By Mike Baños
As one of those who had the privilege of sharing their journey from the very start, I was lucky to be invited to Seda Centrio’s 10th Year Anniversary bash held November 10th at their Misto Lounge which was held simultaneously with their traditional annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
Besides the gracious hosts Hotel Manager Rhett Villaruz, and Director of Sales Carol Valdez, the event was also graced by Seda Group Director for Sales & Marketing Melissa J. Carlos, Chief Finance Officer Phearl Raz, Area General Manager and concurrently Seda Abreeza General Manager Kennedy Kapulong, and a delegation from Seda Abreeza with Director of Sales Kathy Namuag, Asst. Director of HR Cherry Crisostomo, and Asst. Finance Controller Jerry Salem.
The place was packed with Cagayan de Oro’s best, brightest and most beautiful, including the host for the evening Ms Intercontinental 2021 Cindy Obeñita, and Ms. Cagayan de Oro-Pilipinas 2021 April Barro.
Upon my arrival, I joined Misamis Oriental Tourism execs led by First Lady Erlinda “Ma’am Ging” Unabia who chairs the Misamis Oriental Provincial Tourism Council, Provincial Tourism Officer Jeffrey C. Saclot and Consultant Ogie Marquez. A little later, we were joined by Cagayan de Oro City Councilor and Tourism Committee Chair Jay Roa Pascual.
With the theme True Colors of Christmas in Mindanao the hotel’s execs and staff were garbed in ethnic Mindanao attire, with the show directed by acclaimed director Hobart Savior.
An audio-visual presentation traced the Seda Centrio Story featuring former hotel manager Joseph del Rosario and Armand Angeles, two of the seven hotel managers who had helmed the hotel during the last ten years.
“From being a neophyte from among the Seda hotel properties, we can be proud that we have become one of the top producing properties,” said Mr. Villaruz. “Today, we celebrate these achievements. Today, we claim our own place in making such feats as feathers in our caps.”
“The past 10 years could never be called easy. The past few years could even be our most difficult and most challenging, facing all possible reasons to perform poorly and feel powerless. We remember that within these 10 years, we have seen the worst possible scenarios where SEDA hotels could possibly be found,” he stressed.
Among those he mentioned were the 2016 Marawi siege which resulted in over two years of Martial Law in Mindanao. And just when 2019 became the hotel’s bounce back and banner year, the global pandemic disrupted the whole hospitality industry around the world, resulting in debilitating after effects which continue to this day.
“But, in spite of it all, we have learned to stay strong and resilient. We have built ourselves together, using the foundation of the six hotel managers before me, and 10 chefs this hotel have had in the span of 10 years, the countless staff and crew who had left and rejoined us, especially during the covid crisis, and of course, our most valued clients and customers, who have continued to support us through these years: our corporate partners, government agency partners, our friends from the media and other private sector collaborators and clients. You are the reason we remain steadfast in our desire to give you our best service, with excellence and class,” Mr. Villaruz noted.
He cited in particular the sacrifices and steadfast industry of Seda Centrio’s officers and staff led by their respective department heads including Carol Valdez (Director of Sales); Silvana Lagumbay (Financial Controller); Ruselle Legados (Human Resources Manager); Nat Lopez (Executive Housekeeper); Randy Dreisbach (F&B Manager); Rene Dandasan (Engineering Manager); and
Warly Enoya (OIC, Security).
“We’ve made our first 10-year mark and we are confident that we will be trudging toward a better and bolder next 10 years with you. We shall remain committed to our goal and mission to make Seda Centrio a part of your growing business and endeavors,” Mr. Villaruz said.
“As we move forward, allow us to share this day of celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of SEDA Centrio for a decade of vision, togetherness, resiliency and hard work,” he pledged.
The evening wound up with lavish cocktails and a party with music from the Sessionista Band befitting a milestone in Seda Centrio’s journey.