This month, several prominent Filipinos will be the featured speakers at the Memphis in May International Festival (MIMIF) which has chosen the Philippines as its honored country for this year.
According to news site Asian Journal, the guests are all experts in their respective fields such as architecture, business, health, and tourism.
On its website, MIMIF said the award-winning festival will showcase Philippine culture, customs and cuisine.
Last March 17 to 24, top MIMIF and Memphis City officials and corporate executives visited the Philippines, specifically Manila and Cebu, to experience the "wonders" of this year’s MIMIF honored country.
According to the Asian Journal, the scheduled events include:
Architect Augusto Villalon will raise the curtain for the grand event. He will be talking about his forte — heritage conservation — during the Architects of the World Luncheon at the University Club.
Villalon was recently the Philippine representative for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris.
Also on May 8, author and businessman Guillermo Luz, co-chairperson of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) for the Philippine private sector, will be sharing his knowledge to the business community at the luncheon meeting of the Memphis Rotary Club.
at the Economic Club of Memphis (Clark Tower), Aurelio Montinola III will talk about major Philippine economic developments as well as global economic perspectives.
Montinola was the former president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and currently is the president and CEO of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. will talk about strategic trade and in the Philippines.
He will also discuss how countries can adapt to a globalized economy and the emerging ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Cuisia was the president and CEO of the largest life insurance company in the Philippines, the American Life and General Insurance Company.
He has also held numerous top positions in public and private sectors along with becoming the Central Bank governor from 1990 to 1993.
He will also be hosting a seminar along with panelists from private-sector business and the US Commercial Services at the Hilton Hotel on May 10 titled: “Doing Business in the Philippines”.
Philippine Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. will be attending a luncheon forum co-hosted by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Hotel Association.
In various events, Jimenez will also be promoting the slogan for the recent tourism campaign of the Philippines: “It’s more Fun in the Philippines.”
Before he became the Philippine Tourism Secretary in September 2011, Jimenez used to be the senior consultant and joint chief executive officer of WOO (Winning Over Obstacles), vice-president and executive creative director at Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and CEO of JimenezBasic Advertising.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) will be addressing the Memphis Bioworks Business Association and the Greater Memphis Chamber Life Science Council’s members during a luncheon forum.
They will be discussing health, medical, and biomedical topics.
Chef Claude Tayag
Meanwhile, an earlier report of the Department of Foreign Affairs said Filipino chef Claude Tayag will also be featured in the MIMIF. A special selection of his dishes will be debuting in the menu of the Peabody Hotel’s Chez Philippe restaurant on May 11 and 12.
Tayag has taken up Architecture and Economics courses in the University of the Philippines.
He was mentored by none other than the late writer and painter Emilio “Abe” Aguilar Cruz whom he considers as his greatest influence.
Aside from being a chef, Tayag is a writer and artist.
He told GMA News Online in an interview on April 26: “As an artist, it’s what I’ve dreamt to be since I was a kid. I had my first one-man exhibit when I was 22 (am 56 this year) and haven’t stopped creating/exhibiting since.
"My being a chef came about naturally, being a Kapampangan and coming from a large family (9th of 12 children). I was exposed to being surrounded with so many people, having constant activity in the kitchen, and naturally, plentiful food to be shared," he said.
"I have no formal culinary training. It’s the same with becoming a columnist – it came about as a natural extension of interests in art, food and travel,” he added. - VVP, GMA News