After a commis chef from Radisson Blu Cebu bagged a prize during the Mabuhay Awards last year, the organizer of the most prestigious recognition program in the hotel industry aims at getting more nominations from Cebu, Davao, and regions around these cities for this year’s edition.
The Mabuhay Awards is an annual recognition program organized by the Association of Human Resources Managers in the Hospitality Industry, or AHRM. The group launched the 20th year of the program last night at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, which will host the awarding ceremony on November 23.
“At this very early stage, we’ve already communicated with our counterparts in Cebu and Davao to prepare also for their nominations,” said Andre Alip, president of AHRM in Metro Manila. Cebu and Davao are the two chapters of AHRM outside Manila. “Hopefully, compared last year, we’ll see [an increase] especially because of an inspiring development: AHRM Cebu won last year.”
Alip was referring to Cherry Ehida who won in the rank-and-file heart-of-the-house category, one of the five categories of the program.
“Since two years ago, we opened this to not only members of AHRM but also to other hotels and resorts to send in nominations. Our marketing this time will be a little bit more aggressive because we want to showcase the Filipino people in response to the ASEAN integration,” said Myrna Reyes, vice-president. This year’s Mabuhay Awards carries the theme, “Treasures of the Philippines for ASEAN.”
“Last year we had 50; this year we’re targeting 70 [nominations] with the additions of Cebu and Davao,” said Angie Blanco, secretary of AHRM.
Judges in this year’s Mabuhay Awards for the rank-and-file front-of-the-house category are DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., Roberto Policarpio (president, PMAP), and Lawrence Jeffrey Johnson (director for the Philippines, International Labour Organization). Meanwhile, Doreen Yu (editor, Starweek), Tony Mercer (international quality assurance and accreditation export of the DOT, ADB, and CIDA), and chef Ariel Manuel comprise the panel for the rank-and-file heart-of-the-house category.
Ignacio Cordova Jr. (dean, Our Lady of Fatima University), Elvie Tarrobal (president, Philippine Society for Training and Development), and Kevin Moriarty (international grants manager of DOT, ADB, and Bank of Canada) will judge in the supervisory category. For the managerial category, AHRM invited judges Rowena Sagaysay (dean, National University), Vincent Gibbons (international team leader of the DOT, ADB, and CIDA), and Bob Zozobrado (executive director, Lyceum of the Philippines University).