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In January 2015, APac and PCCI President Dinky Santos would appoint me to Chair the 2016 FCI Show Commission and Show Judges Commission Meeting. I had just come of chairing the 2015 Circuit Show that was well received.  I questioned him a couple of times about his decision to appoint me but he believed I was the one who could pull it off more than anyone else on the board. So that should clear the air of any accusations of me asking for the job. So here is the story of 2016 FCI Show Commission and Show Judges Commission Meeting Cebu.

At the 2014 Paris FCI Show Commission and Show Judges Commission Meeting, Dinky Santos of the Philippine Canine Club Inc. offered to host the 2016 meeting, and by an overwhelming majority, the hosting job would be given to the Philippines. So come November 2015 to January 2016, in just a span of 3 months, the Philippines would now be hosting three major events, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting, the International Eucharistic Congress and now the FCI Show Commission and Show Judges Commission Meeting to further banner the Philippines as a convention destination but most of all to show FCI members that they made the right choice.

Sometime in February 2015 our first discussion was where should we hold it? Off the bat I said Boracay! And why not, it regularly makes itself in the 10 ten beaches, 10 party beaches and other categories. Boracay is the number one destination beach for tourists who come to the Philippines and the most bragging rights for those who have been there. The number of attendees to the meeting could easily be handled by several hotels in the area. I even managed to get a good price at the Boracay Mandarin, actually lower than Shangri-la Mactan. All the pros I presented swayed Dinky Santos but was easily ditched by the cons argued by someone else. The travel to Boracay from Manila was longer as compared to Manila to Mactan (true but not all that long, an hour and a half by bus to Caticlan plus a 15 minute boat ride to the island if you land at Kalibo; if you land directly at Caticlan, it’s just an additional 15 minute boat ride to the island, whatever you choose it is worth the extra travel time). Security would be an issue, with alleged stories of pickpockets and stories of those who cry rape (common issues in any popular tourist destination that any veteran traveling Judge should be smart enough to avoid). But the one and only con that I agreed with is that Boracay is such a fun place that it might be difficult to keep them to stay at the meetings.

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Official Poster of the 2016 FCI Show and Show Judges Commission Meeting Cebu

Shangri-la Mactan (http://www.shangri-la.com/cebu/mactanresort/about/), I have to concede, is also an excellent choice with everything that a vacationist would want housed in one roof. I couldn’t argue with the safety and security that Shangri-la Mactan provided. It was also on the same island as Mactan International Airport and with PCCI providing transfers from airport to hotel, it would be a logistics breeze.

A flurry of emails would fly through the net with I and PCCI Manager Jojo Rosales at the one end and Barbara Mueller President of the Show Commission, John Wauben President of the Show Judges Commission, the rest of the delegates at the other end. Topics of agenda, bookings, and attendance, but most of all details, details, details were being addressed by Jojo and I. Crunch time was the busiest with both us becoming keyboard warriors even during the Christmas holidays.

I tried to get some professional work done early in the week before heading to Cebu, so I got some work done up to Wednesday. I would arrive in Cebu, Wednesday night the 27th of January 2016. Wednesday night PCCI would host dinner for those who came early, and the judges of the “Fiesta Show.” The judges and delegates were treated to roast pig (http://zubuchon.com/). Over dinner I would meet, Barbara and John and also Wilfred and Ulrikke Olsen of Denmark. A very gracious, friendly, outgoing and adventurous couple, I explained to them how to mix a dipping sauce for the roast pig and explained the dessert “Halo Halo” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo-halo). Wilfred would also ask me the must see places, I told him where but also warned him about traffic since the “International Eucharistic Congress” was also being held in the City. Interestingly the couple would manage to see every must see and managed to take the scenic route all on a very reasonable budget by themselves! I would also meet again Marco Lepasaar of Lithuania. Marco and I judged at the Cessnock International Spring Classic in Newcastle Australia just 5 months before the meeting. Wednesday evening required 2 vans to get us around.

Thursday was when the delegates started arriving, while PCCI had the last day of the “Fiesta Dog Show” at the nearby “Chateau by the Sea.” Thursday night dinner was at the Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant (http://cebubestrestaurants.com/lantaw-floating-native-restaurant/). The number of delegates had now grown, requiring us to avail of the services of a tourist bus. I would sit beside Harri Lehkonen of Finland and would strike an interesting conversation with him. On our way back to the hotel, while at the bus, Dinky would introduce me to the delegation. I introduced myself as the chairman of the event, and as the man behind the the name Dr. Orlino “Jojo” Hosaka. I made the announcement of the next days schedule and that a PCCI help desk was available at the lobby of the hotel.

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Friday, 29th of January 2016, the rest of the delegates would start arriving and when they arrived, just like everyone else, they would instantly fall in love with Shangri-la. I booked a function room for the Seminar with a capacity for 50 delegates. We were wary if we would be able to fill up the room, thinking that the delegates would rather enjoy the facilities of the hotel than attend the Seminar on a sunny day. The Seminar titled “A Seminar on Breed Exaggerations ‘Only together we make it work'” was a success, the room was filled to more than capacity, with discussion very lively. Breed exaggeration is a problem that we judges have to deal with and the objectives of this Seminar was very helpful.

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Author with Christian Stefanescu of Romania

Feedback of the Seminar was over whelmingly positive that at the end of the Seminar, Christian Stefanescu of Romania suggested a Judges Convention that would be akin to a Annual Medical Speciality Convention. A brilliant idea! Imagine 2 to 3 simultaneous lectures/seminars to choose from in the morning session and the same at the afternoon session. Round table discussion over breakfast before the morning session, and another during lunch before the afternoon session just like a medical convention or a writers workshop. Depending on the confirmed size of attendees, if the size would be just like this past Commission Meeting, I would go with a writers conference style, similar to last years Asia Pacific Writers-(http://apwriters.org/apwt-2015-manila/) which I attended. I’ve been attending medical conventions for the past 28 years but I just love writers conferences way much more! It is very personal, easy and interactive, with more delegates relaxed at participating with discussions. I’d love to attend a lecture by the Swede Judge Dr. Göran Bodegård MD PhD on “Breed-Specific Instructions for Judges.” Dinner later in the evening would be at a nearby Thai restaurant and this time we needed 2 buses to take us around.

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Show Judges Commission busy at work putting the final touches an hour before the Seminar. L-R; President John Wauben, Secretary Anne Marie Class, Vice President Adrian Landarte. At the extreme left with his back to us is Rony Doedijns who actively helped in the preparations of the Seminar.

The 30th of January 2016, Saturday morning would be the “Meeting of the FCI Show Commission.” Saturday afternoon would be the “Meeting of the FCI Show Judges Commission.” Dinner Saturday night would be at the nearby “Be” Resort Mactan (http://www.beresort-mactan.com/), the evening was a “Welcome Dinner” care of the Philippine Canine Club Inc. It was by the beach with a fiesta ambiance. Sometime during the evening a dance troupe would perform traditional Filipino dances. When the “Tinikling” (http://philippinecultures-talents.blogspot.com/2012/01/tinikling.html) was performed, Commission Presidents Barbara and John would gamely join in the dance when invited. I would also see Wilfred and Ulrikke Olsen; Aida Rivera Blanco, Roberto Pico and Rafael De Santiago hit the sand to dance.

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Author with Barbara Müller, President of the Show Commission

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Author with John Wauben, President of the Show Commission

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Author with Anders Tunold-Hanssen of Norway

Sunday the 31st of January would be the “Joint Commission Meeting.” One discussion had me at odds with Anders Tunold-Hanssen of Norway. When we got to the mornings coffee break, we were in queue for our share of Java, when Anders, the gentleman that he was, extended his hand and apologized for not supporting my motion. I smiled and quickly said there was no problem at all, and that I left everything behind inside the session hall. I was in touch with Anders during the Christmas holidays, as he asked us to help book his stay, he planned to arrive earlier. Anders found time to see Bohol Island and its Chocolate Hills, the Tarsier Sanctuary and soak up the sun of Panglao Island beach and of course the whole of Cebu!

Dinner time Sunday, just across the street, infront of Shangri-la was a quaint restaurante named Hola España owned by a Spanish gentleman. We had the full monty for dinner from several servings of tapas, then a sumptuous baked Pollo dish, followed by Paella, and dulce of fruits and Churos con Chocolate. At one point, knowing that some were probably tired, some may have an early next day flight or some may want to chill at the bar by the beach, I stood up and announced to all the delegates that the rest of the evening was free. This suddenly became a cue for everyone to say their farewells, it was after all the last evening of a successful event. I quickly sought out Barbara Mūller President of the Show Commission and John Wauben President of the Show Judges Commission. They are the two people that I was in touch with the moment that I was appointed as Chair of the Cebu Meeting. I also said my goodbyes to Adrian Landarte Vice President and Anne Marie Class Secretary of the Show Judges Commission. I also sought out Commission Members Wilfred and Ulrikke Olsen of Denmark, Harri Lehkonen of Finland, Tamas Jakkel of Hungary and Rony Doedijns of the Netherlands, Christian Stefanescu of Romania, all very active participants that made the three days interesting, all who made the discourse respectable and sensible.

I purposely did not provide any details of what was discussed as this has to be approved  by the next commission meeting. But let me assure you of a meeting that looked after the best interests of all of us FCI individuals and not just specific interest groups.  Let me thank John Wauben and Barbara Müller Commission Presidents who deserve the office they hold, they were the ones I worked with early on and throughout the meeting. Thank you also to Aida Rivera Blanco of Colombia who personally invited me to the 2019 Commission Meeting. Thank you to PCCI and APac President Dinky Santos for entrusting this very important FCI event to me.

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All of the delegates including FCI President Rafael De Santiago for a group photo.

The “2016 FCI Show Commission Meeting and Show Judges Commission Meeting Cebu” is only the second time that the meeting was held outside of Europe and most of all the first time to be held in Asia. It was very well attended as seen on the delegates photo. The fun factor was very high. I’m sure we had some glitches so allow me to apologize. I do hope the bigger picture in your mind is your memorable experience of the”2016 FCI Show Commission Meeting and Show Judges Commission Meeting Cebu.” I’m not part of PCCI anymore, but I do hope I get to work with you sometime in the future maybe as a colleague Judge. Most of all thank you for the honor of working with all of you at this event of ours.

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