By Deedee M. Siytangco
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, and the other wings. —Hodding Carter
Former PEZA head, the multi-awarded Atty. Lilia de Lima, recently celebrated her birthday with a thanksgiving dinner. And her many friends came to celebrate with her. Lilia served several presidents and is credited for increasing the number of PEZA zones, its income,and investors during her term. And not a drop of scandal or illegal transactions tainted her leadership!
Just like her previous thanksgiving dinners, it was also a mini-concert featuring the best of the best of her friends from the music industry, both professionals and amateurs alike, including the Manila Hotel president Atty. Joey Lina. Her guests were treated to a delicious buffet and sparkling songs from Ryan Cayabyab and his wife Emmy, Rachel Geordias with husband Byeung In Park who was a terrific baritone, and the fabulous Celeste Legaspi.
Lilia’s co-TOWNS awardees were also there to support her, including their president Olivia Ferry, Elsa Payumo, Paulym Sicam, Teresita Ang See, Evelyn Singson, Nina Lim Yuson, Corazon de la Paz Benardo, Yoly Ong, Karina Bolasco, and Bing Carrion. There were also Lilia’s friends from the Judiciary, the likes of chief justice Hilario Davide and his wife Gigi, SC justice Art Panganiban, and judges Helen Gutierrez and Telly Bernabe. There were also former cabinet members, like DTI’s Greg Domingo, BIR’s Kim Henares, and DOLE’s Nieves Confesor. Present from the diplomatic community were Japanese ambassador Kuji Haneda, Singaporean ambassador Kowk Li Oeng, and former Philippine ambassador to the US Joey Cuisia.
Thank you for the music and cheers, Lilia!
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Earlier, we were at the gala event of District 381 of the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines. They held their Induction and Turnover Ceremonies at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Senator Cynthia A. Villar inducted Elizabeth S. Tagle as the new chairman of District 381 for the Inner Wheel Year 2018-2019.
These civic-minded ladies of District 381 comprise an organization of women whose advocacy is focused on education, health, livelihood projects, and “Operation Paglingap” (a quick response effort for relief goods distribution to victims of calamities). They also have an ongoing scholarship program, a project funded by Feed the Hungry USA based in Washington DC, for indigent students atthe Don Bosco Vocational School in Tondo.
Another ongoing project especially for women is its Breast Cancer Awareness Forum, held monthly in municipalities outside of Manila. Breast Cancer is the number two killer among women here in the Philippines and these forums aim to help save more lives, Beth explained to us.
District 381 also has an educational campaign in schools called “Drugs no more, Health pa more, School pa more” on the effects ofdrugs in the lives of the poor. They have a catchy jingle and the song and dance video features no less than DOH undersecretary Dr. Eric Tayag with the award-winning group of The Angelos. Dr. Tayag and The Angelos gave the Inner-wheelers a sample of the campaign song and dance number. Also gracing the happy occasion were Joey Lina, who sang two numbers, and DepEd undersecretary for Legislative Affairs Tonisito Umali.
Others who gave outstanding performances that evening at Sofitel, all for the love of their “Mama Beth” were Jonathan Badon and violinist Merjohn Lagaya.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, a well-known champion of women empowerment, livelihood, education, and the environment, inducted Beth as the new District 381 chairperson. IPDC Myrna Magalong turned over the office of District chairman to Tagle at a simple ceremony, witnessed by IWCPI president Donna Jao, and Beth’s close-knit family of four boys, George, Erwin, Eric, and Ernest, her daughter-in-law Sarah, and her two-year old daughter Ellie, Beth’s pride and joy.
Villar lauded the members of the District for being “people that I really respect and admire.” She went on to say that in Las Piñas city, as well as in other parts of the country, she had worked with the Inner Wheel Clubs, so she was aware of their passion for service to others.
The various presidents of the clubs under District 381—Jenny Enriquez of Bacoor, Cavite, Olive Dysun from Manila Bay EDSA, Razal Granada for Pasay, Rosemarie Basa for Manila, Vicky Foxfor Metro Premier, Nina May Rahmad of Hiyas ng Silangan, and Lily Tan of the Chinatown Circlea—were also present. A thanksgiving mass was celebrated by healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez of the MMPF.
We congratulate those in-charge of the event. Everything was well thought of, including the little cactus plants and rosaries from the MMPF, courtesy of the new District chairman Beth, fruits galore—rambutan from Myrna Magalong’s own farm, grapes and ponkan from Lily Chua—as well as lechon and appetizers from Marissa Fenton, Ditas Crisostomo, and Carmen Arcenio. All these, plus a lavish buffet spread from Sofitel.
Congratulations, Beth! Here’s to more years of service for you and your members!