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PH newsreader Mel Tiangco

Sydneysiders in new travel anthology


PH newsreader Mel Tiangco
PH newsreader Mel Tiangco

Two Sydneysiders were among 41 contributors of the recently-launched Voyagers: Travels with Bessie, a travel anthology whose proceeds would benefit Queen of Peace Convent, the retirement home of St Theresa’s College nuns.

Theresian alumnae Mary Gonzales Barancik and Evelyn Opilas, both of NSW, attended the reunion-cum-launch 16 Feb at Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse, where they received personal copies from Voyagers Travel and Tours Inc (VTTI) president, Bessie Gonzales Escalona.

Edited remotely by Lucila Ocampo-Dypiangco, Marilen Abesamis, Thelma King-Estrada and Evelyn Opilas, the collection captures the experiences of individuals who have travelled with VTTI and the satisfaction, adventure, insights that they have derived from these.

“Seasoned travellers who had ventured far and wide, as well as those taking their first trip to a foreign country, unanimously agreed that they would plan their next trip with Bessie,” said Ms Ocampo-Dypiangco in the book’s Introduction.

Ms Barancik and Ms Opilas recounted the impact of their Holy Land tour over the other VTTI destinations they have joined

The contributors come from Australia, Austria, Canada, Italy, The Philippines and the United States, and included Marilyn Reyes Agcaoili, Rosario and Carlos Amores, Susie Beato and Min Yambao, Erlinda and Jose Caguiat, Cynthia and Diosdado Cervantes, Lovelinda Lat Cheng, Zenaida Samia Co, Elena Dypiangco, Oscar N Dypiangco, Teresita Denoga Estacio, Bettina and Felix Gacad, Prudence and Amando Gaspar, Nora Belmonte Jacinto, Corazon T Jimenez, Eugenia Ella Juico, Gloria Garcia Kasilag, Beatriz Gonzales Lacson, Vivian Zapanta Lahoz,

Maureen Opilas de Lara, Mary Ann Concepcion Magsalin, Aida Antazo Makabali, Lina Pesigan Makabali, Ruben Makabali, Cindy Malixi, Rebecca Zapanta Mendoza, Leonor and Gene Millare, Fr. Leo Ortega, Paulina Alfaro Pamintuan, Cynthia Pineda, Carmencita Antonio Queyquep, Marilu B Reyes, Karl Scharf, Concepcion Araujo Sabalo Shorr, Evelina Sicam Dionisio Torres, Nancy O Sy and Emmeline L Verzosa.

University Fellow and Trustee University of Asia and the Pacific Dr Antonio Torralba, GMA 24 Oras newscaster Carmela (Mel) Tiangco, Studio 5 Designs founder and president Marily Ysip Orosa, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alegria Sibal Limjoco, and former English Department Chair University of Asia and the Pacific Lourdes Bangsal Gonzales provided perceptive reviews of the anthology.

Attendees at the book launch were led by former Regent at the University of the Philippines, Dr Nelia Gonzales (Bessie’s mother), VTTI partner Mellie Lotho, and VTTI’s loyal clientele.

Voyagers: Travels with Bessie was printed at Phoenix Publishing in Quezon City with assistance from graphic designer Norman Celis and publisher Candy Sebullen. Leslie Rahuba did the cover design. – ends (Text and photos by © 2020 Evelyn A. Opilas)