Cultural Potpourri | Ikebana International-Davao Chapter 133′s Induction 2018

THE TRAFFIC along Bajada was horrible last Friday the 13th of July, 2018, but it didn’t deter me from attending Davao’s lovely and perfumed ladies of Ikebana’s “Installation of Officers for 2018-2020.” Arlene “Jing” L. Puentespina, the outgoing President who led the group from 2016-2018, made me promise with such strong urgency to attend thus disabling me to go to Marco Polo’s fashion show held on the same day and time.

Upon entering the Mangosteen and Durian Hall of the Park Inn by Radisson Davao, I was welcomed by Jing Puentespina who wore an attractive gown like all the rest of the members of Ikebana International-Davao Chapter 133 who were all fashionably dressed. It is truly good to see that the veteran members were able to recruit lovely and talented newbies in this association of “friendship through flowers.”
The program started with an invocation expressed through an interpretative dance by the talented ballet dancer of a daughter of Engineer Angel and Jing Puentespina, Pia Angelika L. Puentespina, who had just finished her scholarship studies in China. She is now preparing to leave for New York, USA, for further studies. Benjie T. Yu followed with the reading of a prayer.
The lovely Leticia Robillo- dela Paz, who was celebrating her birthday, then welcomed and acknowledged the guests. Crisenda C. Liu was given the important task of introducing the Inducting Officer & Guest of Honor in the person of the Honorable Consul of Japan, Yoshiaki Miwa. Consul Miwa was a Counsellor of the Japanese Embassy in Finland then later became its Minister Counsellor before being assigned as Counsellor of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines on February 2018. In just a few months, he was assigned as Director of the Consular Office of Japan in Davao City.
“This is my first diplomatic posting in an Asian country and I welcome it as I am an Asian. Finland’s climate has been too cold for me; while my posting in Iraq has been a truly hot experience for me. I am comfortable with Davao’s climate,” Consul Miwa said. Consul Miwa also informed the guests that Davao has kept him busy since his arrival to the City. He will work hard for economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines to realize a healthier economy for Davao. He also mentioned that he will be proposing for a direct flight from Davao to Japan. But Consul Miwa’s important task will be the creation of a Consulate General in Davao by January, 2019. “It would mean a bigger scope of responsibility for me as Consul General with the upgrading of the Consular Office of Japan in Davao,” he pointed out. The good Japanese Consul also stated that 2020 marks the 100th year of existence of the Consular Office of Japan in Davao, the first Japanese consulate established outside of Manila during the prewar days. And the first Japanese consul assigned to prewar Davao happened to be his wife’s uncle. Do take note that by the year 2020, Ikebana International-Davao Chapter turns 50 years old.
In her farewell speech delivered like a true beauty queen, Jing L. Puentespina expressed, “As President for the past two years, I would like to thank the officers, members and friends of the organization. We have accomplished so much working together. I am delighted that our organization has regained an atmosphere of unity and friendship once again. Now, we see and feel amongst us the spirit of teamwork. I feel so proud and honored to have been able to lead this excellent team. It has been a wonderful journey knowing you and sharing laughter together…”
The new set of officers for 2018-2020 includes Ma. Lourdes Victoria T. Imperial (President), Leticia R. dela Paz (1st VP), Crisenda C. Liu (2nd VP), Clarice S. Lu (Recording Sec.), Leticia S. Averion (Corresponding Sec.), Jennifer Christine S. Lim (Treas.), Patria A. Ibarreta (Asst. Treas.), Araceli C. Bibay (Auditor), Ma. Diana C. Lozano (PRO), Ana Maria C. Abaca (Historian), and Arlene L. Puentespina (Ex. Officio).
Ma. Lourdes Victoria Tionko-Imperial is the granddaughter of the founder of Ikebana International-Davao Chapter, Dona Carmen Marfori-Soriano. Her mom, Marie Soriano-Tionko, who has always been an active member, is the daughter of Dona Carmen. “The beautiful Japanese art of arranging flowers, ikebana, is a mixture of adventure, creativity, knowledge, humility, patience and obedience…It is my deepest wish for everyone that we may continue to live out these qualities, especially resilience and love, as we work towards the Golden Anniversary. May we always share our hearts and soul in bringing life to the arrangements that we creat. May we continue to strive for further mastery, evoking the emotions and imagination of the audience. I look forward to working with everyone; and may we live out our motto: Friendship through Flowers.
I would like to thank dear Jing L. Puentespina for the surprise honorable award she blessed me with. More flower power to Ikebana International-Davao Chapter.

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