flight is the first direct link of Central Visayas to North America. It will commence on May 2, 2020, and is scheduled three times a week. The aircraft detailed for this service is PAL’s Boeing 777-300ER which comes well-equipped with amenities to suit long-distance travel like entertainment systems embedded in every passenger seat, personalized video touch screens and more. The Business class cabins feature full flat beds. The B777-300ER can accommodate up to 370 passengers.

Present to give updates on PAL matters were PAL vice president-marketing Ria Domingo; VP-corporate communications Josen Perez de Tagle; senior assistant VP-sales Harry Inoferio and the PAL-Cebu Team. Among the special guests: Department of Tourism-7 regional director Shahlimar Tamano; Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority chief executive officer/general manager lawyer Steve Dicdican; and GMR Megawide Airport Corp. chief executive adviser Andrew Harrison. They were all one in saying that this new link to the USA strengthens Cebu’s role as the country’s new aviation hub.