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European ambassadors visit queen city of the South
Source: Inquirer
Author: None
Date: 2001-03-11
AMBASSADORS from various European nations visited Cebu recently to assess the province's economic situation, said Swiss Ambassador Werner Baumann, who has been here on several other occasions. We would like to think that he returned to Manila with very good impressions.

Markus Stern, Switzerland's honorary consul in Cebu, planned Ambassador Baumann's stay to the minutest detail. There was even a visit to an orchid farm in Moalboal (south of Cebu City) under the care of a Swiss national, Reto Feuerstein.

Ambassador Baumann also paid calls on Cebu Gov. Pablo Garcia, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sabino Dapat and executive director Dante Araneta, European Chamber (Cebu) president Gus Palao, Cebu Investment Promotions Center chair Edgar Godinez and managing director Joel Yu.

There was a dinner hosted by Ambassador Baumann at the elegant and newly inaugurated dining salon of Europa Deli. With him were attache Alberto Groff and Melanie Isip, commercial officer of the Swiss embassy. Swiss wines of exquisite vintage were served with an equally excellent menu. Chef Dario Amparo was called forth to receive the applause of guests and a Swatch watch from Ambassador Baumann.

Denmark Ambassador Peter Rosting came to Cebu to confer the Knighthood of the Order of the Dannebrog on Ben Dapat, the Royal Danish consul ad honorem in Cebu. It was granted by Her Majesty Queen Margarethe II of Denmark for the exceptional services Dapat rendered during his tenure.

The ceremonies were held during an elegant reception at the ballroom of the Cebu City Marriott Hotel, where Ambassador Rosting delivered a most eloquent speech, and Dapat quipped in his acceptance speech that finally he had been so honored. It was a most convivial party, as the Danes and the Filipinos, especially those who live in Cebu, are well known for their sense of humor.

Also in Cebu at the time was German Ambassador Herbert Jess who gave a reception for the German community in Cebu at the Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort. Among the guests were Reinard and Pilar Paichrowski, who had been with Ambassador Jess at a previous posting in Beijing. Walking around the garden of the Shangri-La on a moonlit evening, they chanced upon Ambassador Jess who was indeed happy to invoke that adage about the world being so small.

Reinhard and Pilar are still posted in Beijing, he taking care of protocol at the German embassy there. They were in Manila for three years since 1994 and they had come to Cebu to stay at the Shangri-La on several occasions. They also made many friends here, so that this recent visit was like a homecoming. They dined on Spanish specialties at Casino Español, Italian pasta at Va Bene and seafood platters at Caf‚ Laguna. They also visited the Sto. Niño to say a prayer. Reinhard is from Bavaria while Pilar is from Spain. They have a home in Murcia, close to the residence of former Spanish Ambassador Herminio Morales and his wife Maria Dolores.

The new Spanish ambassador, Don Tomas Rodriguez-Pantoja, has expressed his desire to visit Cebu when the opportunity comes. We did fly to Manila for a day to meet him, at the cocktail party hosted by the Spanish embassy's deputy head of mission Aranzazu Ba¤on de Herrera and consul general Javier Herrera. It was held at their home in Dasmariñas Village.

Camera in hand, we took pictures at random and used them today.


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