Friday, December 09, 2005

Canadian Trade Commission Christmas gathering

Last night, I together with Norelyn attended the Canadian Trade Commission Christmas party at the house of Ms. Ellen Ruth Zeisler at Dasmarinas Village, Makati, Commercial Counsellor and Senior Trade Commissioner.

When I first received the invitation last week, I wondered who sent it. I remember meeting people from the Canadian Trade twice, once during a meeting of the "Powerful Women" with Sen Magsaysay and the Canadian Trade people and the recent one was during the Cebu ICT month last June.

As the night progressed I learned that it was Lyn, the trade commissioner , also in charge of ICT, who sent the invite. I had to ask permission if I could bring another board member and they agreed yesterday so I asked Norelyn. It was raining the whole day so traffic was bad. It was so bad that we thought it was the friday jam but it was only thursday! It took us an hour just to get out of Ayala Avenue. I guess it was a combination of the bad weather, the holiday month of December, and it was the feast of the Immaculate Conception and a holiday of obligation so those who were not able to hear mass earlier were rushing to church.

The invitation said 630pm but we reached the place almost 8pm! As to be expected, lots of expats filled the place. We went straight to the food area so we can fill our stomachs before exchanging pleasantries with everyone.

I noticed that there was a "Happy Hannukah" greeting at one of the tables and kosher food was displayed. Apparently the trade commissioner is Jewish. i was looking for the Israel Ambassador or anyone from the Israeli embassy who had been long time friends of PICS but apparently they left early.

Inside the first room where the kosher food was, I met Clarisse (Innove Communications), my batchmate in college, Mona Montemayor my former officemate at the bank who is now an executive at ING, and Lyn. They pointed to us that the pasta table was outside.

After our meal, its now time to go around and meet people. I noticed Richard Mills, CEO of Chalre, who gave an interesting presentation during the last BPAP meeting, refuting the recent negative report by McKinsey about the Philippines. I thanked him for sending me the soft copy of his presentation.

When I went to the small room to get some dessert, I met Mina Gabor (Philsmed) who just arrived and was starting to take some cocktails. I asked her how the first saturday healing sessions were in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. I have not yet gone back since then but planning to next year.

While I was on the way back to where Norelyn was, I saw Cynthia Mamon (Sun Microsystems) who apparently just arrived, in a huddle with Atty. Rudy Salalima, legal counsel of Globe Telecom, and Renato Garcia President of PETEF and Lyn.

I asked Atty Salalima why he never accepted any of our recent invitation for him to speak. Apparently he never got any of them. He wanted a repeat of the first time he spoke in our congress together with Cong. Imee Marcos for he thrives on controversial themes :)

Much later I remembered I had a camera in my bag so I asked the waiter to take our photo. Mona came along and offered to take the shot. The first one as shown above was just Tato Garcia, Norelyn, me, Atty Salalima, and Mina Gabor while on the second one we were joined by the Senior Trade Commissioner. Actually Cynthia and Lyn as I can recall was in the first photo but I guess Mona left them out on the frame :)

Why did I have my camera? Because I knew I was going to post a blog and I needed some photos :) The only photo which I really took, with my phone was the Happy Hannukah sign and Kosher food, which I was going to upload here, but gosh when I was checking on my phone I think I tapped on the wrong button - trash instead of save :(

We left the place around 915pm. Still raining outside but lesser traffic.

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