By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – The Big Apple has finally seen the beauty of Philippine islands unfold before its world stage as the Explore Islands Philippines exhibition opened at the Vanderbilt Hall of the iconic Grand Central Station on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. It took partners Jerry Sibal and Edwin Jose of the JS Productions three years to realize this ambitious cultural project meant to propel business and tourism investments in the Philippines. Finally, it has been hatched.
The organizers formally opened the cultural and business extravaganza led by HRH Princess Katarina of Yugoslav and Serbia, Department of Tourism chief operating officer Cesar Montano, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (through Deputy Secretary of Economic Development and advisor to the Governor Lindsey Boylan), DOT attache Susan del Mundo, and UN Permanent Mission Amb. Teddy Locsin Jr.
The Vanderbilt hall lit up with over-sized neon billboards of the island paradise in the Philippines – Manila, Banaue, Cebu, Iloilo, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, and Davao. Internationally acclaimed fashion designer Renee Salud showed her beautiful creations worn by fashion models and beauty titlists during the opening.
Workshop forums took place in the afternoon which included a panel discussion on Why Invest in the Philippines, Green Buildings and Sustainability Architecture, Smart Innovative Cities, and Biotech and life sciences impact on Philippine businesses.
The opening day was capped with a stunning fashion show Philippine Tapestry at the Roosevelt Hotel. The best of Philippine islands and arts have shone at last, on world stage. The Explore Islands Philippines exhibit will be up until May 12, Saturday. (Featured photo are members of the Fil-Am Press Club riding the jeepney from New York to Manila)