Soroptimist Int’l impressed by ZC as host of Biennial Confab PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 09:05

The Mid-Biennial Conference of the Soroptimist International of the Philippines Region (SIPR) in Zamboanga City from May 14-16 made a strong impression on the members who were obviously worried due to the negative stories they heard and read prior to their visit.

Hosted by the SIPR Western Mindanao headed by Soroptimist Governor and City Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar, the 3-day activity brought to Zamboanga some 300 women from all over the country including some of their husbands and children.

Councilor Abubakar admitted that inviting the members to the city for the conference was quite a challenge but that she persisted and went on to prepare a  carefully planned itinerary for the visiting  Soroptimists.

Apparently, Councilor Abubakar did not make a mistake. The national conference was a resounding success, thanks to the efforts of the organizers. Except for the reports through the media, the visitors knew very little about Zamboanga City but all of them left with favourable impression from the food, the scenery, the attractions, the Zamboangueño warmth and hospitality and the stable peace and order situation.

SIPR Public Awareness Committee Chairperson Elinor Gorospe declared she is amazed with Zamboanga City. “I could have given reasons not to come but I came because I love this place. I have tasted the food, the warmth of the people and we were given a taste o the night life here. We really enjoyed the place and this is not t he last time we will come here.”

Leonor Berroya, Program Committee Chairperson said her first time  in Zamboanga was last Janjary when the group organized the SIPR-Police. “I had apprehensions in coming here but Gov. Myra [Abubakar] told me that everything was all right and she was right. For the second time now I am in the city, I think I am addicted to Zamboanga because of your food, we love the arroz caldo, the lumpia, the saging and the churros and so many stuffs to be addicted to”. She said the first thing she and her friends did upon arriving in Zamboanga was shopping.

“Thank you to Gov. Myra for introducing us to Zamboanga,” Berroya added.

For Virginia Peñalosa, SIPR Metro Manila South East District Director, Zamboanga City is not new to her, as her mother is from the city. “I love this place. Last January was more than proof [of our love to this city] when we chartered the Soroptimist International-Zamboanga PNP composed of women in the police force. We were able to go to different places, I do not believe that this is not a peaceful place, this is really a nice place!”

SIPR Secretary Adelene Gatmaitan described the Zamboanga conference as the best gathering that the Soroptimists ever have attended because of camaraderie and warmth of the people and the joyful welcome of the dancers at the airport upon arrival of the delegates. “I was here in 2007 and Gov. Myra surpassed our  expectations, we really had a pleasant stay.”

The 3-day gathering sought to assess the organization’s accomplishments as well as plan activities for the coming year. The opening program was graced by Mayor Beng Climaco (represented by Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde). It also discussed crucial issues like the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law with Cong. Celso Lobregat as resource speaker.

On the lighter side of the gathering there were fellowship activities, visits to tourist sites such as the Sta. Cruz island including important installations such as the public market. — Sheila E. Covarrubias