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Cultural Potpourri | Park Inn’s “Havana Night”

This story appears on Page 13 of the July 02, 2019, issue of Mindanao Times. To download a copy, visit

Cuban-born American singer Camila Cabello’s worldwide hit song, “Havana, ooooh na-na…But my heart is in Havana,” kept playing in my mind once I entered Park Inn by Radisson Davao’s RBG.  Yes, the restaurant was beautifully transformed into some sort of Cuban casita. It had tropical decor complete with palmeras, bird-of-paradise, pineapples, among others.  June 28, 2019, was Park Inn’s annual “Mid-Year Corporate Party” and this time, the chosen theme was “A Night in Havana.” Guests were requested to wear something white which almost everybody did as they were welcomed by GM Ma. Emelyn Mauhay-Rosales and the Assist. Marketing Officer, Anthea Marcela Ledesma.

Coordinated Havana Night outfits on GM Emelyn Mauhay-Rosales and Michael E. Dakudao

Mind you, but both had on what could pass for Panama hats. I wore what could possibly pass for Cuba’s traditional guayabera (which is similar to our cotton/linen polo barong) matched with a pair of blue checkered pants which, to my surprise, was a coordinated outfit with that of GM Emelyn’s ensemble that night.  Just like in the Philippines, casual wear in Havana is low key fashion of lightweight natural fabrics like cotton and linen.

Honestly, Havana, the capital city of Cuba, is in my bucket list of places to visit.  It’s very much like Manila in history as it was also a Spanish colonial city in the 16th century.  It is Cuba’s major port, leading commercial center, as well as main tourist attraction.  Just a historical reminder, it was the bombing of the US battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 which led to the Spanish-American War which also affected our country; and later, made both our countries colonies of America.  Take note that Havana’s Fujian Chinese migrant workers, who created the city’s famous Chinatown, were transported to Cuba via Manila’s port during the Spanish regime.  Havana is an official Sister City of Manila to date.

(l-r): Michael E. Dakudao, Marilyn Roque, Leebai Sinsuiat and Park Inn’s Assist. Marketing Officer Thea Ledesma

Indeed, “Havana ooooh na-na…My heart is in Havana…” is like our “Manila, Manila….I keep coming back to Manila…” but Camila Cabello’s hit song has an underlying and deeper message revealed when she joined other celebrities who voiced their opposition to US President Donald Trump’s new policy that makes it difficult for immigrants to get permission to stay in the USA.

In her opening message during the Havana Night, GM Emelyn Mauhay-Rosales announced, “During this event, we usher in the launch of our newest function space, the RBG Section C, that is perfect for exclusive work functions or medium-sized social events.  Tonight, we also reintroduce to our guests our Radisson Rewards which is the Radisson Hotel Group’s loyalty program.  This fun event also gives us the opportunity to bond with you, our valuable clients, media friends and special guests in such a festive setting.  Please do party the special night away with dancing and singing…”

Latin dancers in an energized performance

Highlighting the event was, of course, the special function space located within the RBG.  “It is a 100 square meter functional space that can accommodate 40 to 80 guests that is quite flexible depending on the requested setup required.  The space is truly ideal for medium-size private meetings or social events,” added the Marketing Assistant Officer Anthea Marcela Ledesma who kept Marilyn Roque and I company.


Heads of the Departments of Park Inn by Radisson Davao

As with the Radisson Rewards, membership forms were distributed to the guests for registration for free that evening.  With the Radisson Rewards card, it provides exclusive access to exceptional benefits, services and privileges to its members.  Points are earned and could be redeemed in all of the 1,100 hotels under the Radisson Hotel Group worldwide.

What excited the guests, naturally, were the rounds of raffle draws which included such major prizes as an overnight stay for free at Park Inn by Radisson Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, and Radisson Blu Cebu; along with a roundtrip ticket from Davao to Clark for two courtesy of Cebu Pacific Air.

Sales and Marketing Team

While I had to rush to my Hijos de Davao rigodon practice at SMX and Marilyn Roque and Leebai Sinsuat to their dinner buffet appointment at Dusit Thani Hotel, the guests enjoyed the rest of the evening dining, dancing and singing.  It was, indeed, a “Feel Good” evening the Park Inn by Radisson Davao way to thank everybody.

Thank you, Park Inn by Radisson Davao.

RBG’s delights


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