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Back in good old New York City

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - June 16, 2014 - 12:00am

For our special presentation on our Talk show on Straight from the Sky, we bring you a discussion on Cebu Business Month  in celebration for the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. that  made it the major activity for the month of June. With me tonight is CCI President Tess Chan who has made Chamber history as the first woman president of the Cebu Chamber in its 110th history.

The theme for the Cebu Business Month is 2014 and beyond. A major topic that we would be discussing is the up and coming ASEAN Integration that would usher in next year in 2015. Now whether or not Filipino businessmen or entrepreneurs are ready for ASEAN Integration, well most pundits say that we are not. However we must thank the CCCI for its valiant effort to use the CBM to discuss ASEAN Integration to the members of CCCI. So watch this interesting conversation with Ms. Tess Chan on SkyCable’s channel 61 at 8:00PM with replays on Wednesday and Saturday with replays on MyTV chan.30 at 7:00AM and 8:00PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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STAMFORD, Connecticut - It was good to be back in New York City as the last time I came here was way back in 2002, a year after 9/11. Arriving in John F. Kennedy International Airport was a breeze although it was a long walk from the plane to immigration. I estimated that we walked from Fuente Osmeña to Iglesia ni Kristo in Mango Ave. with our heavy bags. We are staying only for less than a month in the US, but the immigration officer gave us until the end of the year to stay in the US. Looking at all the people lining up in immigration, it gave you a bird’s eye view of the melting pot that has become of the Big Apple where the white Caucasian has become the minority.

Our hosts, Mr. John and Inda Gage picked us up in JFK and drove an hour to their home in Stamford, Connecticut. The next day they drove us to Queens Museum, the site of the 1940 and 1964 World’s Fair. When I was staying in Queens’s way back in 1972, that area was quite dilapidated. But it has been resurrected as the Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe Stadium, the site of the US Tennis Open and the old Shea Stadium has now become Citi Fields Stadium where US Baseball games are played.

It was quite interesting to find that inside Queens Museum was a huge diorama of New York City, where every single building is represented in miniature. You will be amazed how the Americans did this, which even had miniature commercial planes landing and taking off in La Guardia Airport. Actually the plane was attached on a fine fishing line, which is nearly invisible and goes round and round. But it sure looked great.

Of course when in New York City, you do as the New Yorkers do. I met my brother Rene at the Citi Stadium with his son Dr. Jose “Jojo” Avila and we took the subway train all the way to Manhattan Island. I have not been with my brother in New York City since September 1972... 42-years ago when I stayed with him in NY for five months! That was due to the fact that we could not go out of our office together. But now that our nephews are involved in the family business we could now travel together abroad.

In New York City we went down Times Square, the epicenter of the Big Apple and yes, we ate Nathan’s hotdog! My brother and I went straight to the US Carrier Intrepid only to find out that it closes at 4:00PM. So we had to contend ourselves taking photos outside the carrier, which had the Space Shuttle on the flight deck near the stern. But a white canvass tent covered it. Maybe I should find time to go earlier.

We went to the Rockefeller Center and dropped by St. Patrick’s scaffolding hiding the Cathedral because it is being renovated. But it was good to visit St. Patrick’s and say prayers for a good travel. The next day, we meet with my high school classmate Eddie “Ago” Santiago who married my cousin Marisal Dizon Santiago in Grand Central Station and we drove off to a part of New York City that we have never seen before.

We went across the East River to see the United Nations building which most photographers use for postcards. Then we went under the Manhattan Bridge and the famous Brooklyn Bridge, a very picturesque sight. Then we drove all over Brooklyn in an area where most of the residents were Hasidic Jews. It was like being back to Jerusalem again.

Then as Eddie promised me, he treated us to dinner in Rainhas, Brazilian Churrascaria where steak and all sorts of meat is served all around. Then they dropped us to the August Wilson Theater to see the Broadway play, “Jersey Boys.” It is a musical based on the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season. As they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do. So when in New York, this means watching Broadway plays. This is why I love New York. My first Broadway play was Jesus Christ Superstar way back in 1972, the first play of famous songwriter and playwright Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com  vsbobita@gmail.com

 

BIG APPLE CEBU BUSINESS MONTH NEW NEW YORK NEW YORK CITY QUEENS MUSEUM ST. PATRICK YORK
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