Noticias — February 11, 2003

2003 Area B Conference (ASPAC) in Paradise

Cebu, the Island Paradise, will be the site the 53rd JCI Asia-Pacific Conference (ASPAC) on May 22?25, 2003. Chaired by Executive Vice President Henry Oh from South Korea, this Conference promises to be an outstanding success thanks to the strikingly beautiful setting and the enthusiasm and dedication of the Organizing Committee, headed by Conference Director Jerry U. Rapes. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend topnotch business sessions and training seminars, including PRIME in English. The ASPAC Speaking Competition, a Trade Show, and Twinning Ceremonies are also scheduled. A Senate Golf Tournament and a Senate Dinner/Fellowship will be among the activities offered to JCI Senators. And a grand finale, a fun and splendid Conference Ball, is being organized. Philippine members are excited about welcoming foreign delegates. ?The Cebu Uptown Jaycees, Perlas Pasay Jaycees, Zugbuana Jaycees, and the rest of the 7,000 plus active members of the Junior Chamber of the Philippines eagerly await to welcome you,? said Mabel Villarica-Mamba, 2002 Philippines National President. Fascinating Cebu As early as the 13th century, Cebu was already an important crossroad of pre-colonial Southeast Asian trade. In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan made it a base for the exploration and conquest of the islands. In 1860, the demand for sugar cane, tobacco and hemp paved the way for the opening up of the countryside. By the mid-19th century, Cebu had caught up with the outside world. Cities thrived with newly established industries, and suburbs flourished. With the American rule came improved infrastructure, more modern ports and facilities. Today, Metropolitan Cebu is a 33,000-hectare complex of three cities and six municipalities. Its population of more than a million is a cosmopolitan mix of Filipinos with Chinese, American and European influences. The prevailing dialect is Cebuano or Bisaya, the vernacular, but English and Tagalog are widely spoken. As in the past, the island province preserves with pride its role as the crossroads of international trade. The recently expanded and modernized Mactan International Airport services flights from all over the world. Ocean-going vessels dock at the similarly modernized ports. Accommodations Within the city, accommodations range from the luxury of first-class hotels to comfortable pensions and lodging houses at affordable rates. Resorts provide out-of-town accommodations with adequate facilities for a variety of land and water sports. Places to See In addition to the lovely beaches, delegates will have a myriad of interesting and historic places to visit. As the site of the oldest Spanish settlement in the country, modern Cebu retains traces of its colonial heritage. Centuries-old churches and Antillan houses, high-rises and modern buildings jostle for space along the tree-lined streets. Intriguing places to see include: Fort San Pedro, the smallest and oldest bastion in the country, was built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders. At times, it served as a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries, as a US army barracks, and as a prison camp during the Japanese occupation. Today, it is a historical park. Lapu-Lapu's Monument in Mactan Island, was erected in honor of the first Filipino Chieftain who fought for his people's freedom. Adjacent to Lapu-Lapu's monument is Magellan's marker, a tribute to the Portuguese explorer slain by Lapu-Lapu on that same spot. Casa Gorordo, once the residence of the first Catholic bishop of Cebu, has been restored as a reminder of a more gracious bygone era. Its opulent halls house cultural and historical relics of the 18th century, a collection of old prints, and contemporary works of art. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. A modest entrance fee is collected. The Osme?a residence holds some of General Douglas MacArthur's memorabilia and the personal mementos of Sergio Osme?a, the first President of the Philippine Republic after World War II. The University of San Carlos Museum within the city proper houses a wide collection of interesting finds from all over the country. Its exhibits of religious relics, archaeological and ethnic artifacts, botanical and zoological specimens and other finds are a must for history buffs and curio enthusiasts. Magellan's Cross, the replica of which contains the remnants of the original one planted by Ferdinand Magellan on Cebu's shores, stands within a wayside shrine commemorating the conversion of the first Filipinos to Christianity. Ceiling murals depict the first Catholic mass celebrated on Philippine shores. The Cebu Capitol, seat of provincial government, is a magnificent edifice of pre-war vintage. From the Avenue of Flags, its dome can be seen rising white against the backdrop of mountains in the distance. Summarizing? Conference Director Jerry U. Rapes summarizes the countless reasons why delegates will enjoy the Conference: ?It [Cebu] is centrally located. It has excellent airport facilities, serviced by both local and international carriers?, international standard convention and hotel facilities?, a strong and bustling economy... It is a mixture of East and West, the old and the new. Its sandy white beaches await the delegates. Cebu's nightlife is a blast. It's a haven for shoppers, bargain hunters and those who believe in really good food. But most of all, Cebu is ideal because of its people?" Register Today! To register and for additional information, please visit the ASPAC website, or contact the ASPAC Secretariat: JCI ASPAC 2003 Wanderlanes Ground Flr, Krizia Building Gonzales Compound, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines Secretariat email: Additional Website Links
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