06 August 2007

Local milestones the week past

1. AVENUE Square Hotel soft launch. This was 'the' social event that gathered together the upper crust of Naga's society, held at the convention center of Avenue Square last July 28. I got in thanks to a last-minute invite from Donald -- one of the perks of blogging, I suppose.

It had two main highlights: one, of course, was the public presentation of Avenue Square Hotel, positioned for the upscale market, which will open its doors by September, just in time for the Peñafrancia fiesta.

The brochure says guests can choose from a wide array of rooms ranging from Superior, De Luxe, Executive Suites and a Presidential Suite, with rates starting from P3,000 per night. Of course, the hotel is located just at the back of Avenue Square, Naga's lifestyle center along Magsaysay Avenue.

The other highlight is the launch of Allée, dubbed as the city's first lifestyle magazine, which featured University of Nueva Caceres president Dr. Dolores Sison; Atty. Leni Robredo, Naga's first lady; and interior designer and Avenue Square's managing director Gwen Cu on the cover.

The thick crowd that trooped to the event however had its downside; just ask Benny Decena, Elmer Abad, Al Ubaña and Johnny Dematera what it was.

2. Danny Gerona, Ateneo's first-ever full professor. Monday evening (July 30) was Dr. Danilo Madrid Gerona's big night at the Arrupe Convention Hall of the Ateneo, marking his conferment of the rank Professor by Fr. Joel Tabora, university president, in a celebration that overflowed with food and wine.

Irvin Sto. Tomas relates here this is a first, and a source of singular pride for their hometown, Canaman.

'Eminence' was the dominant word that evening, becoming synonymous with Danny especially in the field of local history and culture. It was more than enough to compensate for a most generous offer from the other Catholic university along Taft, who almost took away the city's foremost local historian.

His lecture on the topic The Chinese in Spanish Kabikolan: Cultural Resilience and Entrepreneurial Process was both enlightening and timely, as the Ateneo embarks on a partnership with China, starting with educational and cultural exchange programs, and possible business opportunities for the city and Bicol as a whole.

High-ranking officials of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce were among those who listened to Danny's lecture, a vintage performance that reminded me of a similar presentation before our visiting UBC graduate students, one of whom exclaimed, "You're a very good storyteller!"

3. 'Miskol.' Bikolanos again took centerstage in the annual Sawikaan event at UP last August 2-3 that brought together Filipino language scholars, teacher delegates and students. Ateneo's Adrian Remodo took the word of the year top prize with 'miskol,' followed by Kristian Cordero's 'roro.'

Cordero blogged about it, as did Aldy Manrique who thankfully pointed out it is a Philippine Star article (William Esposo should do something about the Star's notoriously unreliable links), with Irvin reacting, including a reference to Composed Gentleman's objection to the word of the year, arguing that 'miskol' is not even a word. Ah, but such is the vitality of a living language: maybe today it is not, but soon it will be.

I only hope the evolving Bikol language will be just as vigorous, even more, to capture modern concepts, ideas and realities alien to Lisboa when he wrote
Vocabulario de la Lengua Bicol in the 19th century.

12 comments:

Maryanne Moll said...

Wow, there's Glamour na pala in Naga. And all the while here I am being a Slave to the Intellectual Life ruled by Grumpy People who could not Care Less about the Difference between Maroon and Burgundy unless it's a Detail in Literature, when all I needed all along was to Go Back to Naga and Deck Myself Out and Color My Hair and Get My Teeth Whitened and Rub Elbows with Perfumed People and voila, I would have have Arrived!

Kudos to the Avenue Square People! I sincerely hope this won't be just a Flash In The Pan, or some Bad Imitation of The Philippine Tattler.

dave (",) said...

For me, miskol/missed call is an old term, perhaps five years old, and I'm actually surpised it was only recognized this year. And I am one with you on wishing that the Bikol language show more prominence in Sawikaan just as Bicolanos were prominent this year.

I must say, a high-end hotel in Naga is just what the city needs to enhance its image.

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Maryanne: Ask those Grumpy People to get a life, lol.

Dave: I guess it means 'miskol' has finally arrived.:)

Maryanne Moll said...

Ah, but I cannot! For their Grumpiness is but a Front for their Brilliance, and that is the kind of Brilliance that is Immortal, and no other kind of Brilliance Matters.

I am Beyond Saving. To me the Fate of the Grumpy and Unwashed and Un-Bedecked and with Book Spines with their Names on them.

Alas! I shall never Know Chanel No. 5. Goodbye, horrid World!

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

To Grumpiness, then, without forgetting that life is diverse and vast worlds exist between the Grumpy and the Perfumed.

And that brilliance is possible in the extraordinariness of life, probably unwritten because of its daily drudgery, but is redeemed by love whose name is immortal in my lips.:)

Maryanne Moll said...

Willy, thou art a Poet! A Washed and Perfumed one, I hope. :P

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Ah, poetry then must be truth spoken well. As to whether I am Washed and Perfumed, my beloved should know, lol.

Coming from my favorite Bikolana writer, I take that as a compliment.:D

Leeloo said...

Am interested to contact Dr. Dan Madrid Gerona through his email add.Would it be possible to get it?

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