This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Waterfront’s Cebu City Hotel, and with it comes a significant change in the events management within the prestigious tourist attraction. However, the new events chief is a familiar face. Sofia D’Ionsod was formerly the Events Coordinator of the Waterfront Hotel in Casino, before moving to the Shangri – La’s Mactan Resort in Spa, working with the same position. Sofia’s stint as the Events Coordinator was her very first job in 2011, as well as her first recorded experience in event management. Moving to Cebu after graduating Tourism in University of the Philippines – Diliman, and having her internship in Philippine Airlines, Sofia always expected to work for an airline, but in her search for a more dynamic career, the Bicol native landed in Cebu.
Sofia admits that her experience at Waterfront as the Events Coordinator has really prepared her for her new job as the Events Director. “Every event is a learning process. Dili ka makat-on dayon (You don’t learn it instantly). It’s a step by step process.
I am where I am today, because I started as an events coordinator,” Sofia said. This 2018, her first big challenge is the 4th annual Wedding Expo held at the Atlantic Hall last October 5 & 6. The Annual Wedding Expo’s main goal was to market the wedding packages of the hotel, and also to showcase the wedding industry of Cebu.
“If you notice they always have it in Manila, We thought “Why not here in Cebu?” she said. The event is said to be the biggest & grandest wedding expo to date, with the most number of designers and suppliers gracing the event, and bringing their creations to the Waterfront floor.
“We aimed that this wedding expo will be the grandest, not just for the hotel but for the whole Cebu,” said Sofia. The event featured magnificent work, stitched and tailor-made by some of Cebu’s biggest designers. The event was also special because of the various several workshops to entertain and educate the customers as well as the suppliers and exhibitors of the event.
The event was also graced by Banjoe Del Rosario, the Finance Manager of Philippine Airlines who discussed about confidence boosting; Neil Felipp who spoke about fashion and the essentials of a brand and Arnaulogy, a make-up artist based in Cebu. The first day of the event featured the Intemporel Fashion Show, a show which showcased the wedding collections of nine young Cebuano designers.
The workshops were held during the second day, which was also the Grand Finale which featured world-class designs, according to Sofia, the biggest fashion event in Philippine history. Sofia clarified that this will not be the last that we will see from the Wedding Expo, and they will still continue to work next year, with something new to bring to Waterfront. “We’re definitely not stopping. We’ll definitely continue, as long as Waterfront is standing,” said Sofia.