Armed with this year’s timely and relevant thrust and theme, “Alignment. Communication. Teamwork,” together with the message “Interact. Innovate. Immerse.” — The Zontians of the Zonta Clubs of Cebu 1 & 2 spearheaded the 2020 District 17 Area 3 Meeting on February 21 to 23, 2020 at the jam-packed Lapu-Lapu 1, Bai Hotel, Cebu City.
Empowered and inspired women gathered to discuss the Club’s continuing and short-term projects with the highlight on child marriage, violence against women and gender equality.
The 3-day event officially kickstarted with a sumptuous welcome dinner at the same venue with the theme: “Zontians: Zesty at 100” which wrapped-up Day 1.
On its second day, guests and participants were warmly welcomed with a beautiful, powerful and festive Sinulog Welcome by Benedicto College, then followed by the entry of the Zonta International and District Banners.
The opening ceremony was accentuated by a processional march by club presidents, past Area 3 Directors, past District Governors, Vice Area 3 Director, District 17 Area Directors (Areas #1,4,5,6), District 17 Treasurer, District 17 Governor, Area 3 Director, and Plenary Speaker who 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. Then adding to the very impressive opening ceremony, a Thematic Prologue was presented, courtesy of Junjet Productions and Knapsack Dancers.
The District 17 Governor Teresa Lin sent a video recorded message , which was viewed by all the delegates; which was then followed by messages from Z. Primitiva “Baby” Perez-Sison, and Z. Anita Sanchez for the Zonta Foundation and Centennial Anniversary Endowment Campaign; Z. Minnie Yuvienco for the Thematic Message.
A very important part of the meeting was the 11 participating Zonta Club Presidents’ presentation of their clubs’ best practices — Z. Minnie Yuvienco (Cebu 1), Z. Marilou Cañizares (Cebu 2), Z. Elsie Gonzaga (Bacolod), Z. Eusebia “Bing” De Los Reyes (Davao 1), Z. kristine Chan (IloIlo 1), Z. Guadalupe “Bebot” Chu (Cagayan De Oro 1), Z. Maria Rita Ong (Zamboanga 1), Z. Cheryl Lynn Nuñez (IloIlo 2), Z. Angelita Ang (Davao 2), Z. Virginia “Vinny” Veloso (Cagayan De Oro 2) Z. Elvira Casal (Tacloban).
In her plenary speech, Professor Rhodora M. Bucoy, PhD., Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Women highlighted the topic: “Interacting, Innovating, Immersing in the UN Platform of Action for Women: Towards an Equal Future,” and 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,” said Dr. Bucoy.
“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,” she added.
The event proceeded with an open forum where attendees tackled relevant issues, asked questions and basically discussed about various causes that they support.
One of the highlights of Day 2 was the installation of Dr. Rhodora M. Bucoy, as the newest honorary member of the Zonta Clubs Cebu 1 & 2 due to her outstanding background and extraordinary works in women empowerment.
For her part, Area 3 Director Stella Bernabe acknowledged the strong leadership of the Over-all Chairpersons Z. Teresa Chan and Z. Petite Garcia Program Chair Z. Milagros “Mila” Espina, Z. Elsa Basubas and Z. Vivien Seno, “Funshop” Chairperson LourdesJereza, for their dedication, effort and contribution in making this Biennium 2018-2020 District 17 Area 3 Meeting a successful, productive and memorable event.
The hospitality and care extended to all the delegates by Z. Elena Young, Zonta Cebu 2 President Marilou Cañizares and Zonta Cebu 1 President Minnie Yuvienco were of five-star quality.
The afternoon of Saturday, Day 2, was full, with more important work that tested the delegates’ ability to unite towards a common goal, where the delegates did three workshops, given the moniker Funshop #1 (Interact), Funshop #2 (Innovate), Funshop#3 (Immerse), Indeed it was a unique activity.
But the fun did not end with the “funshop”. The Fellowship Dinner with the theme: “ZontiansGroovin! Through 100 Years ”was a party that was fueled by the Zonta spirit of camaraderie and that will remain in everyone’s memory for a long time.
The last Day, February 23, 2020, began with an early morning Mass and Memorial Service at the Sikatuna Function Room. Then the Zontians hied themselves off to the Safari Adventure Park for another kind of fun, memorable experience.(PR)