A great weekend in Manila with IMG and Rotary
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2019 - 12:00am

Sunday evening was the gala night of the Champion Heroes of the International Marketing Group (IMG) at the SMX, the second reason why I came to Manila for the weekend. It was IMG’s 15th year anniversary making efforts that few organizations would do to ordinary people who want to educate themselves about financial security. Last night’s humongous affair was the culmination of their hard work, seeing more than 11,000 people, ladies wearing spanking backless long gowns and men in their suits or tuxedos having a grand time celebrating their personal achievements. To be honest, IMG had to stop their registration process last week because they would no longer fit inside the SMX. Maybe next year it would be at the ARENA.

Hosting the evening’s event was no less than my good friend Boy Abunda (who also writes for the Philippine STAR) who called the names of new CEOs working in IMG and new CEOs Marketing Director Awardees with huge smiles on their faces. The event started at the SMX at 6 p.m. and lasted up to 12 midnight when megastar Sharon Cuneta belted her favorite songs and the crowd went wild. After all, they have known Sharon Cuneta for decades so singing along with her was a natural thing. Sharon is now a Kaiser Health Group ambassadress, and she loved this title.

Before Sharon Cuneta came on stage, Boy Abunda introduced Korina Sanchez-Roxas who gave a series of documentaries om how many IMG members became successful, even after their poverty and lack of education. Most of them are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that in the end, did not improve their social status until they were introduced to the membership in the IMG. Many of them met Rey and Ginalyn Lobrado who painstakingly worked their skill to turn around these people saddled with huge debts and problems, and turn them into CEOs in their own right.

IMG was the idea 17 years ago of three men who like most members of IMG also had difficulties in their lives. I refer to Dr. Joen delas Peñas, Bart Borja and Noel Arandilla. I’m sure these three guys cannot believe that their idea has truly helped Filipino families all over the world improve their financial status. Seven years ago they tapped me to improve and run their Cable TV Channel in Metro Cebu and we renamed it MyTV channel 30 and we have been hiring cameramen that ABS-CBN has retired and we are the most active TV cable in Metro Cebu and Northern Mindanao’s Parasat Cable TV.

IMG today is with the Kaiser Health Group and launched a year and a half ago a Kaiser Medical Center in SM Seaside in Cebu City. After its opening, they also had a Kaiser Medical Center in SM City aside from the Kaiser Health group at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZA). Ana Marie “Tweety” Julian told me last Sunday night that Kaiser Health Group has embarked on four medical centers and asked me to visit all of them in my next visit to Manila. I just might do an episode of my 19-year-old Cable TV Talkshow; “Straight from the Sky” so people can see what Kaiser has done in Cebu and Manila. Also IMG acquired Manila Bankers Life (MBLife) last year, so that gives IMG an edge over other insurance companies. So kudos to the great success of IMG and see you at the ARENA next year!

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Last Saturday evening was truly a historic gathering of some 2,000 Rotarians from all over the Philippines who came to Manila to join the Manila Rotary Club, honoring its 100th year in the Philippines at the Okada Hotel. I didn’t realize that the Okada Hotel is so huge a complex that it looks like those gambling resort casinos found in Macau.

My dear friend, Johnny Litton was the host of the evening and yes… “Oh No” it’s Johnny can still wow his audience with his voice of perfection and talent. Notable was the attendance of Rotary International president elect Mark Daniel Mulroney who congratulated the Rotary Club of Manila on its centennial year.

During the program the national anthem of the Philippines was played and then the American National Anthem. This was due to the fact that the Americans introduced the Rotary Clubs to the Philippines. Today there are around 800 Rotary Clubs all over the country… but the Rotary Club of Manila would always have the distinction of being the “Mother Club” of all Rotary Clubs in the Philippines.

Perhaps the most important event of the evening was when all the Rotarians present regardless of club affiliation recited the Four-Way Test that Rotarians know by heart and proof that Rotary is indeed “Service Above One’s Self! After all, all Rotarians worldwide accept the reality that Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. I’m proud and glad that I belong to a family of Rotarians in Cebu!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

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